Victoza and Weight Loss

by on June 5, 2012

Victoza is an injectable medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes in patients who do not respond favorably to standard insulin therapies. Victoza and weight loss is a concern for some patients, while it is a welcome blessing for others. The following information discusses how Victoza may cause patients to lose weight during treatment and ways to combat this side effect if it is undesirable.

The correlation between Victoza and weight loss has much to do with the way the drug is designed to work. In order to control type 2 diabetes, the medication simulates a hormone that is found naturally within the body that causes the release of insulin. As part of this process, Victoza also slows down the time it takes for food to be released from the stomach after consumption. Though this is supposed to help regulate the blood sugar and does so quite effectively. It may also help patients feel full for longer periods of time, thereby helping them to lose weight. In some people with type 2 diabetes, this may actually be a blessing. For others, however, this weight loss must be combatted.

Victoza Use By Non-Diabetics

Though not approved by the FDA for weight loss, some patients, particularly non-diabetics, have been using Victoza to shed a few pounds in combination with diet and exercise.  A two-year study in 2010, concluded that Victoza (Liraglutide) produced significant weight loss among non-diabetic patients in the trial and also significantly reduced blood pressure.

How Much Weight Loss?

The amount of weight loss associated with using Victoza as directed will vary from patient to patient. This is partly because the mechanism that slows the release of food from the stomach is different in every individual.

Patients reported an average of 15 pounds over the course of six months although this will vary depending upon the patient’s eating habits and exercise regimen. This happens in part because the medication allows food to remain in the stomach longer, thereby extending the feeling of fullness. Though it is not a weight loss product, it is often prescribed to overweight individuals who suffer from type 2 diabetes when insulin therapies fail.

Tips to Combat Weight Loss

Though many of the patients who take Victoza are pleased with the weight loss results, there are those individuals who need to maintain their current weight in order to stay healthy. Thankfully, there are some things patients who are using Victoza can do to maintain their current weight and combat weight loss.

This includes eating several small meals throughout the day instead of two or three larger meals and even consuming foods like avocado and fish that contain healthy fats. Patients who are concerned about this weight loss can also speak with their physicians for more information about how to maintain their weight without foregoing their medication.

Neutral Weight

For many people, Victoza has absolutely no impact on their weight. Though the reason for this is unknown, it may be that these individuals eat when they feel bored, sad or anxious instead of when they feel hungry. It may also be because the ability for the medication to keep the food in the stomach is compromised in some individuals, perhaps by their natural bodily mechanisms or by other medications they are taking. Patients who need to lose weight but do not see the desired result from Victoza should speak with their doctors before attempting any other weight loss program.

Though people with diabetes should always manage their blood sugars before anything else, the desire to lose weight—or the need to maintain a safe weight—is a real possibility. Thankfully for many patients, Victoza and weight loss go hand-in-hand to help people of all ages and weights stay healthy.