Victoza or Bydureon ? What about them ?

By jigsaw Latest Reply 2012-11-23 20:58:30 -0600
Started 2012-11-11 18:37:42 -0600

I've seen a few discussions, and many questions about these two medications. This article was included with info that was sent to me by my gastroenterologist. I do not take either medication, but for those that do, or are considering its use, you might find this article to be informative.

News for Healthier Living

New Diabetes Drugs Have Different Advantages, Study Says

One is injected daily, the other weekly and both have side effects

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) — A head-to-head comparison of two new type 2 diabetes drugs produced mixed results.

In the study, liraglutide (Victoza) was somewhat better than the other drug, exenatide (Bydureon), in lowering blood sugar and weight, but Bydureon was associated with fewer side effects, researchers said.

Victoza is injected daily by patients and Bydureon is injected weekly. Both drugs are classified as "glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists."

"These treatments are very powerful blood sugar-lowering agents that don't cause [too-low] blood sugar and are associated with weight loss," said lead researcher Dr. John Buse, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "That's a unique profile for a diabetes drug."

Patients can choose between them, Buse said. A lot depends on what the person is comfortable with. "You lay this all out for patients and help them decide," he said.

"The big frontier for patients with a chronic disease like diabetes is adherence to treatment: Patients developing a plan and sticking with a plan in managing their disease," Buse explained.

This study provides information for patients and doctors to use in coming up with a plan based on the effectiveness of the drugs, their side effects and how often they are injected, Buse noted.

The study, published online Nov. 7 in The Lancet, was funded by Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Bydureon.

For the study, researchers randomly assigned more than 900 patients to receive daily injections of Victoza, or weekly injections of Bydureon.

After 26 weeks, the investigators found that both drugs significantly reduced blood sugar levels. Significant drops were seen in 60 percent of the Victoza patients compared with 53 percent of those taking Bydureon.

Both drugs were associated with weight loss. Patients taking Victoza, however, lost about two pounds more than those taking Bydureon, the researchers noted.

Side effects occurred with both drugs. Nausea was the most common, reported by 21 percent of patients on Victoza compared with 9 percent among patients taking Bydureon. Diarrhea occurred in 13 percent of patients on Victoza and 6 percent of those on Bydureon, and vomiting was a problem for 11 percent of patients on Victoza compared with 4 percent on Bydureon.

Overall, 8 percent of patients dropped out of the study due to side effects, which the researchers pointed out declined for both drugs over time.

Another diabetes expert weighed in on the study medications.

"Both drugs appear to be about equivalent," said Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

"When these medications are used they are added to other medications that control blood sugar," he said. These include insulin and metformin, Mezitis noted.

The main difference between the drugs is daily versus weekly injections, he pointed out. "It may be easier to do it once a week, but you have to be more proficient injecting Bydureon," Mezitis said.

The mixing of the drug (Bydureon) and injecting using a larger needle may require some practice, he explained. With daily Victoza, injections are done with an smaller, thinner needle and some patients may find that better, Mezitis said.

"It depends on what the patient chooses," he said.

Mezitis noted these drugs cost anywhere from $200 to $400 a month and that many insurance companies cover them.

28 replies

martin55 2012-11-15 20:16:05 -0600 Report

Just started bydureon after 10 months of byetta I love just one shot a week and less nausea the needle is bigger and mixing is something you have to get use to but going on my third shot this week and my numbers have been good just hope I keep the wieght loss going lost 94 pounds on byetta and my a1c went from 12.4 to 6.1

jigsaw 2012-11-16 05:34:55 -0600 Report

That is fantastic results ! Excellent on the a1c ! Portion control seems to help many with losing weight also. It worked for me, and I adjusted well to the smaller portions. Congratulations !

mkhojh99 2012-11-15 15:48:28 -0600 Report

I started Bydureon in March and am still using it…it worked great for me. The needle is bigger and the mixing was a chore at first but well worth it. You can also get a card for 50.00 off a month…which helps greatly. My A1C was 10.9 in March and my next one was 7.2 then 6.4…with this medicine and eating less and much better!

Lizardfan 2012-11-13 14:39:03 -0600 Report

I am on Bydureon, since February, and Metformin and it is working very well for me. Prior to that I was using Byetta10 and Metformin and due to progression it was not working very well. It did take about 6 weeks for the Bydureon to kick in. The weight loss, 29lbs. was a great boost too, along with Weight Watchers and exercise.

jigsaw 2012-11-13 16:40:20 -0600 Report

Terrific on the weight loss ! I have to agree that regardless of whatever medication regimen one is on, it usually takes time, effort, and restraint. The good news is, it frequently works when these ingredients are in place. Good job Liz !

s l k
s l k 2012-11-13 06:54:57 -0600 Report

My husband's PCP put him on Victoza and his quote was "so you dont' become insulin-dependent". Within a week he was experiencing very high fasting BG, and the doctor added back in his Lantus twice a day…clearly it didn't get him off insulin, but I'm not sure I understand why I'm on Long-acting and regular (which is REALLY working well) and he can't be…

jigsaw 2012-11-13 08:42:18 -0600 Report

I am not sure why your PCP said what he did about insulin dependence. One of the ways Victoza works is by mimicking a hormone thaty slows the emptying of food from the stomach. This in turn can take some of the load off the pancreas and keep it funtioning more efficiently for a longer period of time.
Lantus is a long lasting man made insulin that is usually taken once a day. It can be used in type 2 diabetics to aid a working pancreas. The disavantage of taking insulin, is the potential for dangerous lows and weight gain. Weight gain can be controlled with food portion control to offset the potential. If possible, it is better to control bg with diet, exercise, and oral medication if necessary. Less chance of bg lows if you are not taking insulin. It is up to you and your physician to determine the correct combination of diet, exercise, oral meds and or insulin.
You might find these links helpful:

s l k
s l k 2012-11-13 08:51:21 -0600 Report

thanks…I only know that what I'm doing seems to be working.

s l k
s l k 2012-11-13 09:00:02 -0600 Report

I'm just puzzled about the treatment for my husband…but then again, he's not as diligent as I am about portions or testing.

jigsaw 2012-11-13 09:25:47 -0600 Report

Well, diligence certainly has much to do with the extent and type of treatment one is given. I'm really not sure as to why your husband is taking Lantus twice per day, since it is generally recommended to be taken once per day ! I do take Lantus with oral meds so I am somewhat familiar with long lasting Lantus.
I am not sure I understand what you are asking. It appears that both you and your husband are both on long lasting insulin.
Which insulin are you taking ?

granniesophie 2012-11-14 07:38:41 -0600 Report

I was told that after a certain amount of units with Lantus you have to split them up between morning and evening doses. Could that maybe be why he takes it twice a day?

granniesophie 2012-11-18 10:33:59 -0600 Report

If you are on like 80 units, you would split them into 2 doses, because that would be too many units at one time. There is a cut off of how many units of Lantus you can do at one time. Does that help?

jigsaw 2012-11-14 08:21:11 -0600 Report

Sounds reasonable. I am looking into it a bit further, but below is a response I came across from an NP. Thanks !

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

Lantus is a form of insulin that is long lasting.
It does not peak like other insulins. Most insulins work over a period of time… then their efficiency starts to wane.
Lantus tends to work for a longer period of time, maintaining normal blood glucose levels over a period of 24 hrs.

I have prescribed Lantus twice daily for diabetic patients. Although not commonly used twice a day, its use it completely within normal limits.

You Health Care Provider has probably done the lab work, cbc, HbgA1C and GTT tests and is probably looking for a treatment that will improve your numbers, by giving you an insulin that is "low maintenance" and that you will remain compliant to.

Hope this helps! :)


Nurse Practitioner

Celebrating my 10th Anniversary in Nursing!
5 years ago

jigsaw 2012-11-15 15:07:30 -0600 Report

Oops ! I am not a nurse ! That anniversary was apart of the response that was written by a nurse practitioner. It does appear confusing.

jigsaw 2012-11-15 15:15:22 -0600 Report

I am also on Lantus. Like most types of insulin, it can cause you to gain weight rather easily. If you are careful, and utilize portion control, you should be able to counter any weight gain. I did gain 18 pounds very rapidly when I first started taking Lantus. It had me very concerned since it seemed so counter productive. Once I understood what was happening, and with the help of portion control, I lost the excess weight gain, and kept it off.

granniesophie 2012-11-15 16:33:44 -0600 Report

I've gained back 6 of the 17 pounds I'd lost being so sick. The doctor is okay with it, for now-but I would like not to gain anymore back! I can't eat a whole lot of foods, and am not allowed to exercise at all right now, so keeping it to the 6 makes me happy. Maybe when I start getting better I can do more, but I'll never be able to eat a lot of different food. I am very limited, and finding more food all the time that makes me sicker!!

jigsaw 2012-11-15 19:21:50 -0600 Report

If I am up to date with yout delemma, then your doctors have not determined the cause as of yet. i hope they solve the problem soon !

granniesophie 2012-11-16 05:35:27 -0600 Report

Thanks! They tell me they are closing in on a diagnosos-but what it may be I will have to live with the rest of my life!! I will find out more next Wednesday, hopefully. But there may be light at the end of this very looooong tunnel!

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