Posted: 03/16/2016

Victoza vs. Byetta

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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 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.

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.

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 HelpRx Staff Writer

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About the HelpRx.info Blog

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