A New Study Shows A Diabetes Drug Also Reduces Heart Disease
A new drug called liraglutide, also known by the brand name Victoza, has recently shown that it does much more than control blood sugar by reducing glucagon, the body’s anti-insulin hormone. The three-year-long, international study also found the following:
- 13 percent reduced risk of heart attack and stroke
- 22 percent reduced risk of fatal heart disease
- 15 percent reduced risk of death by any cause
- 22 percent reduced risk of new evidence of advanced kidney disease
Medical researchers have proposed two possibilities to explain these substantial results. First, Victoza may reduce heart disease and other related conditions by treating atherosclerosis, better known as hardened arteries. Hardened arteries are caused by the usual suspects, including obesity, high cholesterol, and a lack of exercise, and the condition is particularly common among people who already suffer from both types of diabetes. If Victoza can really counter atherosclerosis directly, it would be a powerful help to millions of people.
On the other hand, there might be a different explanation for the drug’s benefits, one which researchers already know about. Aside from altering the pancreas’ hormone production, Victoza also affects the brain by making patients feel “full” more easily and more often. This makes them less likely to overeat, which in turn leads to weight loss. As such, the real reason Victoza lowers the risk of heart and kidney disease may be thanks to the way it fights obesity.
Still, liraglutide isn’t for everyone. In the first place, patients can only take it as a daily injection, so patients with a fear or dislike of needles probably won’t consider the benefits worth the effort. The drug also comes with its fair share of side effects, including cold-like symptoms, nausea, headaches, back pain, a skin rash at the injection site, and both diarrhea and constipation. These symptoms can become so bad that many of the patients in the study who used Victoza chose to stop taking the drug.
Victoza has some real benefits and some equally real downsides, and it also comes with some extra costs like needing clean needles and alcohol swabs. Fortunately, however, one way you can reduce medication costs is with the USA Rx pharmacy discount card, which can get you up to 75 percent off the list price of prescription medications in over 60,000 pharmacies around the nation. If you’d like to learn more about our program, you can send us an email at [email protected] or call our toll-free number at 888-277-3911.