Lately, Victoza, a popular but controversial drug used to treat diabetes, has been touted by the media as a weight loss solution as well as a way to control blood sugar levels. Although clinical trials have shown a link to the use of this drug with increased weight loss when compared with placebos, the use of the drug has also been linked to serious and life-threatening complications. This drug supposedly helps people lose weight by suppressing their appetite and preventing extra production of sugar by the liver. Nevertheless, the weight loss linked to Victoza may also be related to patients’ tendency to become nauseated and to vomit after receiving the drug. These are not the only side effects of the drug; even more concerning, Victoza has been linked to pancreatic complications for its patients, even including pancreatic cancer.

Victoza (also known as liraglutide) has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration since the beginning of 2010 for use in treating diabetes. Victoza, which is abdominally injected once per day, works by mimicking the GLP-1 hormone in order to lower blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. Victoza or similar drugs that mimic the GLP-1 hormone in order to lower blood sugar in diabetic patients are currently taken by over one million patients in the United States alone.

The FDA recently approved an increased concentration of Victoza called Saxenda for use in treating obesity and general weight gain. Saxenda is also meant to be injected on a daily basis, is nearly twice as strong as the original and bears many of the same health risks such as thyroid cancer. In addition to thyroid and pancreatic cancer, patients who take this drug have also reported development of gallstones and other gastrointestinal complications. Diabetic patients who take Victoza have also reported pancreatitis, which is a life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas. Despite the media’s portrayal of Victoza and Sandexa as weight loss cures, the manufacturer of Victoza, Novo Nordisk, is facing litigation for the slew of health concerns that have been linked to the popular diabetes medication.

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