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Frequently asked questions about Victoza®

Ozempic® (semaglutide) injection 0.5 mg or 1 mg

Consider a once-weekly GLP‑1 RA therapy

Ozempic® is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular (CV) events (CV death, nonfatal myocardial infarction or nonfatal stroke) in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and established CVD.

Consider if your adult patients would prefer fewer injections

About Victoza®

Victoza® is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in patients 10 years and older with type 2 diabetes mellitus, and to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or non-fatal stroke) in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and established cardiovascular disease.1

Victoza® works in the liver, pancreas, and gut to control blood glucose by lowering hepatic glucose output, increasing insulin production, and slowing gastric emptying.1

Structural modifications of both the Victoza® and Ozempic® molecules prevent degradation by DPP-4 and prolong incretin activity.1,2 Victoza® is a GLP-1 analog with 97% similarity to human GLP-1.1 Ozempic® is a GLP-1 analog with 94% similarity to human GLP-1.2

Ozempic® delivers week-long coverage with an elimination half-life of ~7 days.2 See the Ozempic® molecule.

Ozempic® is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular (CV) events (CV death, nonfatal myocardial infarction or nonfatal stroke) in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and established CVD.

See Ozempic® Important Safety Information below.
View Ozempic® Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning.

No dose adjustment of Victoza® is recommended for patients with renal impairment. In the Victoza® arm of the LEADER trial, no overall differences in safety or efficacy were seen in patients with mild, moderate, or severe renal function compared to those with normal renal function.1

There is limited experience with Victoza® in patients with end stage renal disease. There have been postmarketing reports of acute renal failure and worsening of chronic renal failure, which may sometimes require hemodialysis.Use caution when initiating or escalating doses of Victoza® in patients with renal impairment.

In the ELLIPSE trial, 134 patients with type 2 diabetes aged 10 to 17 were randomized to receive liraglutide up to 1.8 mg/day or placebo, in combination with metformin with or without basal insulin over a 26-week, double-blinded period followed by a 26-week, open-label extension period. The primary endpoint was change in A1C from baseline at week 26.3

In LEADER, Victoza® reduced the risk of MACE, in adults with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease. See LEADER results here.

The CV safety of once-weekly Ozempic® was also evaluated in a 2-year CVOT.2,a,b View the CVOT results for Ozempic® and consider if it’s an option for your appropriate adult patients.

aThe primary composite endpoint was the time from randomization to first occurrence of a MACE: CV death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke.
bResults apply to Ozempic® plus standard of care vs standard of care alone in SUSTAIN 6 trial.

Ozempic® is a once-weekly GLP-1 RA therapy option. It is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular (CV) events (CV death, nonfatal myocardial infarction or nonfatal stroke) in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and established CVD.2 Learn more about Ozempic®.

About taking Victoza®

Patients should inject Victoza® subcutaneously once-daily at any time of day, independently of meals, in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm.1

Victoza® comes in a prefilled, multidose pen that delivers doses of 0.6 mg, 1.2 mg, or 1.8 mg.1

Initiate Victoza® with a dose of 0.6 mg daily for one week for your adult patients with type 2 diabetes. The 0.6-mg dose is a starting dose intended to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms during initial titration and is not effective for glycemic control in adults.

After one week at 0.6 mg per day, increase the dose to 1.2 mg daily. If additional glycemic control is required, increase the dose to 1.8 mg daily after at least one week of treatment with the 1.2-mg daily dose.1

Initiate Victoza® with a dose of 0.6 mg daily. After at least one week at 0.6 mg daily, the dose may be increased to 1.2 mg daily if additional glycemic control is required.

If additional glycemic control is required, increase the dose to 1.8 mg daily after at least one week of treatment with the 1.2 mg-daily dose.1

Patient support

We’re committed to affordable options for your patients. That is why we’ve created a savings program to help lower the cost for commercially insured patients. Encourage patients to request or activate a savings card at VictozaSavings.com.

Eligible patients pay as little as $25 for their Victoza® prescription.a

aCommercial insurance required. Up to a maximum benefit of $100 per prescription for 24 months. Eligibility and other restrictions apply.

VictozaCare™ is a free, personalized resource offering videos, downloadable books, recipes, interactive trackers, a digital coaching program, and more. This online program is designed to help patients build the skills they need to manage their diabetes. Encourage your patients to sign up today.

Important Safety Information for Victoza® (liraglutide) injection

WARNING: RISK OF THYROID C-CELL TUMORS

  • Liraglutide causes dose-dependent and treatment-duration-dependent thyroid C-cell tumors at clinically relevant exposures in both genders of rats and mice. It is unknown whether Victoza® causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans, as the human relevance of liraglutide-induced rodent thyroid C-cell tumors has not been determined.
  • Victoza® is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of MTC and in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). Counsel patients regarding the potential risk for MTC with the use of Victoza® and inform them of symptoms of thyroid tumors (eg, a mass in the neck, dysphagia, dyspnea, persistent hoarseness). Routine monitoring of serum calcitonin or using thyroid ultrasound is of uncertain value for early detection of MTC in patients treated with Victoza®.

Indication and Limitations of Use

Victoza® (liraglutide) injection 1.2 mg or 1.8 mg is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in patients 10 years and older with type 2 diabetes mellitus and to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or non-fatal stroke) in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and established cardiovascular disease.

  • Victoza® should not be used in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus or diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • Concurrent use with prandial insulin has not been studied.

Contraindications

  • Victoza® is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of MTC or in patients with MEN 2, and in patients with a prior serious hypersensitivity reaction to Victoza® or to any of the product components. Serious hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylactic reactions and angioedema have been reported with Victoza®.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Risk of Thyroid C-cell Tumors: Patients should be referred to an endocrinologist for further evaluation if serum calcitonin is measured and found to be elevated or thyroid nodules are noted on physical examination or neck imaging.
  • Pancreatitis: Acute pancreatitis, including fatal and nonfatal hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis, has been observed in patients treated with Victoza® postmarketing. Observe patients carefully for signs and symptoms of pancreatitis (persistent severe abdominal pain, sometimes radiating to the back with or without vomiting). If pancreatitis is suspected, discontinue Victoza® promptly and if pancreatitis is confirmed, do not restart. Victoza® has been studied in a limited number of patients with a history of pancreatitis. It is unknown if patients with a history of pancreatitis are at a higher risk for development of pancreatitis on Victoza®.
  • Never Share a Victoza® Pen Between Patients, even if the needle is changed. Pen-sharing poses a risk for transmission of blood-borne pathogens.
  • Hypoglycemia: When Victoza® is used with an insulin secretagogue (eg, a sulfonylurea) or insulin, serious hypoglycemia can occur. In pediatric patients 10 years of age and older, the risk of hypoglycemia was higher with Victoza® regardless of concomitant antidiabetic therapies.
  • Renal Impairment: Acute renal failure and worsening of chronic renal failure, which may sometimes require hemodialysis, have been reported postmarketing, usually in association with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration. Use caution when initiating or escalating doses of Victoza® in patients with renal impairment.
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions: Serious hypersensitivity reactions (eg, anaphylaxis and angioedema) have been reported post-marketing. If symptoms of hypersensitivity reactions occur, patients must stop taking Victoza®; treat promptly per standard of care, and monitor until signs and symptoms resolve. Do not use in patients with a previous hypersensitivity reaction to Victoza®. Anaphylaxis and angioedema have been reported with other GLP-1 receptor agonists. Use caution in a patient with a history of anaphylaxis or angioedema with another GLP-receptor agonist because it is unknown whether such patients will be predisposed to these reactions with Victoza®.
  • Acute Gallbladder Disease: In the LEADER trial, 3.1% of Victoza® vs. 1.9% of placebo-treated patients reported an acute event of gallbladder disease, such as cholelithiasis or cholecystitis. The majority of events required hospitalization or cholecystectomy. If cholelithiasis is suspected, gallbladder studies and appropriate clinical follow up are indicated.

Adverse Reactions

  • The most common adverse reactions, reported in ≥5% of patients treated with Victoza® and more commonly than in patients treated with placebo, are nausea, diarrhea, headache, vomiting, decreased appetite, dyspepsia, and constipation. Immunogenicity-related events, including urticaria, were more common among Victoza®-treated patients (0.8%) than among comparator-treated patients (0.4%) in clinical trials.

Drug Interactions

  • Victoza® causes a delay of gastric emptying and has the potential to impact the absorption of concomitantly administered oral medications. Caution should be exercised when oral medications are concomitantly administered with Victoza®.
  • When initiating Victoza®, consider reducing the dose of concomitantly administered insulin secretagogues (such as sulfonylureas) or insulin to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia.

Use in Specific Populations

  • The safety and effectiveness of Victoza® have not been established in pediatric patients less than 10 years of age.
  • Victoza® slows gastric emptying. Victoza® has not been studied in patients with pre-existing gastroparesis.
  • Victoza® should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Please click here for Victoza® Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning.



Important Safety Information for Ozempic® (semaglutide) injection 0.5 mg or 1 mg

WARNING: RISK OF THYROID C-CELL TUMORS

  • In rodents, semaglutide causes dose-dependent and treatment-duration-dependent thyroid C-cell tumors at clinically relevant exposures. It is unknown whether Ozempic® causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans as human relevance of semaglutide-induced rodent thyroid C-cell tumors has not been determined.
  • Ozempic® is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of MTC and in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). Counsel patients regarding the potential risk for MTC with the use of Ozempic® and inform them of symptoms of thyroid tumors (eg, a mass in the neck, dysphagia, dyspnea, persistent hoarseness). Routine monitoring of serum calcitonin or using thyroid ultrasound is of uncertain value for early detection of MTC in patients treated with Ozempic®.

Indication and Limitations of Use

Ozempic® (semaglutide) injection 0.5 mg or 1 mg is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular (CV) events (CV death, nonfatal myocardial infarction or nonfatal stroke) in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and established CV disease.

  • Ozempic® has not been studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis. Consider other antidiabetic therapies in patients with a history of pancreatitis.
  • Ozempic® is not a substitute for insulin. Ozempic® is not indicated for use in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus or for the treatment of patients with diabetic ketoacidosis.

Contraindications

  • Ozempic® is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of MTC or in patients with MEN 2, and in patients with known hypersensitivity to semaglutide or to any of the product components.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Risk of Thyroid C-Cell Tumors: Patients should be referred to an endocrinologist for further evaluation if serum calcitonin is measured and found to be elevated or thyroid nodules are noted on physical examination or neck imaging.
  • Pancreatitis: Acute and chronic pancreatitis have been reported in clinical studies. Observe patients carefully for signs and symptoms of pancreatitis (persistent severe abdominal pain, sometimes radiating to the back with or without vomiting). If pancreatitis is suspected, discontinue Ozempic® promptly, and if pancreatitis is confirmed, do not restart.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy Complications: In a 2-year trial involving patients with type 2 diabetes and high cardiovascular risk, more events of diabetic retinopathy complications occurred in patients treated with Ozempic® (3.0%) compared with placebo (1.8%). The absolute risk increase for diabetic retinopathy complications was larger among patients with a history of diabetic retinopathy at baseline than among patients without a known history of diabetic retinopathy.
    Rapid improvement in glucose control has been associated with a temporary worsening of diabetic retinopathy. The effect of long-term glycemic control with semaglutide on diabetic retinopathy complications has not been studied. Patients with a history of diabetic retinopathy should be monitored for progression of diabetic retinopathy.
  • Never Share an Ozempic® Pen Between Patients: Ozempic® pens must never be shared between patients, even if the needle is changed. Pen-sharing poses a risk for transmission of blood-borne pathogens.
  • Hypoglycemia: The risk of hypoglycemia is increased when Ozempic® is used in combination with insulin secretagogues (eg, sulfonylureas) or insulin.
  • Acute Kidney Injury: There have been postmarketing reports of acute kidney injury and worsening of chronic renal failure, which may sometimes require hemodialysis, in patients treated with GLP-1 receptor agonists. Some of these events have been reported in patients without known underlying renal disease. A majority of the reported events occurred in patients who had experienced nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration. Monitor renal function when initiating or escalating doses of Ozempic® in patients reporting severe adverse gastrointestinal reactions.
  • Hypersensitivity: Serious hypersensitivity reactions (eg, anaphylaxis, angioedema) have been reported with GLP-1 receptor agonists. If hypersensitivity reactions occur, discontinue use of Ozempic®; treat promptly per standard of care, and monitor until signs and symptoms resolve. Use caution in a patient with a history of angioedema or anaphylaxis with another GLP-1 receptor agonist.

Adverse Reactions

  • The most common adverse reactions, reported in ≥5% of patients treated with Ozempic® are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation.

Drug Interactions

  • The risk of hypoglycemia may be lowered by a reduction in the dose of the secretagogue or insulin.
  • Ozempic® causes a delay of gastric emptying and has the potential to impact the absorption of concomitantly administered oral medications, so caution should be exercised.

Use in Specific Populations

  • There are limited data with semaglutide use in pregnant women to inform a drug-associated risk for adverse developmental outcomes. Discontinue Ozempic® in women at least 2 months before a planned pregnancy due to the long washout period for semaglutide.

Please click here for Ozempic® Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning.



References:

  1. Victoza [package insert]. Plainsboro, NJ: Novo Nordisk Inc; June 2019.
  2. Ozempic [package insert]. Plainsboro, NJ: Novo Nordisk Inc; January 2020.
  3. Tamborlane WV, Barrientos-Perez M, Fainberg U, et al. Liraglutide in children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2019;381(7):637-646.