What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking It?Prior to taking this medication, tell your healthcare provider if you have:
- High triglycerides
- A history (or even a family history) of cancer, especially thyroid cancer
- Diabetic gastroparesis
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Victoza and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Victoza and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Liraglutide to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
How Does Liraglutide Work?Liraglutide is an incretin mimetic. This means that it mimics the actions of incretin hormones in the body. As an incretin mimetic, this medication increases insulin production in response to meals and decreases the amount of glucose (sugar) that the liver produces. Liraglutide also slows the emptying of food from the stomach and decreases the amount of food people eat.
Because incretin hormones are more active in response to higher blood sugar levels and are less active in response to low blood sugar, the risk of dangerously low blood sugar (called hypoglycemia) is low with liraglutide. However, combining liraglutide with other diabetes medications to lower blood sugar can increase the risk of hypoglycemia (see Victoza and Blood Sugar).
Liraglutide is also sometimes classified as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. This is just a more specific term that describes the particular type of incretin hormone that liraglutide mimics.