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Liraglutide is used either alone or with other medications, and with a proper diet and exercise program, to control high blood sugar. It is used in people with type 2 diabetes. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Liraglutide is similar to a natural hormone in your body (incretin). It works by causing insulin release in response to high sugar levels (such as after a meal) and decreasing the amount of sugar your liver makes.
Liraglutide is not a substitute for insulin if you require insulin treatment.
Read the Medication Guide and the Pen User Manual provided by your pharmacist before you start using liraglutide and each time you get a refill. Learn all preparation and usage instructions. If you have questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Inject this medication under the skin in the thigh, abdomen, or upper arm as directed by your doctor, usually once daily.
If you are also using insulin, give liraglutide and insulin as separate injections. Do not mix them. You may inject these medications in the same area of the body, but the injection sites should not be next to each other.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor will start you on a low dose first to decrease your risk of stomach/abdominal side effects, and gradually increase your dose. If more than 3 days have passed since your last liraglutide dose, ask your doctor if you should restart the medication with the low dose to reduce your chance of side effects. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. It is important to change the location of the injection site daily to avoid problem areas under the skin.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day. Carefully follow the medication treatment plan, meal plan, and exercise program your doctor has recommended.
Do not share your pen device with another person, even if the needle is changed. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens (such as blood sugar remaining high or increasing).
See also Warning section.
Nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, decreased appetite, diarrhea, or constipation may occur. Nausea usually lessens as you continue to use liraglutide. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Persistent vomiting/diarrhea may result in a serious loss of body water (dehydration). Contact your doctor promptly if you notice any symptoms of dehydration, such as unusual dry mouth/thirst, fast heartbeat, or dizziness/lightheadedness.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: signs of pancreatitis (such as persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain).
Although liraglutide by itself usually does not cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), low blood sugar may occur if this drug is prescribed with other diabetes medications. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about whether the dose(s) of your other diabetes medication(s) needs to be lowered. Drinking large quantities of alcohol, not getting enough calories from food, or doing unusually heavy exercise may also lead to low blood sugar. Symptoms may include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, headache, or tingling hands/feet. It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, raise your blood sugar quickly by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, candy, or drinking a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soda. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out what you should do if you miss a meal.
Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, and fruity breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication(s).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
See also Warning section.
Before using liraglutide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, disease of the pancreas (pancreatitis), a certain stomach/intestinal disorder (gastroparesis).
You may experience blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness due to extremely low or high blood sugar. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Limit alcohol while using this medication because it can increase your risk of developing low blood sugar.
It may be harder to control your blood sugar when your body is stressed (such as due to fever, infection, injury, or surgery). Consult your doctor because increased stress may require a change in your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar testing.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Pregnancy may cause or worsen diabetes. Discuss a plan with your doctor for managing your blood sugar while pregnant. Your doctor may change your diabetes treatment during your pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits of different treatments.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Before using the liraglutide pen for the first time, store it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. After first use, liraglutide can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Protect from heat and sunlight. Discard 30 days after first use, even if some drug remains in the pen. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Beta-blocker medications (such as metoprolol, propranolol, glaucoma eye drops such as timolol) may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness, hunger, or sweating, are unaffected by these drugs.
Many drugs can affect your blood sugar, making it harder to control. Examples include corticosteroids (such as prednisone), psychiatric medicines (such as olanzapine), quinolone antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin), among others. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high or low blood sugar (see also Side Effects section). Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Do not use this medication with any other product that contains liraglutide.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe nausea/vomiting.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not share this medication with others.
Attend a diabetes education program to learn more about how to manage your diabetes with medications, diet, exercise, and regular medical exams. Learn the symptoms of high and low blood sugar and how to treat low blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor.
Keep all medical appointments. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney function, fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.