Liraglutide falls into the category of antidiabetic agent and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist. The brand names of the this drug are known as Saxenda and Victoza.
As a general rule we know that prescription drugs come with a list of side effects and adverse effects with it being common for a prescription medication to have around seventy different side effects/adverse effects. This is also true for Liraglutide except there is a US Boxed Warning that warns patients to the risk of Thyroid C-cell tumor risk. The risk of developing the thyroid tumor becomes greater the longer a patient takes Liraglutide and the higher the dose that is taken as found in studies evaluating rat and mice exposure.
As a result, Liraglutide is contraindicated or not recommended in patients with either a personal of a family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma. The drug is also not recommended for use in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2. All patients taking this drug need to be warned about this risk prior to taking it. Patients should also be aware of alarming symptoms of thyroid tumors. These include but are not limited to a mass or bump in the neck, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, and a change in the quality of your voice.
If you are taking Liraglutide routine monitoring of serum calcitonin or use of a thyroid ultrasound may be considered as a way for early detection of medullary thyroid carcinoma.
This article is designed to create awareness for patients with diabetes that are currently on Liraglutide or considering its use. The clinical studies thus far are insufficient to either confirm or deny the occurrence of thyroid cancer. As with every medical decision made the patient must be involved in the decision-making process with all of the available information presented to them at the time of decision.
The Metabolism Clinic is established as the destination for weight loss and reversal of diabetes. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina. www.themetabolismclinic.com