April 22, 2010 -- Type 2 diabetes patients who took the new once-a-day injectable drug Victoza achieved better blood sugar control and lost more weight than patients who took the widely prescribed oral drug Januvia, a study shows.
The trial is the first to compare two classes of diabetes drugs that target insulin-regulating hormones in the gut known as incretins, researchers say.
In the new study, published April 24 in TheLancet, 665 type 2 diabetes patients who failed to achieve target blood sugar levels with metformin alone were treated with either once-daily injections of Victoza, at doses of 1.2 milligrams or 1.8 milligrams, or 100 milligrams of Januvia, taken by mouth once a day.
Over 26 weeks of treatment, patients on the highest dosage of the injected drug achieved the best blood sugar control and the most weight loss.
A main focus of the study was how well the two drugs lowered A1c, which measures blood sugar control over time.
Nearly twice as many patients taking Victoza reached a target A1c level of less than 7%, according to study researcher Richard Pratley, MD, of the University of Vermont College of Medicine.
The study was funded by Victoza manufacturer Novo Nordisk, which also participated in the study design, data collection, and data analysis. Pratley also acknowledged receiving consulting fees from both Novo Nordisk and Merck & Co., which makes Januvia.
While some patients in all three treatment groups lost weight, the overall weight loss was about 5 pounds more in those treated with the higher dose of Victoza than in those treated with Januvia, Pratley says.
Over 26 weeks, patients treated with 1.8 milligrams of Victoza lost, on average, 7 1/2 pounds, compared to 2 pounds with Januvia.
But the Victoza-treated patients also experienced more nausea, with 27% and 21%, respectively, in the 1.8-milligram and 1.2-milligram groups reporting the side effect, compared to 5% of those who took Januvia.
Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!
Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Thank you for signing up for the WebMD Diabetes Newsletter!
You'll find tips and tricks as well as the latest news and research on Diabetes.
Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?
Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.