Bydureon vs. Victoza: Which One is Better?

Bydureon vs Victoza
Bydureon vs Victoza

Victoza and Bydureon are a newer class of diabetes medication. These newer drugs are non-insulin-based, unlike all the traditional medicines for diabetes. Instead, they are GLP1 receptor agonists.

As opposed to giving the body a quick spike of insulin as with regular diabetes treatment, GLP1 receptor agonists improve blood sugar control, aid in weight loss, and increase the amount of insulin the body produces in response to high sugar levels in the blood.

Victoza and Bydureon are used as a treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes, as they have insulin resistance, or their bodies can’t produce the required level of insulin.

However, these newer medications can not be used for patients with type 1 diabetes as their bodies cannot produce insulin at all.

Although Victoza and Bydureon have the same functionality (similar to comparing Tresiba and Lantus), they do have their differences. 

Diabetes Prevention Tips

Despite the fact that Victoza and Bydureon are ground-breaking medications for patients with type 2 diabetes, these medications are still only treatments, not cures, for the condition. The most effective treatment is to avoid contracting the disease in the first place. Despite the fact that diabetes is determined by your genetic DNA and that there is no permanent cure for it at this time, The following are some lifestyle modifications that you can incorporate into your routine to help you reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in the first place.

● Engage in regular physical activity

● Consume nutritious plant-based foods

● Consume nutritious fats

● Lose excess weight

● Drink plenty of water and keep yourself hydrated

● Quit smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages

What is Bydureon?

Bydureon, more commonly known as exenatide, is an extended-release medicine, which means that it releases its effects slowly over time. Patients with type 2 diabetes have typically prescribed this medication once a week, in conjunction with regular exercise and a customized diet. This medication is available in powder form, which must be mixed with a diluent before being administered as an injection. It is recommended that the injection be administered as soon as possible after it has been combined with the diluent. The injection is given under the skin, and the process of administration is slightly more complicated compared to Victoza, as the former requires some practice of mixing the drug and using a larger needle, while the latter is just a preloaded shot.

Although Bydureon can also be found in a prefilled pen, it is more often available in a single dose tray with a vial, needle, syringe, and a connector that you will have to learn how to mix and fill the syringe and assemble the connector for your weekly injection.

What is Victoza?

Victoza, also known by its more generic name liraglutide, is an injectable non-insulin medication prescribed to patients with type 2 diabetes to control their blood glucose levels. The drug works by stimulating insulin secretion while simultaneously inhibiting glucagon secretion in the pancreas.

Victoza also slows the rate at which glucose is absorbed into your body and turned into energy, thereby reducing appetite.

Like Bydureon, Victoza is also given as an injection under the skin, but unlike Bydureon, it has to be given daily rather than just once week. The drug comes in preloaded multidose pens that deliver 0.6mg, 1.2mg, or 1.8mg doses.

The medication usually starts at 0.6mg daily for a week and then progressively goes up to 1.8mg depending on your blood sugar control and whether or not you need more medication. It is recommended to take the injection at the same time every day so that your body becomes accustomed to the cycle and you don’t forget to take it. The drug works over a period of 24 hours to reduce post-prandial and fasting blood glucose levels and is often prescribed with oral diabetes medication.

Bydureon vs. Victoza

If you have read this far, then you understand that Bydureon and Victoza have their differences in preparations. However, they do have similarities and other differences in which we will discuss below.

Bydureon vs. Victoza; Similarities

Both Bydureon and Victoza are injectable prescribed treatment medications given to patients affected by type 2 diabetes. As these patients are unable to use insulin efficiently, they are often prescribed medications such as metformin and sulfonylureas to aid with the process. There are, however, times when even oral treatment drugs don’t work as effectively to control their blood sugar levels. That is when non-insulin injectable medication such as Bydureon and Victoza is taken to regulate their blood sugar levels.

Both of these non-insulin injectables are administered subcutaneously with a syringe and are classified as GLP1 receptor agonists. These GLP1 receptor agonists function similarly to incretins in the body. Incretins are a class of metabolic hormones that stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin and impair pancreatic glucagon production, which consequently lowers a person’s blood sugar levels. 

Although both of these drugs share the same effects in decreasing blood sugar levels, they also share the same side effects. These side effects include: headaches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Bydureon vs. Victoza; Differences

Although both of these drugs are the same receptor agonist, both of them work slightly differently in the body and have different methods of administration. 

Bydureon is usually injected once a week as it is a slow-release drug and needs to work over a long period of time to show tangible differences. You can use Bydureon any time during the day, as it is intended to give you a slow and sustained release of insulin throughout the week.

Victoza, on the other hand, is taken on a daily basis and works similar to an EpiPen, as it helps your pancreas produce more insulin when your blood sugar levels are high. Technically you can take Victoza any time of the day as well, but it is recommended that you administer the drug at the same time every day. This is so that a consistent level of the drug stays in your system every day, and your body gets used to the cycle.

doctor talking to patient

Another difference the two have is that Bydureon is available in powder form, which you have to make a solution out of before administering, whereas Victoza is available in preloaded pens that you only have to inject.

Additionally, the needle size required to inject Victoza into patients is smaller than that for Bydureon.

Economically speaking, one week of Bydureon medication is way more expensive than Victoza. One month of Victoza, at an average of 2 pens a day at a dose of 1.2 mg, typically costs $550 or slightly higher than that. Just one weekly dose of Bydureon, however, costs around $400 or slightly more. This means that one month of Bydureon would cost you $1600, which is almost three times more expensive than a monthly stock of Victoza.

You can find the best prices for Bydureon and Victoza through Insulin Outlet! We offer Victoza for $256.99 and Bydureon $294.99.

Which One is Better?

study comparing both drugs one on one showed mixed results. It concluded that Victoza was marginally better at lowering blood sugar and weight compared to Bydureon. However, patients taking Bydureon experienced fewer side effects.

In another 26-week-long clinical trial, it was found that in lowering blood sugar levels and encouraging weight loss, daily injections of Victoza were slightly more effective than weekly injections of Bydureon.

However, the same study also showed that the patients taking Bydureon experienced fewer sides effects, including vomiting and diarrhea.

These findings do not hinder the credibility of any of the drugs on their own, as both are very potent tools to lower blood glucose levels. The decision to choose between one over the other strictly comes down to the individual taking them and with what they’re more comfortable with.

To find which one you should be taking, you should consider factors such as: frequency of administration, method of administration and price.

Contraindications and Other Precautions

Individuals who either have a family history of thyroid cancer or are either suffering from endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, are advised not to use either of the two medications. However, pregnant women or those breastfeeding are specfically told not to take Victoza.

A possible interaction of Victoza and Bydureon with acetylsalicylic acid, beta-blockers, birth control pills, atypical antipsychotics, and corticosteroids exists.

Victoza and Bydureon should not be taken together (unlike Ozempic and Metformin). 

Which Medication Causes the Most Weight-Loss?

It should be noted that neither Bydureon nor Victoza is a weight loss drug, but patients with diabetes that also usually suffer from obesity or are overweight do end up losing weight while taking them.

It was seen in 2 studies that patients who were taking Bydureon lost an average of 3 pounds over the course of 28 weeks, while clinical studies on Victoza showed that patients taking the drug lost an average of 6 pounds in 26 – 52 weeks.

Final Remarks

if you are someone who has type 2 diabetes and have by now tried the traditional insulin therapy and insulin-based medicines and have found them to not work for you and would instead want a more cost-effective option, then is it time for you to consider your options. See your doctor or dietitian at the earliest and find out if this new class of GLP1 receptor agonists will work for you.