Thinking about starting Victoza & would appreciate your feedback

My doctor gave me a sample of Victoza a couple of days ago and I went online to do my research on it. The part about it causing thyroid tumors and cancer in rats scared me a little, as did the part about pancreatic cancer. I tried Byetta over a year ago and did not last more than a week on that because of the gastro upsets. I have been on insulin before and believe I will be back on it if my BG doesn’t improve. I was on the insulin pump with my last pregnancy, but now I’m just on Metformin. I have been on several oral diabetes drugs before.

My last A1c was 9.1, about two months ago. That’s about when I realized that stress, and my reaction to stressful situations, was keeping my sugar high. One month ago I had a cranial sacral therapy session to reduce my stress and my BG went down 50 points almost instantly. I went from a waking reading of 225 to 174. I am also taking phentermine because that is the only thing that can tame my cravings for sugar. I have one more month left of that. I eat healthy, when I do eat. I get stressed about my BG sometimes and don’t want to have anything to do with food. I work out once a week, but cannot motivate myself to do any more than that, though I KNOW that would help lower my BG. I understand my stress and depression are keeping my sugar high, as is my weight.

I guess what I want to know from the group is what your experience has been with Victoza. Was this your last resort? Are you taking any other medication along with it? What are your side effects, if any? Has it reduced your cravings, if you had any? Has your A1c improved while on it? If you were depressed, has taking Victoza affected your depression? How long before you noticed a change in your glucose readings?

Thank you in advance. Just from reading the other groups I can see that this is a genuinely caring community. And after 9 years of dealing with this disease on my own, maybe I could use a little support.

I needed to loose weight and Victoza did the trick, now over 75 pounds and counting. I have had good numbers until recently and now notice a slight uptick. This I attribute that to the progression of my pancreas failing. O verall though I have been very impressed with Victoza and yes it has reduced my cravings substantially. It was not a last resort. I did not want the weight gain issues of insulin which can easily happen to a T-2.

With the high blood sugars you have you have too address this. You are doing serious damage to your organs. I know you know that. Having said that you then have to weigh the risks to benefits of this medication. If you google Byetta too you will find a fistful of lawyers ready to take your case for adverse effects.

Yes Victoza has a black box warning from the FDA and you should monitor for tumors. One article I read said that the animals given Victoza had been given 20 times the dose that a human would have gotten. The other thing I have read is that the trials and experience have been very positive so far in Europe.

If you are on medications for depression you should talk to your Dr or pharmacist as to how they can raise your blood sugars. I know some medications do.

Good luck with your decision…

Hello - I have had type-2 since 1995. have been on VICTOZA since September 1 this year. At that time my A1c was 9.0. It has been 9+ for a few years. My endo recommended VICTOZA to lower my BG and to help me lose weight. I can say it is working on both counts. My BG readings are now almost always in the 70-100 range, and I have lost 10 lbs. in 26 days. My appetite is seriously curbed. Actually, I am never hungry and eat only because I know I have to. I used to crave and eat big, high carb meals and snacks, which I tried to offset with high doses of HUMULOG (I also take LANTUS and metformin). My insulin intake is now significantly reduced.

For the first two weeks I took 0.6 units of VICTOZAeach morning, then increased it to 1.2 units from day 15 until now. I am to stay at 1.2 until my next Dr. appointment on Nov. 6th when I may increase to 1.8. My Dr. says that most of his patients no longer need to take insulin after 2 months on VICTOZA. That would be great!

All in all, I’m very pleased with the VICTOZA experience. I hope this helps.



Glad to hear that you are reducing the insulin dose Don. Thats really great. I have read that with other Victoza users too. They are using it on T-1’s too that are insulin resistant with the same outcome, reduction in insulin dose.

I have been on the 1.2 dosage and it is doing the trick for me. I have been on it since April just after the FDA approved it.

I have been getting higher numbers in the morning recently, dawn phenomena probably. Adjusting my diet now.

I am really glad you are getting on top of this. Your blood sugars are way too high, but I am sure you realize that. So first off, I started on Victoza nearly a month ago after two years on Byetta. Both Victoza and Byetta can be quite effective in improving your insulin response when you eat as well as reducing your appetite. Many people have found it very effective and Pauly gives you good advice and his experience is perhaps typical.

Personally, I’ve not worried about the risks, they are actually smaller than the risks in my other medications and most importantly, they are much lower risks than you encounter every day that you have elevated blood sugars. I’ve been experiencing some side effects, gastric problems and acid reflux, but only slightly worse than Byetta. Victoza is certainly worth a try, and I would encourage you to try to work through some of the side effects if you do experience them, often they go away after an initial period.

Now I also have two other things to ask you to think about. The first is your cravings. Victoza/Byetta can help, but a low carb diet can also help. Sometimes, eating carbs causes a cycle where you crave carbs. Many people find that their cravings for carbs and eating goes away with a low carb diet. You might consider an Atkins diet or Dr. B’s diet and see how that works.

Second, you need to be aware that a pretty large proportion of women who have Gestational Diabetes (GD) actually end up with adult onset T1 (sometimes called LADA). It can take years to fully emerge, and although it initially responds to oral medications, eventually you will need to move to insulin (although it may take years). Our fellow member Mellitta often talks about this. You may want to talk to you doctor about being tested for this (there are anti body tests).

Thank you all for your feedback. Based on your real-life experiences, I decided to try Victoza and started it yesterday. My fasting sugar was 179 this morning which for me, is a good thing right now. I stopped the phentermine (for weight loss) and will continue on the metformin at least for now. I’m encouraged by your reports of reduced cravings. I’m coming to understand that I am an emotional eater, and that my intensely strong carb cravings are related to that. I still have to figure that out.

Thank you again, and if you could, can you keep me posted on your progress so that I know what might be headed my way also? Nausea is an old friend of mine that is constantly coming to visit, so I won’t really know if it’s that or Victoza (if I get that side effect).

I’m just so suspicious of new drugs, and don’t want to be a guinea pig for the drug companies. Remember avandia?

Hi IWantToBelieve so do all of us, I was fast becoming insulin resistant and my blood sugars went into the 20s it has been 10 months now since I started on victoza I have cut my insulin dosage down lost nearly 3 stone yes I had sicness for a while headaches but they all soon passed as to the studies in rats not sure I approve of any one using dogs cats mice rats but I suppose that’s life no need to be on your own every diabetec in the world is wishing you wellness and happiness talk to me anytime best wishes twiddleme thumbs

For me victoza was my last resort I was becoming insulin in tollerent so my doctor told me my blood sugars were dangerously high his words not mine my diet my lack of exercise and already having a major heart attack was stretching my life line very thin, will power as a lot of people told me was the key it took a heart attack to stop me smoking really did not want to go through that pain again,I got depressed a lot always had mood swings but sine I have been taking citalopram mood swings have gone having to take 14 pills a day insuln and victoza is a lot to deal with it needed a stronger person than I could ever be
in 9 months I have lost 2 stone 7lbs and now weigh 16.7 so still a lot of flab to go,if nothing else the victoza has helped me to change my habbits eat what you see to do I really need that.
My blood glucose is down to 7 never been anywhere as low as that, all i can really say even with the dangers victoza is working for me

I have been on Victoza for about three months and it has been a wonder drug for me. My sugar levels would commonly bee 300 or so at any given time, and since taking Victoza it is less than half that and often is in normal ranges if I exercise and eat right. The thyroid cancer thing scares me, but just be on the lookout for symptoms and get your blood panel done every few months. Good luck!

PS I went form 6 to 1.2 to 1.8. The full dose of 1.8 made me sick, so the doctor took me down to 1.2, and no side effects at that level and still full benefits.

I was up to the 1.2 dose, but the headaches were so bad I had to go back to .6 dose. I can take side effects pretty well but the headaches were debilitating and I lost what little energy I had. Though I have to admit that I’m impressed with my morning glucose going being as low as 116 so far. It hasn’t been that low in years! The craving were gone until I came back down to the .6 dose. They’re back and I’m trying so hard to resist them. One more new pain I’m concerned with is pain in the middle of my chest. Have any of you experienced this? I seriously doubt it’s a heart attack or I would have other symptoms or been to the hospital by now. In addition to victoza I take 1,000mg metformin daily and vitamins.

Bad news…my crappy insurance won’t pay for Victoza; they want me to try Byetta first. Anyone tried that? You have to take it twice a day instead of once, as with Victoza, and the side effects are the same, including the warning to watch out for thyroid cancer…I am really upset because I tolerate the Victoza very well and now I am facing the possibility of unpleasant side effects again. Apparently 57% of people have side effects with Byetta. Not looking forward to this.

John9ten, I’m sorry to hear your insurance is trying to micro manage your life. Thank God I haven’t had that problem with mine. Last year I had different insurance and before they would pay for Byetta they wanted my A1c to be higher than what it was. That is so backwards I can’t even begin to make sense of it! I did not tolerate Byetta at all. I wish you much luck, and I hope your doctor keeps giving you samples of Victoza.

Thanks, I appreciate it. He will, but there’s gotta be some cutoff point. I am thinking of writing my insurance a letter asking them to approve it. I work for the County and this insurance plan is a County plan, it’s not Blue Cross or one of the other huge ones.

What measurement is a ‘stone’, please… :slight_smile:

It is an english measure, 1 stone = 14 lbs.

Hi Victoza was1my last resort I was becoming insulin intolerant it has been 12 months since I started on it and I have to be honest it seems to be doing me good less insulin less food able to control and I do not gorge on food anymore does it wear off I have no idea I hope not lost nearly 3 stone so I hope it works for you best wishes twiddlemthumbs

After 4 years of Metformin, being sick every day from it and still watching my readings creep upwards despite diet and exerecise, I switched to Insulin recently. Surprisingly, my numbers were only slightly reduced, from 157 ave to about 147 ave. Then I switched to Victoza 30 days ago. Amazing results, at only .6/day dosage. My ave is down to 113 with much less variation, much faster reduction after eating, and I’ve lost 6 lbs.

Only very slight nausea and doing the shot is easy.