Liraglutide is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat your Type 2 diabetes (gradual loss of capacity of the pancreas to produce enough insulin) by keeping your blood sugar in control.
This medicine is meant to be taken 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 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.
This medicine should be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the thigh, upper arm or abdomen area). Administer at the same time each day.
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 share your Liraglutide injection with anyone else.
DO NOT administer this medicine intravenously (into a vein) or intramuscularly (into a muscle).
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 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.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- a personal or family history of thyroid cancer
- tumour in more than one gland of your body
- excessive acid production in the body e.g. lactic acidosis, ketoacidosis
as Liraglutide may not be suitable for you.
This medicine is not meant to be a substitute for insulin and should not be used for Type 1 diabetes.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- stomach disorder e.g. gastroparesis (delayed emptying of the stomach), inflammatory bowel disease
- thyroid disease
- kidney disease
- liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Ensure adequate fluid intake to avoid dehydration (loss of fluids from the body).
If you are taking Liraglutide with other types of anti-diabetic medicines, you may have been warned about hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). This medicine itself does not usually cause hypoglycaemia, but it may increase the hypoglycaemic effect of other anti-diabetic medicines.
It is important for you to recognise the symptoms of hypoglycaemia and correct the low blood sugar level. If you don't, you may faint.
How do I know if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Some of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia include dizziness, headache, shaky hands, feeling hungry, weak or confused, problems speaking. These symptoms are your body's way of warning you that your blood sugar is dangerously low.
What should I do if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Always carry some glucose tablets (also known as dextrose tablets) with you. Take a tablet at the first sign of hypoglycaemia. If you don’t have glucose tablets, you can take a drink or food containing sugar (e.g. fruit juice, soda, candy) at the first sign of hypoglycaemia. If your symptoms do not improve, get medical help.
For as long as you are using this medicine, you will need to have regular routine blood tests (e.g. blood sugar level, kidney function) to check your body’s response to the medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Liraglutide may cause dizziness or hypoglycaemia. 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, 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
- new lump or swelling in the neck, pain in the front of the neck, persistent cough, change in voice like hoarseness, or difficulty swallowing
- severe and persistent abdominal pain
- abnormal or irregular heartbeat
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 if you are taking other medicines for diabetes e.g. glimepiride, glibenclamide, insulin.
Inform your doctor if you are currently taking birth control pills as this can reduce the effectiveness of Liraglutide. You should not stop or start any birth control pills without first informing your doctor. Ask your doctor about using non-hormonal birth control as an alternative while being treated with Liraglutide.
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.
If you have not yet opened it, store Liraglutide in a refrigerator between 2 to 8°C. Do not freeze this medicine. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.
Once you have opened it, store this medicine in room temperature (below 30°C) away from sunlight or in a refrigerator between 2 to 8°C. It will expire in 30 days. Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
Keep Liraglutide away from the reach of children.