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Victoza for Weight Loss...NOT!

So I briefly alluded to my run-in with a drug last week, and I want to share the whole story with you. I’ll give my regular readers a heads-up though…it’s not all pleasant. So if you can’t stand talk of adverse bodily functions and reactions, just skip this post and wait until I get wound up with the deals again. :)

The name of the drug is Victoza, and it’s a relatively new (I think it was given the go-ahead by the FDA in early 2009) drug in this country. I believe it’s been in use a little longer in Europe, but not very long, even there. It’s a diabetes drug, and while I do not have diabetes (yet) my doctor has told me I am hyperinsulinemic and basically pre-diabetic. He wants me to get my excess weight off in the hopes that this will reverse my inevitable slide toward diabetes. And believe me, I’m with him! I watched my father die of complications of diabetes almost a decade ago, and it is not a pleasant path to follow.

My problem is that, being insulin resistant makes it even more difficult for me to lose weight. There’s a whole long medical explanation for this, but basically my body doesn’t make good use of the fuel it has and instead stores it as fat. Enter the drug Victoza. My doctor has several patients taking this drug, both diabetic and pre-diabetic, and says it has worked wonders for them, especially as far as weight loss is concerned. Of course I am skeptical, because despite his excitement, it sounds too good to be true. Plus this stuff costs $300 a month(!), and since it’s so new almost none of the insurance companies cover it. But he has a sample he can give me to try it out, so I don’t have to take that big of a monetary plunge to find out if it works for me. In the end, I gratefully accept the trial offer, because if it really can help me lose this weight, it would be a major blessing, even if it does come with a hefty price tag.

I waited a few days before taking the first injection (it’s an injectable, btw :) ), and took it at 7:30 in the evening, as one of the most-reported side effects of this med is nausea. I was hoping that if I had nausea, it would pass while I was sleeping, and I’d wake up ready to roll. The rest of the evening after the injection actually went pretty well; I had a few muscle aches (similar to what had forced me to stop taking Metformin) which worried me a tad, but they weren’t as bad or as widespread, so I decided not to jump to any conclusions based solely on that side effect. Other than the muscle aches, I had a pretty nice evening, no nausea, no gastric problems (diarrhea is another common side effect), and when I checked my blood sugar before bed it was nice and low…around 96, if I remember correctly.

Rewind a little bit here; the previous Friday I had had blood work done at the office, and my fasting blood sugar, around 8:45 or 9:00am, had been in this range also; 93 if memory serves. So you’re probably wondering why the doc thinks I’m pre-diabetic…well it’s because my blood insulin levels were very, very high. If they have to go that high to keep your blood sugar in a normal range, it’s a very bad thing indeed. So anyway, while my blood sugar before bed was a little lower than what I might normally have had, I didn’t consider it any cause for alarm. Still, I put some soda and other high-sugar items next to the bed just in case (yeah, I’m a cautious person by nature. Thank goodness).

Another side note…although it is an injection, Victoza is NOT insulin. From what I understand it stimulates your pancreas to make more insulin, and also helps your body use it more efficiently. And one of the other effects it has is to slow the emptying of the stomach. So in addition to the nausea, vomiting & diarrhea reported as side effects, even once those wear off, the slower stomach emptying helps keep you from eating too much. Sounds great, right? Now, back to our regularly scheduled train wreck…

I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom (nothing uncommon for me), and felt a little odd, so I decided to check my sugar again, just to be on the safe side. It was 88 around 3am, so, again, it was low, but still not anything I saw as cause for great concern. Still, I took a couple of swigs of the soda I had put next to my bed just to be on the safe side, and went back to sleep.

When I woke up a few hours later, my blood sugar was down to 80, and by the time I got up, did my usual morning routine, got dressed and went downstairs, I was starting to feel faint and panicky. Not good, not good at all. So I start eating every fruit I can find (since I don’t have any fruit juice handy), sit down on the couch, and wait for my blood sugar to rise. Which it eventually does, back up in the 90s. When I go to stand up and start my day though, I’m still shaky.

Long story short, pretty much as fast as my sugar would rise, the extra insulin I was producing would take it back down again. And as luck would have it, after I managed to get that first dose of food in my system, the nausea kicked in, and I really wanted absolutely nothing to do with more food. But since I was home alone, and I know what a diabetic coma is, and what it can do (kill you, in case you’re not familiar with them), I stubbornly kept eating the sugariest thing I could find and stomach, which was sweetened dried mango. I got my blood sugar up over 100 at one point, and ventured out to the store for some OJ, since that’s what we had often used to correct my dad’s hypoglycemic attacks. It worked, but it isn’t a particularly long-acting sugar to begin with, so my sugar would swing wildly between 110s and 80s.

Needless to say I was not thinking very straight through most of this. I finally called a friend who I thought might be able to come “babysit” me for a little while, and she suggested milk, as the sugars in it take a little longer for the body to break down. So the next time I got my sugar up into the teens, I made another quick trip to the store and got some chocolate milk (I was allergic to milk as a kid, so I hate the taste of plain milk, hence the chocolate). This of course combined with the fruit and OJ in my stomach to cause a VERY unpleasant reaction (I swear I could feel the bubbling as acid met base), which eventually sent my nausea over the edge and resulted in a trip outside to heave the entire contents of my stomach onto the grass (trust me, I didn’t want to be using the toilet; the diarrhea side effect had kicked in during this time period as well, so…yuck).

Interestingly, I felt a lot better after that. Still, I kept checking my sugar every half hour, and finally got it pretty reliably above 90, consuming the only thing I could keep down…chocolate milk. My friend finally came to babysit me, and stayed with me a couple of hours. I had also nabbed some nice, bland mashed potatoes during one of my store visits, and I managed to get those to stay down too, with a little gravy to help the carb breakdown take longer. Just a half cup or so, but it worked. So the rest of the day I lived on mashed potatoes, gravy and chocolate milk.

And I was afraid to go to sleep, for fear that my sugar would drop again. Needless to say, I did NOT take a second dose of Victoza!

But as anyone who’s been afraid to go to sleep knows, eventually biology takes over, and you do. And so I did, but with my quick sugar at the bedside, just in case. Which is where the cycle started all over again. Luckily, at least the nausea did not come back on day 2. The diarrhea…I think I finally got rid of that on Sunday.

You see, Victoza has a half-life of 15 hours, meaning that it takes 15 hours for half of it to be excreted from the system. So by the next morning, I still had almost half of the dose in my system. And apparently I’m REALLY sensitive to this stuff, because I’m STILL having to modify my eating behavior in order to ensure that my blood sugar stays up. Now I eat a large meal, late in the evening, and many small snacks throughout the day. One dose of this crap, and I suddenly go from being hyperglycemic to hypoglycemic. Granted, both conditions are manageable, but they are somewhat different skillsets. Will I ever get back to “normal” (which, for me, was slightly hyperglycemic)? Who knows? But I am still more than a little angry about the way this has affected my life.

Could Victoza help you lose weight? Oh, I’m sure. There are lots of other “little” side effects that I didn’t mention above. Like how, after I filled myself with fruit, I tried to eat my normal breakfast, which consists of oatmeal sweetened with a little (just a little mind you, not gobs of) maple syrup. It tasted AWFUL! Since sweet didn’t sit well on my palate, I tried a little hummus on whole wheat bread (still trying to get some long-acting carbs into myself). Again, two bites was all I could stomach before giving up. Finally, I went for broke on the sugar meter and attempted a strawberry Pop Tart. I have never tasted anything more foul in my life! So yeah, it will make food taste so awful you put yourself on a starvation diet out of necessity. Guaranteed to make you lose weight, but not even close to healthy.

Bottom line, if you hear about any of your otherwise healthy friends considering using this stuff for weight loss, DISCOURAGE them LOUDLY and REPEATEDLY. And maybe point them to this blog entry. While I can’t say that this drug would have such a strongly negative effect on everyone who is not diabetic, I would hate to think what might happen to someone who wasn’t so vigilant about monitoring their blood sugar (or, God forbid, simply didn’t have the tools to do so because they’re not diabetic).

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49 comments to Victoza for Weight Loss…NOT!

  • BettyRose

    Victoza is indicated for type 2 diabetes and the side effects go away quickly- within 2 weeks. there are many other blogs and threads that show many people benefiting from Victoza, lowereing the blood sugar and losing weight. while many people experience different variations of side effects from drugs, the consensus is that, if you stick it out for a bit, there are benefits. You don’t appear to be an md or specialists of any kind but its also impt to know how the endocrinologists have embraced this class of drugs as a way to attack diabetes earlier in the progression and help people lose weight. Anyone reading the post above and then my reply: do your research, talk to many, use your fancy computer to look up things to be sure if Victoza is for you. One persons very short experience with this drug does not mean you should overlook it. best of luck. Betty

    • Hi Betty,

      Thanks for your comment! I agree with you; as I said in my post, this may be a miracle drug for those with diabetes. My post was all about how this drug should NOT be used by non-diabetics for the purpose of weight loss. I had done my research, and was well prepared for the nausea, vomiting and diarrhea side effects. I had even been warned of the bad-tasting food side effect (which isn’t listed anywhere in the official literature) by one of the gals in the doctor’s office who is on it. What I was not prepared for was how drastically and rapidly it would lower my blood sugar; there are, in fact, sources which say it should not cause hypoglycemia. For example, DiabetesSelfManagement.com says: “Victoza does lower HbA1cs, can contribute to weight loss, should not cause hypoglycemia, and is a once-a-day injection” (emphasis is mine).

      I attribute the rapid lowering I personally experienced to the fact that I am not yet diabetic, so my pancreas probably has more functioning beta cells than that of the average diabetic. So yes, while this drug may be fantastic for diabetics, my main point (which I realize, may have gotten lost due to the length of the post) was the one I made in the title – Victoza is not for use by non-diabetics for the purpose of weight loss.

      Best regards,
      Michelle

      • John NYC

        That is a useful clarification, but I think you have to delimit your remarks just a bit further to be accurate.

        Victoza is now being prescribed by very well-credentialed endocrinologists at major teaching hospitals to assist in weight loss for people who may fit the risk-profile of a future diabetic but who have not yet been technically diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes. So, to say that “Victoza is not for use by non-diabetics for the purpose of weight loss” is not completely accurate. It is quite common for drugs like Victoza to be prescribed “Off label” by physicians who have studied and evaluated not just the drug itself but the condition and risk-profile of an individual patient.

        I think that anywhere, but especially in a forum like this, the best advice that any of us who are struggling with diabetes, pre-diabetes or obesity can give others who have similar struggles is that they should consult an endocrinologist who specializes in the treatment and prevention of diabetes as to the wisdom and/or effectiveness of using Victoza or any drug in their battle with these life-threatening conditions.

        Thank you, though, for showing concern for the well-being of others based on your experience. Like you, I only speak for myself, but I can say that, as someone who has not been diagnosed with diabetes, I have found Victoza to be extremely effective in weight loss and that the drug has had no adverse affect on my blood sugar levels. I had some minor side-effects (mild nausea and maybe two instances of diarrhea), but they were passing (in my experience, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s and physician’s advice to ratchet up the dosage slowly over several weeks).

        I advise anyone, whether diabetic or not, who is interested in taking the drug for this purpose to consult with their endocrinologist and determine if it is the right course of action in their case.

        • CF Michelle (Site Owner)

          Hi John,

          One thing which may not show on this blog is the fact that the original post was made in June of 2010. So it’s likely that off-label use has expanded exponentially in the time since I originally had this experience. While I stand by my initial evaluation that this is not a drug for me (for any reason, not just weight loss), the comments on here have shown me that it has worked wonders for others, and for them I am happy. I am one of those unfortunate folks who have not had much luck in general with the modern medical system. I have instead, taught myself a great deal about how to handle my various ailments using supplements and the occasional herbal remedy. I have also managed to lose a considerable amount of weight and bring both my blood sugar and my hyperinsulinemia under control by changing to a low-carb/primal way of eating.

          I am very happy to see the discussion that goes on here regarding Victoza. I think folks need to see both sides, and decide for themselves whether or not it’s worth the risk to at least try it. It is entirely possible that my experience would have been different if I had been educated about the drug by a competent physician or diabetes educator prior to trying it. Alas, I was not, and so perhaps my story stands more as a testament to what happens when you let a patient go uneducated, than as a true Victoza horror story.

          -Michelle

          • John NYC

            Thanks, Michelle. Once you add “for me” to your statements, you are no longer trying to universalize your own experience and just speaking for yourself, so I have zero issue now with what you say. Good luck and good health! John

    • Amy

      I have PCOS and am considered insulin resistant. I have not tried this product, but kringed when she wrote what she was doing to correct her sugar. According to my endocrinologists eating bad sugars like soda etc raises your sugar quickly and makes your body produce even more insulin. Thats why she was bottoming out so bad. Simple sugars are bad for those with insulin resistance. Complex sugars are what we are supposed to have.

      • John NYC

        As others have observed in this thread, there are elements to the OP’s description of his/her behavior and experience that are inconsistent with what many of us understand both about diabetes and about its prevention and treatment.

        However, I think that we have to assume that s/he is acting in good faith on the information that they have received and then consult our own endocrinologists for advice on how to proceed. The risk of the Internet is that people will allow partial or bad advice to inform important decisions.

  • Jeff

    I’ve been taking Victoza for about three months with extremely positive results. While I also take orals and insulin for my diabetes, the Victoza was the extra boost I needed to keep by blood sugar in normal ranges.

    I fortunately have not experienced nausea, which is one of the primary side effects. As my doctor also explained, weight loss is a side effect, and I’ve dropped 20 lbs in three months, which mainly for me, is that Victoza just kills my appetite. I am simply not hungry. Even the things I like, I can eat about half of what I once ate and feel very full.

    However, being self-employed and with no insurance, the very high cost is certainly a consideration.

  • cindy

    I am taking Victoza striclty as a weight loss drug. I am pre-diabetic with fasting blood sugars at 109. Not bad. I am 5′ tall and about 5 years ago, I weighed 225. Using Byetta made me nauseous and didn’t really curb my appetite unless I was too sick on my stomach to eat and then I ate crackers. Not good for losing weight. On July 2nd, my endo prescribed Victoza. It has been a wonderful awesome drug for me. No nausea whatsoever. I have lost 6 pounds in about 2 weeks. My meals are smaller but still include good foods, lower on carbs and higher in fruit, veggies and water. It does make me a little shakey but it passes quickly. I am VERY happy with Victoza and would venture to say that all of these drugs have different side effects on different folks. So my point is, although a certain drug did not work for you please don’t discourage others from trying it. Share your experience for sure so that people can see both sides of the issue but I would stop short at saying that someone shouldn’t take it unless I was a doctor.

  • Nancy

    A couple of months ago, my doctor prescribed Victoza for weight loss only, I am not diabetic. I have read both positive and negative reviews of this medication. I chose not to take it because I have to take care of my husband who is a Type 1 Diabetic and he has a multitude of health problems stemming from it. I am too scared to risk taking it because my husband depends on me so much and I cannot afford to be nauseated and have diarrhea all the time. And quite truthfully, I don’t thinks there’s enough information about the long-term effects of this drug. So many new drugs have been pushed by pharmaceutical reps onto doctors to give to their patients and later down the road, the medicines have been discovered to caused severe side effects and even death.

  • JP

    Hi Michelle –
    I am also a non-diabetic prescribed Victoza for weight loss by my Endo (long story). The NP in my Endo’s office recommended eating within 30 minutes of injecting (even though the literature says you can administer independent of meal times). Maybe this is to avoid the complications you’ve experienced? I’m also on Metformin with no severe adverse effects beyond week one. Proof that everyone’s body is different and reacts differently to meds. My point? Making a blanket statement about this drug may be premature and somewhat ill advised. For me, a non-diabetic with other metabolic issues, this drug seems to be working as designed.

  • Suzie

    I started Victoza on Friday. Saturday, I had a headache in the very top of my head. I took Aleve and I slept well. Sunday morning I had the same headache. Took Aleve again. When the Aleve wore off, I nad the headache plus ache in my upper left arm muscle, front and back. I took my BP and it is low as always, 110 over 79. I haven’t taken the Victoza today. I know the headaches are common with it, but has anyone else had the arm ache? Does it go away? Thanks for any input from anyone out there!

    • mary

      Hello. I have just started Victoza and I have the upper arm muscle aches. That is actually the reason I came on here to find out if others had it as well.

      I see you made this post a while ago – did the muscle aches calm downa nd how long did it take if they did? Thanks so much in advance!

  • Mietooo

    I too am on Victoza. I am pre-diabetic at 42 and type 2 runs in my family. I have taken 3 doses and have been watching my levels closely. They are staying fairly steady. I have noticed that they will drop after the injection even with a meal within a short time. I have had to make sure that I watch this. I am just excited to finally lose some weight. Good Luck to everyone, but I really think I will like this, Yeah!!!

  • linda mobley

    I too was priscribed Victoza for type II diabetes, it has worked wonderfully for the 1st month, I am continuing to take the 1.2 dosage, If it makes you sick, please take the smaller dosage, I have lost 10 lbs and went to the Dr yesterday and She started to cutting my other meds in half. If most of us lose the excess weight, we will probably not need any meds. If all possible, stay on it. I take my dosage in the mornings and follow with a bowl of oatmeal and a piece of fresh fruit. IT WORKS GREAT!!!

  • Beth ASafaylo

    Victoza has been great for me. The Metaformin is making me nauseated, but the shots have not. I have lost 5 pounds in 4 days. For me, it acts like an appetite suppressant. The only side affect I have noticed is a super dry mouth. I feel better, and my numbers are dropping. I like it. My insurance is covering it. With the card and with coupons, I can get it for $50 a month.

  • Wendy Hardy

    I began taking victoz 8 days ago. I experienced the nausea feeling but never had to vomit. If i take it at night i wake up with a headache and nausea. Two days ago I noticed the nausea was gone. I do have the dry mouth some days and a loss of appetite. I have lost 5 pounds in 8 days and my blood sugar levels have been great for a change. I have been a diabetic type 2 for 11 years and it seems the last couple of months I have not been able to get it under control. So far victoza is a life saver.

  • susan Wood

    Im baffled by why the first reviewer was so panicky about blood sugar levels dropping below 100. My doctor WANTS my glucose levels between 80-100. It is NOT hypoglycemia in that range. Perhaps the nausea and runs were because of all the carbs she is consuming in this misguided effort to prevent false hypoglycemia. She should be eating protein with healthy carbs (vegetables, berries, brown rice, yogurt) to manage the swings (which are not abnormal actually.) I encourage her to change to a better doctor and become better educated.

    I am taking Victoza. Gutted out the nausea (pardon the pun!) and am thrilled to see my bg’s at 88-107 rather than the high hundreds they were before! No weight loss yet but lets give it time.

    • Amber, RN

      I definately agree with you! The original poster is misguided in her information. 60-100 is ‘normal’ for bg readings. I would hate for people to read her post and be scared out of taking the drug! I have PCOS and was given Victoza for weight loss. So far it’s going well… no terrible side effects! :)

      • John NYC

        Thanks to you and the other health professionals who have tried to clarify what could be taken as the misleading impressions that one might take from the OP.

        I am sure that the OP is completely sincere in his/her representation of their own experience with this drug and with the disease of diabetes, but the anxiety over what for most are normal blood levels could be viewed as portraying a reaction that is inconsistent with the circumstances leading to that reaction, while the reference to a diabetic coma in the general context of taking Victoza (the specific context intended for that reference in the post is not clear) is a bit alarmist for the less aware.

        I hasten to add that none of us can know the specific circumstances of the OP’s own health, but I think it’s fair to say that any one of us should be careful about universalizing our own unique perceptions and conditions to influence the experience of others.

  • Mike

    I was just given a prescription for Victoza and a sample pack. I was glad to read both sides of the coin as I was concerned about the consequences. I am inactive due to other health issues and have been adding weight on for the last several years. If this drug helps me loose even half the weight I have gained, I will be overjoyed. My metformin keeps my glucose under control but additional help is always needed. I will start the shots in the morning. Here’s hoping!!

  • Frank

    I began taking Victoza one week ago today. I am type 2, taking Lantus (insulin) and Metformin. I have felt a slight amount of the nausea, and can relate to the full feeling all the time. I have lost a shocking 11 lbs since going on this drug. I am sure some of this is fluids, but surprising none the less. Iagree with everyone that it makes you feel full all the time, and I think it also takes away the craving for carbs all the time. I sometimes have to force myself to eat, as I am just not hungry. I have seen improvement in the sugar spikes and daily sugar readings. In this early stages, I can see weight loss, and a decrease in insulin if the drug continues to do its thing. Additionally, unlike byetta, this is a once a day injectible, so that is even better. I am at the 1.2 ml dosage. So far, I would give this drug an A.

  • Aimee

    I have been taking Victoza for just 2 weeks & so far so good! The side effects are mild & intermitent but I also just underwent bilateral carpal tunnel surgery so I had plenty to counter the head-aches. The diarrhea didnt hit for about a week and the 2nd bout began about a week after that. While unpleasant I always felt better afterwards and it was of a milder consistency. I mean I didnt need to nurse myself with baby wipes and baby powder and creams like when you have a stomach virus. This aspect makes the diarrhea much more tolerable. I havent weighed in yet as a rigid insulin plan caused me to gain over 20lbs in a month, but I’m hopeful & feel so much better!I’ve been able to cut my insulin by 1/4 & looking forward to continual reduction. I didnt know about the weight loss aspect so now I’m excited about that too!

  • Melanie

    I have been taking Victoza for 4 months now. My A1C has dropped 3 points. The side-effects have almost gone away. I still have a little gas is all. I have lost 15 lbs. My blood pressure and cholesterol are both down. I think Victoza is a miracle. I hope they don’t find anything wrong with it!!!

  • Sarah

    I started victoza 5 days ago. I felt a little nauseous the first 2 days. On day 3 diarrhea started and has not stopped. It seems to be worse at night, going to the bathroom every hour. Is this normal? How long do I put up with it before I should be concerned? I want to stick with it if it’s suppose to stop.
    Thank you.

  • Marilyn LaBer

    I have been taking Victoza for almost a month, have lost about 3 pounds. No side effects, sugar levels are wonderful. This is a good drug for my type #2 diabetes. take it along with Metformin and Januvia.

  • Michelle

    I am a Type 2 diabetic and have always been controlled until recently. My A1c crept up from the lower sixes to 7.4. My endocrinologist started me on Victoza about 4 1/2 weeks ago. I have lost 9 pounds, my cholesterol is down from 173 to 142 and my blood sugars are normal! I didn’t have any side effects until last week when I upped my dose to 1.8. I have since had two unpleasant bouts with diarrhea. I’m not sure if I have the stomach flu or if it’s the Victoza. At any rate, I would definitely recommend Victoza!

  • Jackie

    I was given Victoza for weight loss, i took the lowest dose and around an hour later I was in the bathroom with diarrhea and vomiting it lasted most of the night, the following day I had a headache and was drained. I stopped taking it after that, I’m not sure if I got sick from the Victoza or a bug. I want to try it again so bad but am afraid. The doctor gave me another sample to try but after reading about the poss coma I am scared. My sugar levels are pretty good I guess. I’m not even sure what a normal level is.

    • CF Michelle (Site Owner)

      Hi Jackie, thanks for your comment! I am curious, what did you read about a possible coma? Is there a link you can share with us? Thanks again!

  • Brian

    I will be beginning my 4th week on victoza this coming tuesday. I have been a type 2 diabetic for 5 years now. My oral meds stopped working well (I was originally on avandamet – of which the avandia portion is now too dangerous to take anymore because of the health risks involved). In the 3 weeks i have been on this medication, i have seen drastic changes in my appetite – for the better. I even find that foods that I loved before i now don’t care too much for (which is good, as they were not healthy foods). I have experienced no side effects (nausea or anything like that) but love the fact that I don’t binge between meals. I have lost 14 pounds already and my sugars are now in the normal range (80 – 120) I love this stuff!!!!

  • Brian

    oh p.s. the theory with victoza is that it acts when your blood sugars are high. Now there is the warning that when used in conjunction with oral meds (like metformin), there is a potential for hypoglycemia.

  • Mary

    Victoza is fantastic! I read thru all of the comments and just want to say how great it is for any type 2 out there. Is helps you lose weight, makes you healthier and definitely lowers A1C if used correctly with diet and exercise. Diet and exercise are the keys to success with this med.
    I have been on since October 2010, I experienced the side effects and they were awful, but kept going thru them and feel great now. The key is to cut back on your dosage if you feel sick and take yourself up slowly when first starting. It took me almost 6 weeks to get to 1.8 and feel good while doing it. I also take metformin and took lantus at night, which I am now off because of victoza and hope to stay off. Before victoza I was taking novolog and lantus both.

  • Heather M Wooten-Rollins

    I have been a type 2 diabetic for the past 29 years I am 49 years old and has been put on Victoza for about 3 weeks now. The only side effect that I have experienced so far is slight dizziness in the first couple days. So far I have lost 9 pounds and very excited about continuing the injections. I had gained so much weight because of the high insulin doses that I have been taking. Now my blood sugars have dropped and I am looking forward to losing the excess weight in order to finally either get off the meds all together or have my doses decreased to a minimum. As far as BM’s are concerned I feel like I have been using colon cleansers when I go to the bathroom. It’s actually amazing to me and a great relief (no pun intended). I hope this is not something that would have to be recalled.

  • Lisa

    I am a severe diabetic with type I and type II diabetes. I have been diabetic for years weighed only 102lbs my entire teen and adult life, but then after knee injury I gain weight to 245 lbs and have had a heck of a time losing the weight. I am on 200 units of insulin a day and my blood sugars were still in the 300 – 400′s. I am not sure what you consider very high,but I tend to think that if your blood sugars are in teh 90′s to 100′s, you have no idea what very high is.

    With regrad to victoza, my doctor just put me on it last week. I have lost 17 lbs, and my blood sugards dropped significantly. They now run in the 100′s, and I have cut out 120 untis of insulin per day. The mild nausea that I felt initially was only when my blood sugar dropped (whcih I was nto used to it being near nromal). The nausea is gone, and I love the product. My guess is this is not for people who are not diabetic, as your nausea is probably caused by low bs.

  • Shane Mac

    Doctors should not be prescribing this for weight loss as it was not intended for such treatment.
    Victoza® is not recommended (as the first medication to treat diabetes). Victoza® is not insulin and has not been studied in combination with insulin. Victoza® is not for people with type 1 diabetes or people with diabetic ketoacidosis. It is not known if Victoza® is safe and effective in children. Victoza® is not recommended for use in children.

  • Shane Mac

    I am diabetic type two , have been treated with two types of insulin and oral meds for the past 3 years.
    Nothing seam to work sugar levels always 280 to 400 with insulin.
    Started Victoza over a month ago and I shall tell you this is god sent. I finally fill normal again.
    Blood sugar readings are in the 90’s all the time now. Weight loss is at 15 lbs for one month.
    Only side effect is no appetite.
    As I said doctors should not be prescribing Vitoza for a weight loss medication or pre-diabetic treatment as it was not release for such treatment.
    It does not surprise me that one would get sick for taking meds that should not Have been prescribed, to begin with.
    Vitoza site clearly states that Vitoza should not be first line of treatment for diabetes. Only those with unmanaged type 2 after all other drugs have fails should Vitoza be considered.
    The weight loss just happens to be a beneficial side effect for those with uncontrolled type2.

  • joan RN

    Hi, I have been on Victoza since Nov.2010. I have lost 30lbs. 10 more than I wanted to ,but I am happy with the weight loss and now seem to be maintaining my weight. My A1C,cholesterol and BP are all great and I am very happy . The first post about using victoza just for weight loss was very misleading. A normal bloodsugar should be between 80 and 110, if you read literature about hypoglycemia you will see that it should be treated by a Docter if it goes below 67. I agree this is very low and I find that once in a while at night mine will go down. Around 70-90 if I haven’t eaten enough carbs at dinner or in my after dinner snack I feel sweaty which usually wakes me up and I go eat something. A glass of milk is good or I will have a small bowl of cereal,or a piece of fruit. You will not see immediate results and may feel shaky for a half hour or so,but your bloodsuger will come up. As far as going into a coma I don’t think this will happen very easily. Your body will wake you up before your bloodsugar gets that low. I have not had diarrhea at all but do feel full after eating a very small meal. I can’t eat fried food at all, and other foods you learn by trial and error how you feel. I have only thrown up twice in the 7 months that I have been on Victoza. It is important to eat 3 meals and 2 snacks each day which should keep your Bloodsugar fairly level.

  • isabelle

    I started taking Victoza June 20, 2011 strictly for weight loss. I started at the .6mg dose and would lose about two pounds a week. I then went to the 1.2mg dose and lost about four pounds per week. After about six weeks on the drug I seem to have plateaued…so I bumped up my dose to 1.8mg to see if that helps me with this plateau. So far I have lost 23lbs and thrilled about it…still would like to lose another 20lbs. I have been lucky with very few side effects…I get a headache every once in a while but that’s it. I take the shot in the morning before I go to work and then a couple hours later I feel a little dizzy which means my blood sugar is low and that is when I eat my breakfast, usually some Kashi cerel. Victoza has helped with my appetite…I never fell hungry. I also exercise a lot…one hour of cardio every day (two hours on the weekend) and twice a week I lift weights with a trainer.

  • Amy

    I read your comments that make me comforable and postive. I talked with my doctor and complained about my weight problem eventhought I get easily got hungry often. I told that one good weight loss program for diabetes. Unfortuntely I am not qualified because I am diabetic type one. The doctor deeply concerned and had good idea that might help me. He suggested me to have victoza pen. I was so nerves because I have been taking humalog and lantus both insulins. In doctor office, my weight was 251. I resereached information about it before started with it with 0.6mg on Oct 27th. I was not hungry a while I ate small healthy meal that felt like extremely full. Sometime it was a bit hurt but glad that I did not overeating. Right now my weight is 246 at home. Today I took victoza 1.2mg and wait to see my weight with hoping..
    .

  • AmandaR

    I just started victoza, apparently I’m a healthy individual, no signs of diabetes, though I gained 50 lbs in 2 years because of a thyroid problem and now can’t get the weight off. So my dr said this will help me loose weight. I have not had any side affects which has surprised me, since I have problems with my stomach. I have. Been eating less and only healthy foods and been quite full. First day I was really tired and had a nap so I try to get a lot of natural sugars, my dietician put orange juice in my diet as much as I want so I drink that. So far lost 3 lbs. have 47 more to go, I have extremely bad asthma and working out is a challenge for me but I’m trying. This drug is a a life saver, I think side effects are each to their own and I would recommend it.

  • John NYC

    I guess you can count me among those who have had a good experience with Victoza, prescribed “Off label” to aid in weight loss. I’ve successfully transitioned from the startup 0.6 dose to the recommended normal 1.2 dose with no noticeable side effects. I noticed some mild nausea when I first started taking the drug, but, beyond that, have experienced no adverse reactions. On the other hand, my appetite has been altered (lowered) to a noticeable degree and I am losing weight.

    The OP, who reports that s/he is not yet diabetic, clearly pays very close attention to his/her blood levels, monitors very closely any perceived physiological reactions to the measured changes in those levels, gives significant attention to anticipating and preparing for those reactions and feels strongly on the subject of Victoza. I am sorry for his/her experience.

  • Janice

    Hello,, I am type 2 for 6 years now. Have been taking 3 different medications and also insulin on a sliding scale as needed.. My bg has been high upon getting up in the morning. Which would mess up my whole day of eating. Started taking the victoza about 5 weeks ago. First with a sample from doctor. I told her when I went back after the first month that I could not afford it. I am medicare and they would not cover it. My doctor went and called the walmart pharmacy and told them it was helping me and I got it cheap enough that I can take the low dose. I have had a lot of nausea and tummy problems. Also been really nervous and have a bad headache. It has been bring my glucose down and have been checking it more often. When my bg falls below 80 I get shaky and almost pass out.I am still experimenting to see when the best time of the day to take the shot would be, I also have no appetite and do not want to eat. Have to make myself eat something. I am concerned about the pancreatitis and also thyroid cancer that this might cause. My doctor is going to screen me every 3 months to make sure that my thyroid is doing ok. Will take it one day at a time and try to get past the side affects. I need to lose a large amount of weight.

    • Rickydee

      Victoza, and Sleeve weight loss surgery, saved me from going the diabetic route. I started taking it pre-diabetic when I was insulin resistant. I have lost 144# and no side effects!

  • Donna

    Janice,
    How are you doing? I have type 2, but some days have low blood sugars. I start with the shakes and sweating, etc if my blood sugar gets below 90. My endo wants me to start the Victoza because of my morbid obesity, caused by various things. I am afraid because of the low blood sugar that the host of this site was talking about. Does anyone else have the trouble with the low blood sugar ?

  • bethrushka

    Ok. So I’ve been given Victoza to take for similar reasons as you. I haven’t started it yet. My doctor seems to have vanished after telling me to talk to him once I had the prescription in hand before taking it. Before this, he had me on the Duke diet and I’ve been steadily losing weight. More than just losing weight, it’s taught me HOW to eat with the same insulin resistance condition you state. What’s weird to me is how much sugar you’re putting in your body while taking this. My diet is extremely low carb for 2 weeks, then off of the low/no carb for 3 weeks. But the off has its limits. It practices portion control with limited carbs. I won’t say anything is really denied, but the sweets I got on this cycle were very rarely eaten. And they were selected with great care to have no more than 11 grams of sugar. So I found Juliette’s ice cream sandwiches, (1/2 of the normal Julie’s ice cream sandwich) and the lowest sugar dark chocolate bars I could find (all this from Whole Foods). Some of these items were things I’d happily eaten in the past. But I didn’t find I wanted much of them. 2 chocolate bars lasted 5 weeks. I’d take a small chunk when I was in the mood and that was sufficient. The rest of my diet was to take a sectioned plate and on the big section put vegie, on each of the little sections I could fill with carbs in one such as rice, or pasta and protein such as meat. I don’t drink soda. So what’s bizarre to me is how much pure sugar you seemed to be shovelling in your mouth, because of course that goes fast. While not eating any proteins that last quite awhile. And why you would eat that way with high insulin levels? I am so thrilled with my doctor, not because of the weight loss, though that’s a side benefit, but because he’s restored my energy level, my alertness, and ability to focus that is so critical in my work and was compromised by the excess insulin., Sorry your doctor didn’t prep you for this, but honestly , I don’t think my experience will match yours due to the education I received prior to taking it.

  • Tom Johnson

    I am not diabetic. My A1C is 5.7 and my fasting blood sugar is 99 – 105. I have metabolic syndrome, and I am 30 40 pounds overweight BMI 31. 5’6?, and weigh 191, should be 151.

    I have started taking Victoza at 0.3 for a few days, then 0.6 for a few days and then 0.9 for a few days. All was ok for the first 9 days – no side effects, but then I increased to 1.2 as instructed – the next day I got severe foul sulfur egg tasting burping every few seconds and finally diarrhea later that night. Still no nausea nor vomiting, but the burping was truly awful.

    Why has nobody mentioned the foul taste burping and smelly gas with Victoza?

    Now I remember that my doctor said to STOP metformin (I take Fortamet time release just 500 mg) when starting the Victoza, but I forgot to stop. Now after skipping Victoza for a day my burping is improved – and believe it or not I have constipation. Luckily, I lost 3 pounds the first week – no more the second week.

    My doctor advised me to pull back my dosage and see what happens. Maybe I’ll have to increase more gradually.

    Any advice and feedback would be appreciated.

  • bugsy

    To clarify, your doctor did not explain how Victoza works because you would have know that it works only when glucose is present, meaning low risk of hypoglycemia. If you continue to eat carbs, it will continue to work by stimulating the pancreas to secrete insulin. And fyi, 80 for FPG is not considered hypoglycemic, though it’s in the lower range of normal.

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