Liraglutide is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat type 2 diabetes (long-term condition in which the body gradually becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, or the pancreas does not produce enough insulin).
This medicine helps treat your diabetes by keeping your blood sugar under control.
This medicine is meant to be used as part of a complete diabetes care programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.
Use Liraglutide exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not inject more or less than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine should be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the thigh, upper arm, or abdomen area). Try to administer it at the same time each day.
This medicine is available as a pre-filled pen. Make sure you know how to use the specific device you have been given. If you have problems or do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
How to use this medicine:
- Prepare the injection pen as instructed by your doctor or nurse.
- Attach the needle to the injection pen. Ensure that the needle is screwed on securely.
- Turn the dose selector to the correct dose.
- Swab the injection site area with alcohol.
- Hold the injection pen with your thumb over the injection button.
- Press the injection pen against your body using the subcutaneous (under the skin) injection method.
- Use your thumb to push the injection button until it stops. Continue to hold the injection button in that position while slowly counting to 5 to get a full dose.
- Pull out the injection pen from your body.
- Remove the needle from the pen. Never store the injection pen with the needle attached.
- Reset your pen as instructed by your healthcare provider.
- Throw away the used needle. Recap your pen and store below 30°C.
- Use a new needle in every administration of Liraglutide.
Remember to rotate the injection sites. Do not inject into the same area all the time. New injection sites should be at least 1.5 inches away from the previous injection site. Do not inject near the navel (belly button).
DO NOT administer this medicine intravenously (into a vein) or intramuscularly (into a muscle).
Do not share your Liraglutide injection with anyone else.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the course of your treatment depending on your condition and response to the medication.
Liraglutide must be administered regularly for it to be effective. Continue using this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop using it unless instructed by the doctor. If you suddenly stop using this medicine, it may lead to hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar level).
If you missed a dose of this medicine, administer the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to use your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not use Liraglutide if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or any of its ingredients.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- personal or family history of certain type of thyroid cancer known as medullary thyroid carcinoma
- multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (a rare inherited disorder characterised by cancer in the thyroid gland and other tumours affecting additional glands in the endocrine system)
- type 1 diabetes (long-term condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin)
- diabetic ketoacidosis (complication of diabetes characterised by high level of blood acid in your body)
- history of suicidal attempts or ideation
as Liraglutide may not be suitable for you.
Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Liraglutide may cause harm to your unborn child.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- stomach disorder e.g. gastroparesis (delayed emptying of the stomach), inflammatory bowel disease
- severe heart failure
- history of severe allergic reaction to similar medicines
- thyroid disease
- kidney disease
- liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to a child. Children may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine tests (e.g. kidney function, blood sugar, cholesterol level) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
- Regular monitoring for signs and symptoms of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), gall bladder disease, and worsening depression may also be needed.
If you are using Liraglutide with other types of anti-diabetic medicines, you may have been warned about hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).
How do I know if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Hypoglycaemia is the medical term for low blood sugar. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia include dizziness, tremor, shaky hands, feeling hungry, weak or confused, sweating. These signs are your body’s way of warning you that your blood sugar level is low.
It is important to recognise these symptoms and get relief for hypoglycaemia quickly, as the hypoglycaemia may worsen.
What should I do if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Always carry some glucose tablets (also known as dextrose tablets) with you. Take 15 grams of glucose tablet at first sign of hypoglycaemia, wait for 15 minutes and re-check your blood sugar level. If you are not feeling better or if your blood sugar level is still low (less than 4 mmol/L or 70 mg/dL), take another 15 grams of glucose tablet.
If you don’t have glucose tablets, you may take any of the following:
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) of juice or regular soda (not diet)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, or corn syrup
- hard candies, jellybeans, or gumdrops (not sugar-free)
Get medical help should symptoms did not improve after second serving.
Liraglutide may cause dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion, stomach wind, decreased appetite, stomach pain or discomfort, headache, difficulty sleeping, and injection site reaction (e.g. itching, rash, pain).
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
- lump or swelling in the neck, pain in the front of the neck, persistent cough, hoarseness of voice, difficulty swallowing
- severe and persistent abdominal pain
- abnormal or irregular heartbeat
- having thoughts of self-harm
- unable to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or using other medicines for diabetes e.g. glimepiride, insulin, exenatide.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements, and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
It is important for you to maintain a healthy diet and weight in order to help keep your diabetes under control.
It may be helpful to discuss your diet plan with your doctor or dietitian to manage your weight and blood sugar levels.
If you have not yet opened it, store Liraglutide in a refrigerator between 2-8°C. Do not freeze this medicine. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.
Once opened the injection pen may be stored at refrigerator between 2-8°C or at room temperature not exceeding 30°C away from sunlight and heat. Dispose injection pen after 30 days.
Keep this medicine away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.