As a relatively recent addition to the market, liraglutide is marketed under the brand name Victoza. A glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, liraglutide reduces blood sugar levels by helping the pancreas make more insulin after meals. According to manufacturer Novo Nordisk, the medication is 97 percent similar to the GLP-1 naturally occurring in the human body.
Studies compiled by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality indicate there is limited data regarding how well liraglutide lowers A1c as compared to other medicines. However, individuals using GLP-1 medications tend to have less weight gain than that seen with other medicines. Nausea is the most common adverse side effect. Liraglutide is approved for use by adults with type 2 diabetes although it is not recommended as a first-line therapy for patients who have been unable to adequately control their diabetes through exercise and diet alone.
Liraglutide at a glance
Brand name in the US: Victoza
Date approved by FDA: January 2010
Medication class: Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist
Method of administration: Daily injection
Brand name manufacturer: Novo Nordisk
Other drugs in the same class: Exenatide (Byetta)