"April 20, 2012 -- Public Citizen, the Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group, is petitioning the FDA to immediately remove the type 2 diabetes drug Victoza (liraglutide) from the market. The petition claims that the injectable medication "...
(liraglutide [rDNA origin]) Injection
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 human relevance could not be ruled out by clinical or nonclinical studies. 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). Based on the findings in rodents, monitoring with serum calcitonin or thyroid ultrasound was performed during clinical trials, but this may have increased the number of unnecessary thyroid surgeries. It is unknown whether monitoring with serum calcitonin or thyroid ultrasound will mitigate human risk of thyroid C-cell tumors. Patients should be counseled regarding the risk and symptoms of thyroid tumors [see CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Nonclinical Toxicology].
Victoza contains liraglutide, an analog of human GLP-1 and acts as a GLP-1 receptor agonist. The peptide precursor of liraglutide, produced by a process that includes expression of recombinant DNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been engineered to be 97% homologous to native human GLP-1 by substituting arginine for lysine at position 34. Liraglutide is made by attaching a C-16 fatty acid (palmitic acid) with a glutamic acid spacer on the remaining lysine residue at position 26 of the peptide precursor. The molecular formula of liraglutide is C172H265N43O51 and the molecular weight is 3751.2 Daltons. The structural formula (Figure 1) is:
Figure 1 : Structural
Formula of liraglutide
Victoza is a clear, colorless solution. Each 1 mL of Victoza solution contains 6 mg of liraglutide. Each pre-filled pen contains a 3 mL solution of Victoza equivalent to 18 mg liraglutide (free-base, anhydrous) and the following inactive ingredients: disodium phosphate dihydrate, 1.42 mg; propylene glycol, 14 mg; phenol, 5.5 mg; and water for injection.
What are the possible side effects of liraglutide (Victoza)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- swelling or a lump in your throat area;
- hoarse voice, trouble swallowing, feeling short of breath;
- urinating less than usual or not at all;
- weakness, confusion, increased thirst, loss of appetite, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
- swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath;
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/13/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Victoza Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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