Liraglutide is an acylated GLP-1 (Glucagon-Like Peptide-1) receptor agonist. Liraglutide upregulates intracellular cAMP resulting in the release of insulin given elevated blood glucose concentrations. Glucagon secretion is also decreased in a glucose-dependent fashion by liraglutide.
Liraglutide is a once-daily GLP-1 derivative for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. GLP-1, in its natural form, is short-lived in the body (the half-life after subcutaneous injection is approximately one hour), so it is not very useful as a therapeutic agent. However, liraglutide has a half-life after subcutaneous injection of 11–15 hours, making it suitable for once-daily dosing. The prolonged action of liraglutide is achieved by attaching a fatty acid molecule at one position of the GLP-1 molecule, enabling it to bind to albumin within the subcutaneous tissue and bloodstream. The active GLP-1 is then released from albumin at a slow, consistent rate. Binding with albumin also results in slower degradation and reduced elimination of liraglutide from the circulation by the kidneys compared to GLP-1.
During the initial 24 hours following administration of a single [3H]-liraglutide dose to healthy subjects, the major component in plasma was intact liraglutide. Liraglutide is endogenously metabolized in a similar manner to large proteins without a specific organ as a major route of elimination.
In a clinical trial, one patient with type 2 diabetes experienced a single overdose of Victoza 17.4 mg subcutaneous (10 times the maximum recommended dose). Effects of the overdose included severe nausea and vomiting requiring hospitalization. No hypoglycemia was reported. The patient recovered without complications. In the event of overdosage, appropriate supportive treatment should be initiated according to the patient’s clinical signs and symptoms. RISK OF THYROID C-CELL TUMORS
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