From what I've read here, a number of you folks have experienced the nausea "as advertised" with Victoza and I'm wondering what you did to counteract that? I presume Gravol but that has a sedative affect on me and I thought it might be nice to stay awake during the work day, if possible.

I've been on Victoza for about 3 months now. No, wait - it's only been 3 weeks tomorrow - but it sure seems like a year or two! Right from the first half dose (.6 ml), I had some nausea and the irony of that is I am finding the only food that will quell the queasies is carbs! I'm eating more crackers and cheese (both low fat) than I ever did on Lantus. I was probably supposed to stay on half Lantus while I was on half the Victoza, but I forgot and just dropped the insulin when I started V. I presume I will have to wean back onto the Lantus if I have to ditch this Victoza.

Like most people here, I got on V. mainly to jumpstart my diet which had been on a boring plateau for 2 months. Since starting insulin last fall (and getting off the oral meds), I've been losing about 2 pounds a week (over 50 so far) just doing the same kind of dietting I've been doing all along... but at least now it was working! Whatta concept!
Then at the end of tax season/April, all weight loss ground to a halt and I started to get a little ticked since by then, I was really working at it and trying to bump up the activity levels now that I had more time.

Anyway, I expected a little nausea with Victoza but was sorta hoping it would dissipate in a weekertoo, especially since I was supposed to bump the dose up to 1.2 ml 2 weeks ago. I read some discussions in this group and learned that some of you stopped being nauseous when you went to 1.2 ml - so I tried that last night, and today I'm just as nauseous as ever, maybe more. So now I'm thinking maybe I should switch my dose time to early morning like many of you. Up until now, I've taken the Lantus and now the Victoza at bedtime. And all along, my BG has been good - even on the .6 ml of V. I didn't really need to bump it up to 1.2, but hoped maybe the change might somehow dispel the tummyache and hopefully not send my BG to an all new low!

I should note that I do have a 'trick' digestive tract - with missing organs and a history of ulcerative colitis, reflux, and even ulcers. I used to take Losec (Omeprazole) with meals and then cut that out a few months ago when I didn't think I needed it anymore. Same with metaclopramide - another GI drug I take as needed to help prevent food blockages in my small intestines. However, since starting the V., I've been taking Losec (20 mg) almost daily and this week, I started taking it twice daily - once in the morning to help me get through breakfast (usually fruit, but lately more cereal) and another at night (with crackers) so I could sleep.
I haven't tried Gravol yet because it does tend to sedate me, and I was thinking of skipping the Victoza tonight and taking the 1.2 ml in the morning tomorrow, instead.

Ironically, although I did start losing weight again the first week on Victoza, I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up putting on a couple pounds this week just because of the extra carbs I've been eating to ease the quease!

Any suggestions out there? I've emailed my endo but do not know if there will be a reply forthcoming as I've never emailed her before (so I cc'd it to the endo-nurse who knows my history). I'd sure appreciate any ideas you smartypants diabetes pros might have! I know you're out there! I've been reading all your ingenious inventions for several months now!

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Replies to This Discussion

Hey Queasy Rider (love the name!) For me, the nausea started tapering off after I went to the full 1.8 dose and completely went away about a week after I started full dosage. Those first 4 weeks definitely weren't easy, though. I also adjusted my actos/metformin oral meds by cutting back 1/3 of the dosage. BG has consistantly been very good, even with the drop in oral meds. Hope you get to feeling better soon - you may be close to the easy side of hump! Welcome to the group.
There's a hump? And I'm nearing it? Nobody told me about no hump! All I got was that "Stay on the straight and narrow" speech! There was no mention whatsoever of any humps, lumps or bumps. To heck with this Diabetes crap - I want my money back!
Thanks for responding, Flora (and a belated "Happy Birthday" and an even belateder "Welcome to tuD"). I read a couple other comments about the nausea eventually easing up, so I suppose I could maybe stick it out (sorta like a hump) for another few days. I'll just be really peeved if I gain weight this week as a result of the extra carbs I've been eating to 'quell the swells'.
Check your blood sugar a little more frequently--some of that queasiness and 'carb cravings' may be from a 'low' coming on. My endo explained to me that Victoza doesn't have an effect if there's no sugar in your system. It stopped working for me as far as weight loss goes though my blood sugar was very well-controlled. I had to go off it for side effect reasons--chronic sinusitis, which still hasn't cleared up; and the abdominal pain going through to the back which the doctors are required to warn us about.

One thing your doctor may or may not tell you about is the depression side effect. Mine didn't want to hear it--I told him at my first appointment after going on Victoza that I wanted to stop taking it because I hadn't been able to work a whole week since I first went on it--but it wasn't until the following week when I called to report the abdominal pain and chronic sinusitis that he agreed I should stop taking it.

Since going off it, my moods are somewhat better but I'm still not feeling 100 per cent. The abdominal pain is gone without any further problems, thank goodness, but the chronic sinusitis is still with me. Hopefully that will clear up fairly soon as well.

If it works for you, more power to you. Just be aware that this drug can have psychiatric side effects that aren't described anywhere in the literature--and your doctor may not be receptive to any discussion about those side effects either.
Thank you Linda! I'm slow responding because I wanted to know ASAP if you were right about the Victoza and depression. Nobody mentioned that and nothing is written down in the literature about any psychiatric side-effects and I really need to watch for that sort of thing. I'm already taking 40mg of prozac every day to combat depression and couldn't figure out why I've been so down recently.
My gut guy suggested I ditch the victoza for a week and see if my stomach problem cleared up - so I did, last Tuesday - and I'm still have gas/nausea problems. Do you remember how long it was after stopping the V., that your abdominal pain went away? And nobody mentioned anything about abdominal pain through to the back either. My back is sorta shot and I take several pain meds to combat that, so I'm not sure if I'd even know if something were affecting it now, but again - the last thing I need is more back pain!
I see the dietitian today (NOT the endo) but I'm reticent to get back on the Victoza at this point and I'm also reticent to take insulin (via Lantus) now since I obviously still produce my own insulin (Victoza doesn't add to that so I must be making my own). For now - I'm coasting.... I take metformin with a 'meal' (about once or twice a day) and my BG is still under 7 (126)consistently. One morning is was almost low at 4 ((72). The literature says to avoid fatty food, but it's still the carbs (soda crackers) that help the quickest and (I think) with the least side-effects - but I could be wrong about that too!
I really appreciate your input and apologize again for my tardiness in responding. I hope your sinusitis has started to dissipate by now. I bought a sinus rinse to try but haven't built up the nerve to try it yet. I guess the V is likely why that problem seems to have worsened recently as well.... Why do we take these things again??
Chronic sinusitis is a side effect that 5% of the people in the study reported experiencing. Only 7 people out of (however many people participated in the study) developed pancreatitis and the odds were very small but my endo told me he was required to tell me about it. I use a neti pot in the shower in the morning and that has helped over the last few months but only up to a point.

The abdominal pain I had three weeks ago wasn't like anything I've ever experienced before, even when I had my gallbladder out. It was very defined and sharp, in a specific part of my stomach and I could feel it from the back as well as from the front. I waited about three days to see if it was going to go away on its own; once I called my doctor and was told to stop the Victoza, it was about another 10 days for it to fade away completely--and that was while eating a 'pancreatitis diet'...mostly lean protein, fresh fruit and vegetables but no other carbs and all in very small portions.

I finally did go to the doctor (MD) about the sinus problem yesterday morning and am now on antibiotics.

The 'weird' feeling is starting to subside, at long last. Hefty doses of vitamin B help, as does staying on my Rx vitamin D (50,000 i.u. twice weekly). Still working hard on getting and keeping my blood sugars stable; when I have a 'low' I am prone to becoming really emotional and that's been rather disturbing since it happens with even less warning than I had before going on Victoza. I really have to stay on top of what my blood sugars are doing these days. Lots and lots of leafy greens and lean protein; fresh fruits and vegetables; very little carbs. I made whole wheat pasta tonight but the ratio of pasta to chicken and broccoli is around 1:3. Proportion and portion size are key.

Hang in there--if Victoza is working for you (it did for me--my A1c was 6.5 when I finally went off it) and you can live with whatever side effects you're experiencing, I hope you continue to get good results. For me, I had excellent blood sugar control, but the constant low-grade sinus headache nearly did me in. It's just as well I came off it when I did. I never did have the huge weight loss I was told would happen and that was one of the primary reasons I agreed to go on it.

If you see a psychiatrist about your depression, be sure to mention that you're on Victoza when you discuss your meds. I've seen other people comment that their MDs also prescribed antidepressants when putting them on Victoza; there may not be any mention of it in the literature but apparently the evidence is mounting. It will be interesting to see what further reports/studies are published about it over the next couple of years.

Metformin can cause gastrointestinal side effects, particularly if you take it the way my endo told me to--take it with a large glass of water and wait an hour to eat, but no longer than an hour. I'm on Glucovance now (metformin/glyburide combination) and the stomach upset is slightly less but I still can't wait the whole hour. Metformin can also make your breath smell like garlic and give you a foul body odor. Thank goodness for air conditioning!

Gotta go...will try to get back here in the next day or two...Hang in there!
When you're right, you're right, Linda! I've been off Victoza for exactly 10 days now and don't have the same early morning queasies I've had all month. At least now I don't feel the need to have a couple soda crackers to ease my stomach and have cut way back on the Losec and gravol. For the last couple decades I've been taking in excess of 40 different pills every day, not counting the topical meds and shots etc. I've been trying very hard to get that number down and recently ditched my 2 cholesterol meds as well. I've got myself down to mainly pain meds and wake-up meds because of them, plus a few others for a variety of problems but no longer 40 a day now!

My appointment with the dietitian the other day was almost all taken up in discussing/updating my medications! But I think I'm getting closer to a better system than I had before now - the big question mark is the need for insulin. Without V, I'm scoring BG's of 6 and less (108 and under) and I'm pretty happy with those so maybe I can get away with a very strict diet and some metformin for now. In the summer, I find it easier to diet with all these yummy berries and fresh vegies to munch! But in a couple months I'll be back to that staler imported stuff and it's just harder to live on that kind of food all winter.

I hope your sinusitus has cleared up by now. I haven't had that - not an infection anyway. I just have this drippy thing that gets me coughing all dang night! I've had a nasal spray called Avamys for years and just recently tried to wean off that too... but that might be what's causing the renewed sinus problem.

Most of the vitamins I'd like to take are in pill form and enteric coated to get that "timed release" they all brag about, but that just makes them break down too late in my digestive tract and they 'exit' much as they came in. I take a chewable multi and some chewable Vitamin C and Tums, but other than that, vitamins are wasted on me. Once I can keep the protein powder down, I'd like to increment my protein intake as I get very little protein in my diet. I'm having trouble with the strong smell/taste of the 'fake' flavouring.

But the dietitian was VERY impressed with the short term results from a really easy exercise program I've worked at for the last 2 months ... every other day or so. Between those few stretches and my treadmill, I can get my 10,000+ steps in most days and not break into a sweat. Sweat is bad for me... so is SOB (shortness of breath, dirty minds! :-) I have to have a dry bod and controlled breathing.

It's constant war isn't it? - jockeying with these meds, working towards a combination that will let us function and still survive most of the crap we're being thrown anymore. I had to get back on Ramipril again because my kidneys have been acting up and my lupus is kicking a fuss lately as well.... sigh.

Back to work! At least it's POITS Day!
I have never gone beyond the .06 dosage becaue I am so sick all the time as well. Have you have the extreme fatique with it? It's aweful!! I've been on it 3 weeks and when I try to increase the dosage, I feel like I'm seriously down with the flu. I can barely stand it.
Hi Joni - sorry you're going through the same kind of problems with Victoza. I only tried the 'full' 1.2 dose once and was told to go back to .06 as the larger dose would make the side effects worse.
But I've actually been off that med for 2 weeks today - as in nada, zip! And my BG levels are still ok 90% of the time. It might be leftover Victoza but I sorta doubt it. And I'm still experiencing a little bit of the queasies on occasion but not to the degree I had 2 weeks ago. I think I might have grown a wee ulcer at some point and plan to start back on ulcer meds (Losec) next week. But right now, I'm stalling on the insulin enhancers to see what my body does on its own. It seems like every August I get a LOT better for some reason and I've yet to pin that down. It's so stupid that August is the one month of the year when my vision improves and my BG numbers are good without meds, but it's been like this for over a decade. I'm just going to enjoy the month without Victoza!
The only thing I do a little different every August is eat more corn. It's at its best this month and I love it and have 2 cobs for my dinner about twice a week for most of the month. I don't see how that, by itself, can have such a dramatic affect on my diabetes, but ya never know! Also, I've had diabetes for 13 years and have only been able to eat corn for the last 6, so I doubt if that's what causes this mysterious improvement each summer.
Medical 'science' is mostly "Trial and Error" ... emphasis on the Error!
Maybe you should see if there is something else you can take that won't cause you so much trouble?

My entire problem with the drug revolves around the stomach upset. It seems I'm always somewhere between stomach burn and sick to my stomach (often both). I have lost 20lbs and I'm not complaining about that but the fact that I could live on a piece of bread and a dt. pepsi and feel sick all day long is not good.

My endo, in introducing me to Victoza, told me to immediately stop eating when I begin to feel full (which happens about halfway through what I used to want to eat), and that seems to stall off the nausea at the pass.

Thanks - I'll try it next time. I hope to start back on Victoza next month...just using up the last Lantus pen.

Hi everyone,

I started taking Victoza on March 30th. My experience has been with bouts of vertigo and nausea, and, at the minimum, morning queasiness. My solution? At the time, I just go with it and throw up. Actually, what I have found is that I need the low cal version of Gatorade (G2) on my night stand to drink after I make my bathroom trips during the night so that I don't get dehydrated.

When I started, the first week on .06 units went well. Then at the end of the week, I had a horrible case of vertigo and nausea. I upped the dose to .12 on time and went about another week before the vertigo struck again. By that time, we'd figured out about using Gatorade to keep me from being dehydrated. I have been on the full dose 1.8 since the third week.

While I was getting used to Victoza, I found that I could only tolerate crackers or toast in the morning. But things would clear up around noon. Unfortunately, that was when I took my next shot. BTW, I should mention that I am also taking 60 units of Humulog mix 75/25 twice a day, with breakfast and dinner. Having the Victoza shot in between helps with the blood sugar surge from breakfast and lunch.

Now I have a smoothie every morning (1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of skim milk, and frozen fruit (peaches, blueberries, strawberries, and banana). I also have a tablespoon of chia seeds thrown in. I have to say that it does away with the morning queasiness and gives me an energy boost that sees me through until lunch. It takes care of the nausea in minutes. What I realized that not eating prolonged the nausea. I wasn't a smoothie drinker before starting on Victoza, but now I have one everyday, cause it works so well.

I've had no depression, unless I was throwing up at the time. Then I didn't feel so good about myself.

Positive results: All the dieting I'd been doing finally paid off and I dropped 30 pounds. I get fuller faster, which helps with the dieting. My A1C went from 7.6 to 6.5 in 3 months. I don't get sleepy at work now.

Not so positive results: Morning queasiness (that I am managing with the smoothies, constipation (smoothies are great for that, too). I can go weeks without any vertigo, but then I'll have a night where I just have water next to me at night, instead of Gatorade. Then I'm in trouble in the morning. Since I have 'a mother's bladder' those bathroom runs could qualify as Olympic events. So I need the electrolytes from Gatorade instead of plain water.

That's about it for me.

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