Victoza is a drug used to control type 2 diabetes. It helps regulate blood sugar levels by increasing the amount of insulin the body produces. It is injected under the skin, usually once per day. It is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes or for treatment of type 1 diabetes.
Common side effects of Victoza include headache, nausea, and diarrhea. Most of these side effects are dose-related and decrease over time. It also increases risks of low blood sugar if taken with another medication that causes low blood sugar. During animal testing, Vicoza caused tumors of the thyroid gland in rats and mice. It is unknown whether it will cause thyroid tumors or thyroid cancer in people.
Victoza was approved for treatment of diabetes by the FDA in 2010. It was issued a black box label, warning consumers of the potential for thyroid cancer and that it should not be prescribed to those with a family history of MTC or those with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasma Syndrome type 2. In clinical trials it has led to the development of 7 cases of pancreatitis, in which one of the patients subsequently died. This puts Victoza at risk for potential lawsuits regarding its effects.