This medication has been found to cause a certain type of thyroid tumor (thyroid C-cell tumors) in rats and mice. It is unknown if this medication can cause similar tumors in humans. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of treatment with this medication. This medication should not be used in people with a personal/family history of a certain type of cancer (medullary thyroid carcinoma) or in people with a certain inherited disease (Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 or MEN 2). While using this medication, tell your doctor immediately if you notice any signs or symptoms of thyroid tumors, including unusual growth or lump in the neck, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, persistent hoarseness.
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.
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.
Learn how to store and discard needles and medical supplies safely. Consult your pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens (such as blood sugar levels 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.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, change in the amount of urine.
Although liraglutide by itself usually does not cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), low blood sugar may occur if this drug is prescribed with other anti-diabetes medications. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about whether the dose(s) of your other diabetic 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 immediately. 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.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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 levels. 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.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using 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 level 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 levels, making it more difficult to control your blood sugar. Examples include corticosteroids (such as prednisone), psychiatric medicines (such as olanzapine), quinolone antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin), among others. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how often to check your blood sugar. Tell your doctor about the results and of any 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.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share this list with your doctor and pharmacist to lessen your risk for serious medication problems.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. 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.
Do not share this medication with others.
Attend a diabetes education program to learn more about diabetes and the important aspects of its treatment, including medications, diet, exercise, and getting regular eye/foot/medical exams. Learn the symptoms of high and low blood sugar and how to treat low blood sugar. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed. Keep track of the results, and share them 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.
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.
Before using the liraglutide pen for the first time, store it in the refrigerator at 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C). Do not freeze. After first use, liraglutide can be stored at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) 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 medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised October 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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