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Liraglutide

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonist Victoza® Adult

Liraglutide - What is it for

Liraglutide can help to reduce the blood sugar level by slowing the food passage through the stomach. It can be used as a monotherapy or together with some other oral diabetic medications or basal insulin.

One ml solution for injection contains 6mg of liraglutide. One pre-filled pen contains 18mg liraglutide.

Liraglutide - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Liraglutide cause?

  • Nausea, diarrhea, bloatedness, indigestion, constipation
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia): cold sweat, cool pale skin, headache, feeling very hungry, changes in vision, confused, shaking (tremor). Consult a doctor if that happens.
  • Loss of fluid/ dehydration when treated with Liraglutide, avoid by drinking plenty of fluids (if you are not advised to restrict your fluid intake, please check with your doctor if you are not sure).
  • Rare: Allergic reaction (anaphylactic reaction) such as breathing problems, swelling of throat and face and fast heartbeat.
  • Very Rare: Pancreatitis

Before taking Liraglutide, what precautions must I follow?

  • If you are allergic to liraglutide or any other ingredient in this injection
  • Inform your doctor if you have moderate to severe heart failure, severe liver disease, severe stomach disease pancreatitis, tumors of the endocrine system, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetic gastroparesis, kidney disease or on dialysis, type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis
  • If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, inform your doctor immediately
  • If you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, inform your doctor immediately

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Liraglutide?

Liraglutide - Dosage and How to Use

How should Liraglutide be used?

Pull off pen cap

1. Pull off pen cap

2. Check liraglutide in the cartridge. Liquid should be clear, (almost) colourless and free of particles. If not, you must use another pen.

3. Pull paper tab from new disposable needle NovoFine® or NovoTwist® disposable injection needles up to a length of 8 mm and as thin as 32G (0.25/0.23 mm) and screw needle tightly onto pen.

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4. Pull off outer and inner needle caps- discard inner cap, but save outer cap for needle disposal. Use a new needle each time you inject. Be careful not to bend or damage the needle.

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5. Always check flow of liraglutide before first injecting with a new pen.

a) Turn dose selector until the flow-check symbol aligns with the pointer.

b) ​Hold the pen with the needle pointing up. Tap the cartridge gently with your finger a few times, so any air bubble will rise to the top of the cartridge.

Keeping the needle pointing up, press dose button until 0mg aligns with the pointer and a drop of liraglutide should appear at the needle tip. If not, repeat steps 5a)-b) up to four times. If there is still no drop of liraglutide, change the needle and repeat steps 5a)-b) once. If a drop of liraglutide still does not appear, do not use the pen as this indicates it is defective and you must use a new one. 

NOTE: If you drop your pen against a hard surface or suspect something is wrong with it, you have to put on a new disposable needle and check the flow before you ​inject.

Dialing your dose

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​​1. Before selecting your dose, always check 0mg aligns with pointer.

2. Turn dose selector until dose is exactly aligned with pointer- depending on your healthcare provider’s recommendations, select 0.6mg, 1.2mg or 1.8mg. If the dose selector stops before you reach your dose, there is not enough liraglutide left for a full dose. Turn the dose selector backwards until an available dose lines up with the pointer and be careful not to press the dose button, as liraglutide may come out. Inject the available dose and then prepare a new pen to inject the remaining amount required to complete your dose. Otherwise, you can choose to inject the full dose with a new pen.

Note: Do not use the cartridge scale to measure how much liraglutide to inject as it is not accurate enough.

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Injecting your dose

1. Insert needle either into your abdomen, thigh or upper arm.

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​2. Press the dose button until 0mg aligns with the pointer- be careful not to touch the display or press the dose selector sideways when you inject.

3. Keep dose button pressed down and leave the needle under the skin for at least 6 seconds to ensure you get your full dose.

​4. ​Withdraw the needle. You may see a drop of Liraglutide at the needle tip – this is normal and has no effect on your dose.
​5. Place the outer nee​dle cap on table and carefully guide the needle into the cap. Do not try to put the inner needle cap back on the needle
​6. Once the needle is covered, carefully push the outer needle cap completely over the needle. Then unscrew the needle and dispose of it in a sharps container. Put the pen cap back on after every use. Store your pen without a needle attached.
NOTE: When the pen is empty, remove the needle and throw away the pen in accordance with local requirements.

 

What should I do if I miss a dose?

What should I do if I overdose?

Liraglutide - Handling and Storage

How should I handle Liraglutide safely?

How should I store Liraglutide?

Keep away from children;#

How should I dispose of Liraglutide safely?

Liraglutide - Additional Information

Other storage information

  • Do not use the injection after the expiry date stated on the label of the pen.
  • Before opening: store in the refrigerator (2-8 °C), not in the freezer compartment.
  • During use: Keep the pen for 1 month in temperature below 30 °C or in a refrigerator (2-8 °C), away from freezer compartment.
  • Keep the pen cap in order to protect from light when you are not using the pen.
  • If the solution is not clear, colourless or almost colourless, do not use the injection.
  • Keep the medication out of reach of children.

Other important information

  • Do not try to repair or pull your pen apart
  • Keep your pen away from dust, dirt and all kinds of liquid
  • Clean the pen with a cloth moistened with a mild detergent
  • Do not try to wash, soak or lubricate your pen as this can harm it
  • Do not share your pen or needles with anyone else

Reference: Victoza®. [package insert]. Bagsvaerd, Denmark: Novo Nordisk A/S; 26 July 2016

  • Updated on Friday, November 11, 2016
  • Article contributed by Department of Pharmacy National Heart Centre Singapore

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