Victoza Drug Interactions

by on June 5, 2012

Victoza (Liraglutide) is a breakthrough medication for people with type 2 diabetes who are unable to control their blood sugar with standard insulin therapy. Though the drug is well tolerated by most, there are some Victoza drug interactions that patients should familiarize themselves with.

Severe Drug Interactions

Unlike most medications, the FDA or medical studies have not reported any severe drug interactions between Victoza and other medications. The most serious complication patients who use this medication should watch for is an allergic reaction. Signs include hives, facial swelling, swelling of the lips and tongue and overall difficulty breathing. If any of these symptoms appear, patients should immediately stop using the medication and seek medical attention.

Moderate Drug Interactions

There are moderate drug interactions that have been reported with Victoza, meaning that these interactions are highly unlikely to be fatal or cause any long-term effects. Most of these drugs fall within the category of insulin-containing medications, but patients should also avoid taking certain weight loss formulations due to the increased risk of adverse effects.

Insulin-Containing Medications

Victoza is a non-insulin treatment for type 2 diabetes, but it cannot be used with any product that contains insulin. This is because Victoza is designed to increase the amount of insulin that is produced naturally within the bloodstream, and the addition of extra insulin may cause hypoglycemia—or excessively low blood sugar. Some of the medications that contain insulin include:

  • NovoLog products
  • Novolin
  • Exubera
  • Apidra and Apidra Solostar

Weight Loss Medications

Since one of the properties of Victoza is the slowing of food as it exits from the stomach, many patients are likely to experience some form of weight loss during their course of treatment. When patients add a weight loss drug to their Victoza regimen, they are more likely to fall victim to hypoglycemia due to decreases in appetite. Anyone who is interested in taking weight loss medication should first consult their physician, especially if that medication contains phentermine or is specifically designed to restrict the appetite. Some examples are:

  • Oby-Trim
  • Obephen
  • Adipex-P
  • Obezine
  • Alli
  • Over-the-counter weight loss preparations

Minor Drug Interactions

There are more than 100 minor Victoza drug interactions that may occur. Though these are often not considered serious and occur only rarely, patients should still be aware of them as it may require more frequent testing or even titration of dosages. The most common minor drug interactions occurred with over-the-counter pain relievers and oral contraceptives, though none of these caused any adverse side effects.

Pain Relievers

The main concern with patients who use pain relievers during their treatment with Victoza is with the efficacy of the pain reliever itself. Since Victoza slows the emptying of gastric contents, certain medications—especially acetaminophen—may not work as well as they should. In fact, the efficacy of these drugs could be reduced by as much as 30%. Some examples include:

  • Tylenol
  • Generic pain relievers that include acetaminophen as an active ingredient
  • NyQuil and DayQuil solution or gelcaps
  • Narcotic pain relievers containing acetaminophen

Oral Contraceptives

Patients who use oral contraceptives should be aware that their birth control method of choice may not be as effective while they are using Victoza. Again, this is due to the slowed release of gastric contents; the body may not be able to absorb an amount of the hormone that is necessary to prevent pregnancy. Patients should consider using a different form of birth control while taking Victoza. Some examples of the contraceptives that may be compromised are:

  • Yaz, Yasmin
  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen
  • Estrostep
  • Ogestrel
  • Seasonique
  • Trivora

This list of Victoza interactions does not list every medication that may interact with the drug. In order to avoid complications that may arise from drug interactions, patients should disclose any and all medications they are taking—over-the-counter or prescription—to their doctors and pharmacists.