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liraglutide (cont.)

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using liraglutide (Victoza)?

You should not use liraglutide if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (tumors in your glands);
  • a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer;
  • type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes; or
  • if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

To make sure you can safely use liraglutide, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • stomach problems causing slow digestion;
  • kidney or liver disease;
  • a thyroid disorder;
  • high blood pressure;
  • high triglyceride levels in your blood;
  • a history of pancreatitis;
  • a history of gallstones; or
  • a history of alcoholism.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether liraglutide will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication..

In animal studies, liraglutide caused the development of thyroid tumors. However, very high doses are used in animal studies. It is not known whether these effects would occur in people using doses recommended for human use. Ask your doctor about your personal risk.

It is not known whether liraglutide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using liraglutide.

How should I use liraglutide (Victoza)?

Liraglutide comes in a prefilled injection pen. Ask your pharmacist which type of needles are best to use with your pen.

Liraglutide is injected under the skin. Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject liraglutide. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and injection pens.

Liraglutide is usually given once per day. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Your dose needs may change if you become ill, have a fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency.

You may use liraglutide at any time of the day, with or without a meal.

Do not use liraglutide if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can occur if you skip a meal, exercise too long, drink alcohol, or are under stress. Symptoms include headache, hunger, confusion, irritability, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, tremors, sweating, and fast heartbeat. Carry hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar. Other sugar sources include orange juice and milk. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.

Liraglutide is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, foot care, eye care, dental care, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.

Storing after your first use: You may keep "in-use" injection pens in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Protect the pens from moisture, heat, and sunlight. Use within 30 days. Remove the needle before storing an injection pen, and keep the cap on the pen when not in use.

Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

Do not freeze liraglutide, and throw away the medication if it has become frozen.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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