Healthy living * Weight loss

New once-daily diabetes drug launched in UK

Victoza can be taken once a day Victoza also helps with weight loss

A new treatment for Type 2 diabetes has been launched in the UK.

Called Victoza, it's targeted at helping people with Type 2 diabetes who need to start taking insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels. Typically this happens when the current treatment, consisting of a combination of diet, exercise and tablets, no longer works.

Failure to take insulin injections can result in serious complications for diabetics. These can include stroke, blindness, coronary artery disease (heart attack), erectile dysfunction, leg gangrene and kidney failure (which may require dialysis or even a transplant).

However, insulin injections and some tablets can cause side-effects such as hypoglycaemic attacks and weight gain (which is detrimental to diabetics, as they must lose weight).

The new treatment consisits of a once-daily injection which, unlike insulin, can be taken at any time of the day, independent of meals. It works by stimulating insulin when blood glucose levels become too high, and rarely causes hypoglycaemic attacks.

The good news for diabetics is that it also helps with weight reduction as it makes the stomach feel fuller for longer, and slows down the rate at which the stomach empties.

Clinical studies have also shown that it reduces blood pressure which is important in preventing heart attacks.

"Liraglutide widens the choice of treatments for poeple with Type 2 diabetes and that not only offers improved glucose control but also aid weight loss. In addition, research has shown that this treatment has a positive effect on blood pressure levels," said Cathy Moulton, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK (Liraglutide is the active ingredient in Victoza).

Nearly 2.5 million people in the UK suffer from diabetes, including Type1, and an estimated 500,000 others are currently unaware they have it – it is often referred to as the “hidden epidemic”.

More information

This article was published on Wed 8 July 2009

Image © Phototom -

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