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Victoza vs. Bydureon. Main Similarities and Differences

Victoza vs. Bydureon. Main Similarities and Differences

by Samuel Gagne 26 Aug 2021

Diabetes mellitus – a serious health issue that affects almost 285 million people all around the world. Scientists claim that by the year 2050, the numbers will increase to 438 million individuals. Not only that, diabetes is mainly diagnosed with a delay due to the absence of symptoms, so there is no time to prevent it in a person.

These figures are growing horribly fast; that’s why the invention of new, more effective and helpful, medications is so crucial right now. Gladly, the range of products for this disease is rising daily, and people can purchase a perfect one for themselves. That is exactly why we have decided to tell you about two more medicines today – Victoza and Bydureon. What are those injections? How do they work? To whom are they typically prescribed? Everything (and even more) is in our article!

What is Bydureon? Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Prescriptions

Starting off the Bydureon medication produced by AstraZeneca manufacturer. This remedy for subcutaneous administration contains exenatide in its base and is meant for controlling blood sugar (glucose levels as well) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Many patients think that Bydureon can be taken as a substitute for insulin medicines, but it is not true! The injectable cannot replace insulin or be used as an independent treatment. Doctors prescribe it only as a supplement used together with a diet or a training program created in a team with a licensed specialist. Bydureon cannot be used for underaged patients as well, so for those, an alternative is usually prescribed.

Bydureon is a type of remedy that should be injected once a week at any time of the day regardless of whether a person had a meal before using it. If the dose was missed accidentally, the day of injection could be shifted; the main thing here is to remember that at least three days interval should be present between each administration.

Bydureon Side Effects and Contraindications

Once the medication is injected under the skin, a person should listen to themselves carefully because sometimes side effects are possible. Some of the typical and not dangerous ones include:

  • Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation;
  • Headache;
  • Light dizziness or weakness.

However, if you notice any serious allergic reactions – stop using Bydureon immediately and contact your health care provider to get a consultation, proper treatment, or a piece of medical advice. You should also do it in case you noticed any signs or symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat, breathing complications, kidney problems, etc.

The medication is contraindicated to people with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) (it is a type of thyroid cancer), as well as to those with a condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). People who are allergic to any ingredients in the drug’s composition, younger than 18 years of age, and pregnant or breastfeeding women cannot use Bydureon as well. In case of those health issues, a doctor should choose an alternative for a patient to avoid complications and life-threatening conditions in them.

What is the Victoza Pen? All Important Information

Victoza is a medication for adults with type 2 diabetes produced by Danish manufacturer NOVO NORDISK. Depending on the person’s health peculiarities, it can be used alone, together with other medications, or as a part of insulin treatment.

The active substance in the drug’s composition – liraglutide (it is very similar to the glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) produced naturally in the human body). The product is designed to lower blood sugar levels, slow down food digestion, and decrease appetite in a person. That is why it is mainly prescribed to people with diabetes who are currently on a diet and having a special exercising program to lose weight.

According to the instruction, medication should be applied once per day, approximately at the same time. A perfect area for it would be the shoulder, thigh, or abdomen; the place should be changed after every administration in order to avoid irritation and bumps formation. Usually, a medical professional prescribes the dose of 0.6 mg at the beginning and is increased to 1.8 mg within two weeks after the first administration.

The dosage should be changed in case a patient had any changes in their diet, sports program, health condition, etc., or if there were some changes in the insulin and insulin-like drugs, they take along with Victoza.

Side effects and contraindications of the remedy

When using Victoza for controlling sugar glucose in adults with type 2 diabetes, it is important to be aware of common side effects, as well as some dangerous symptoms. The first ones include:

  • Headache and dizziness;
  • Kidney problems;
  • Diarrhea, nausea, constipation;
  • Bloating;
  • Appetite loss;
  • Low blood sugar.

In case of the last symptom, you need to be very careful. Low blood sugar may lead to some life-threatening conditions; that is why it is crucial to take care of this issue on time. Also, it is recommended to inform a health care provider if such side effects as severe allergic reactions, neck hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath appeared. Some studies proved that Victoza could lead to thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in patients, but the possibility of this issue is very low.

Suppose any signs and symptoms of a hypoglycemia episode happened. In that case, a person could try to deal with it on their own by eating some sweet sugary snacks, drinking a sweetened beverage (like a non-diet coke), or taking a glucose pill (those can be purchased over-the-counter at any local pharmacy). If these methods did not help, a special glucagon injection from a medical specialist is required to avoid severe complications and dangerous, life-threatening conditions.

Victoza is contraindicated to people with the following health conditions: type 1 diabetes mellitus, heart failure (or other serious heart-related conditions), stomach issues that include colitis and paresis, ketoacidosis, kidney and liver damage, pregnancy and breastfeeding, less than 18 years of age, increased sensitivity or allergies to any components of the drug.

Main Similarities Between the Two Products

Victoza and Bydureon – medications that help to lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes mellitus type 2. Because of their working principle, these two can be confused pretty often. Of course, medical professionals are aware of the common and dissimilar, but we think it is also important for patients to know and understand these facts. So now, we are going to explain to you why people often call these two products similar.

  • The purpose of the drug. Both medications are designed for people with type 2 diabetes who try to lose weight. They can improve blood sugar levels in patients, as well as help to avoid various dangerous health conditions caused by it;
  • Administration technique. Remedies need to be administered subcutaneously in the area of shoulders, thighs, abdomen (middle upper stomach area), or buttocks;
  • Side effects. Symptoms after the injection include low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, headache, constipation, etc. Pay attention to a possible serious allergic reaction (including blurred vision, constant weakness, trouble breathing, swelling in your neck, etc.).

What are the Differences?

Even though there are many common features in Bydureon and Victoza, there are some important differences people should be aware of. Exactly based on these dissimilarities, medical specialists decide which one would be the best for you. Let’s have a closer look at those:

  • Active substance. Bydureon – medication that contains exenatide in its base; Victoza, on the other hand, includes liraglutide as its main active component. And even though both of them are very similar to the glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) that can be found in the body naturally, the principle of work of these two substances are completely different;
  • Frequency of administration. Victoza is a remedy that has to be injected every day at approximately the same time (it doesn’t matter whether you administer it before or after the meal). Rules for Bydureon are different – it should be injected weekly (once a week); it doesn’t matter at what time a patient uses it or whether or not they ate. The days of administration can be shifted as well; the main rule here is that there should be at least three days in between every injection of the medicine;
  • Initial form. Originally, Victoza comes in the form of a ready-made solution in a pre-filled pen. The only thing a patient should do is shake it, open it, and apply afterward. Bydureon mainly comes in a powder form, so a person should mix it with a special solution designed for this purpose. In case there are any doubts about how to prepare a solution for injection correctly, it is always possible to have a consultation with a doctor. They can not only show how to prepare the remedy but also demonstrate correct administration technique, so a patient does not have problems with that at home;
  • Manufacturer. Bydureon is a product designed by AstraZeneca manufacturer; Victoza, on the other hand, is a creation of NOVO NORDISK. Even though manufacturers are different, both medicines are incredibly effective and helpful for adults with type 2 diabetes.

Final Word

Victoza and Bydureon are two outstanding products that make the lives of those with diabetes much easier. They are not meant to lose weight, but thanks to their composition and effect (decrease of the appetite), people often lose weight while using them. And let’s not forget about the effectiveness in controlling blood glucose levels – their main purpose. In case there are still questions about either of the injectable prescription medicine – we are always encouraging people to talk to their doctor. They will surely discuss all the nuances with you in the smallest details. Thank you all for reading. Good luck!