Comparing Diabetes Drugs: Januvia vs. Victoza
Study Shows Patients Get Better Control of Blood Sugar With Victoza
WebMD News Archive
Assessing Treatment Options
Pratley says the study makes a clear case for the superiority of Victoza in
patients who need aggressive blood sugar lowering and desire weight loss.
"But that doesn't mean it is necessarily the best option for everybody," he
says. "Some patients don't need as much glucose lowering as others and some
prefer an oral medication."
Merck spokesman Lee Davies tells WebMD that many patients prefer Januvia
because it is taken by mouth and is less likely to cause nausea than the
He points out that more than 21 million prescriptions for the oral drug have
been written in the U.S. alone since it was approved three and one-half years
"There is a history of experience with Januvia that has not yet been
demonstrated with Victoza, which was just approved," he says.
Diabetes specialist Richard M. Bergenstal, MD, agrees that no single drug is
best for all patients. He says patients who need more than metformin alone now
have many options.
Bergenstal is executive director of the International Diabetes Center-Park
Nicollet in Minneapolis and is president of medicine and science for the
American Diabetes Association.
He says both Victoza and Januvia are good options for patients concerned
about weight gain or low blood sugar, which are common side effects with older
diabetes drugs like sulfonylureas.
But insulin and sulfonylurea may be better options for patients whose main
concern is cost because they are much cheaper than the incretin-based
therapies, he says.
"All the diabetes drugs have their pros and cons, and certainly no single
drug is the best choice for every patient," he adds.