Posted: 10/13/2017

Victoza vs Byetta

Diabetes_medications_injections_concept

What is Diabetes?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Diabetes is “the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy.”  The food we eat is digested into glucose which is distributed to the cells, by the pancreas - an organ that lies in proximity to the stomach. If diabetes is left untreated, it can cause a malaise of serious conditions including kidney failure, heart disease, blood vessel damage and blindness to name a few. Symptoms include frequent urination, extreme hunger or thirst and tingling or numbness in the limbs. The American Diabetes Association estimates Diabetes occurs in about 30 million children and adults. 95% of these occurrences are Type 2 diabetes. There are 2 distinct types of Diabetes. Type 1 is insulin-dependent. This means your pancreas produces little to no insulin so you must rely on injections for the pancreas to break down the glucose from the food you eat. Type 2 is slightly less severe than Type 1. With Type 2 your cells don’t use the insulin made by the pancreas properly. Factors such as obesity cause serious complications with this condition.

 

Type-2 diabetes affects around 29.1 million American adults, and it is projected to increase within the next decade. One of the biggest challenges that patients with type-2 diabetes face is controlling blood sugar levels throughout day. When left untreated, high blood sugar levels can induce a coma that can be life threatening and often requires a hospitalization. Prolonged high blood sugar levels can trigger an array of health conditions such as nerve damage, kidney damage, damage to blood vessels in the eyes that can lead to blindness, bone and joint problems, and serious gum infections.

One key factor that complicates cases of type-2 diabetes is obesity which can trigger an array of health complications along with high blood sugar. Victoza is an injectable type-2 diabetes medication that can be used in conjunction with other medications like metformin that works in three distinct ways to manage high blood sugar levels when used as directed. Byetta is another type-2 diabetes injectable medication that helps lower blood sugar when used as directed. However, the key difference between Victoza vs. Byetta is the level of glycemic control achieved and weight loss. 

 

Victoza

Byetta

What does it Treat / Who is it for?

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Common Side Effects

Vomiting, nausea, diarrhea

Vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, weakness

Safety

Not recommended to use if you have problems emptying your stomach (gastroparesis) pregnant, breastfeeding, or pancreas, kidney or liver problems


Not safe to use if you have severe kidney problems

Coupons

Helprx Victoza Coupon

Helprx Byetta Coupon

 

What is Victoza (Liraglutide)?

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. There are medications on the market that help with the management of Diabetes. One such medication is Victoza. Victoza is an injectable prescription medication (liraglutide) that assists in regulating glucose (blood sugar) levels. It is taken once per day and works in 3 ways to control your blood sugar levels. It slows the food leaving your stomach, it prevents the liver from making too much sugar, and it helps the pancreas produce more insulin when your blood sugar levels are high. Victoza is not insulin. However, it can be taken with insulin. When using both Victoza and insulin be sure it is not in the same injection as they should not be mixed. You should not use Victoza if you have had problems with your pancreas, kidneys, or liver. It is also not known if it is safe for children, so it is best to avoid its use. According to Victoza.com, the most common side effects are headaches, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and anti-liraglutide antibodies in your blood. Other serious side effects include pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), kidney problems, lower blood sugar if taken with another medicine that causes low blood sugar, and allergic reactions. During clinical trials varying between 26-52 weeks in length, many people lost, on average, 6.2 lbs. While many people lost weight, some did gain weight as well. Note that this medication is not a “weight loss drug” and is not marketed as such. However, this medication is more effective with proper diet and exercise.

 

Victoza Drug Pack and Injection Needle
Once daily Victoza costs around $800 and it works in three distinct ways to help control high blood sugar levels in patients with type-2 diabetes. The formulation of Victoza mimics the function of a natural hormone in the body that regulates blood sugar, GLP-1 7(-37). When taken as directed, Victoza helps lower high blood sugar by slowing down the digestive system by preventing food from leaving the stomach too quickly. Secondly, Victoza inhibits the liver from making excess sugar levels that can trigger a hyperglycemic state. Lastly, Victoza helps the pancreas produce more insulin to help regulate elevated sugar levels. Some of the most common side effects patients experience while taking Victoza include headache, dizziness, upset stomach, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, back pain, and fatigue.

While Victoza is not intended for weight loss, during clinical trials the medication in combination with other medications like metformin showed that it helped patients lose an average of 6.2 lbs. over a 26-52 week period. Since obesity can complicate cases of type-2 diabetes, Victoza can significantly help patients achieve glycemic control when taken along a recommended diabetic diet and regular exercise.

What is Byetta (Exenatide)?

An alternative option to Victoza is its competitor Byetta. Like Victoza, Byetta is an injectable medication. Byetta works similarly to Victoza by regulating glucose levels. The difference being that Byetta is particularly formulated to control your blood sugar right after you have ingested a meal. According to Byetta.com “Insulin glargine provides a slow, steady release of insulin and helps manage your blood sugar between meals and overnight.” Byetta.com says Byetta works in five distinct ways. It helps the pancreas release insulin when needed, stops the release of the hormone that triggers the liver to make sugar when it is not needed, improves insulin response after meals, slows down how quickly the stomach empties sending sugar to the body more slowly and helps to reduce the amount of food you eat. Compared to Victoza, Byetta is taken twice per day. The same goes here with Byetta. You should not mix it with insulin.

 

The most common sides effects, similar to Victoza are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting. The same serious side effects can happen including pancreatitis, kidney and liver problems. They do not expressly say you cannot take Byetta if you have mild kidney or liver problems, but if you do have severe kidney/renal problems, you should not take Byetta. Severe allergic reactions can happen, especially if you are allergic to any of the medication's ingredients. If you take birth control or antibiotics, take it one hour or more before you inject Byetta. The same goes with Byetta, diet and exercise are pertinent to the success of this drug. Low blood sugar is a risk if taken with another drug that causes low blood sugar.

 

Byetta Drug Pack and Injection Needle

Byetta on the other hand is an injectable prescription medication that helps control blood sugar levels in patients with type-2 diabetes. The price of this type-2 diabetes medication is around $680 for a pack containing 3 pens. This injectable medication is administered twice daily to achieve blood sugar control, and should be taken alongside a recommended diet. Byetta works in five distinct ways to control blood sugar when used as directed: helps the pancreas release insulin when needed, stops the release of a hormone that makes more sugar, improves insulin response after meals, slows down how quickly the stomach empties, sends sugar into blood slowly and reduces the amount of food intake. The most common side effects of Byetta include nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, dizziness, and headache.

Similarities, Differences and Useful Tools

Victoza and Byetta are more similar than they are different. Both have similar price points and success rates. One noticeable difference between the two is not in its performance but its access and education. For example, both websites have support information, they both offer coupons and additional information regarding how to best use this drug. However, Byetta has better tools. It has a hotline you can call for injection support. When you call the hotline, you can speak to a  nurse who guides you through the injection process, which is helpful to beginners new to this regimen. There is an insurance guide with simpler language so it is more understandable. The best part is the support program called Fit 2 Me. This program is specifically designed to support your journey with this medication and in diet and exercise. It includes a meal resource guide, exercise guide, and coaching - a practical and helpful tool, especially for someone that may be newly diagnosed or new to this type of diabetic therapy. Overall, Victoza is more effective than Byetta according to the numbers in decreased A1c levels. Both assist in weight loss which is a helpful factor in lowering A1c. Byetta is less expensive depending upon the dosage. Both drugs are an effective Type 2 Diabetes therapy.

 

Victoza is more effective for weight loss.
While Byetta is not a weight loss therapy, reducing the amount of food intake in patients can help patients manage weight. However, it is far less effective than Victoza at managing weight and achieving high blood sugar control.

For more information about Victoza, Byetta and other diabetes medications, visit our Diabetes Conditions Page.

By Meredith Yannuzzi

About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality.

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About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

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