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Victoza 6 mg/ml solution for injection in pre-filled pen

Last Updated on eMC 15-May-2014 View changes  | Novo Nordisk Limited Contact details

1. Name of the medicinal product

Victoza 6 mg/ml solution for injection in pre-filled pen

2. Qualitative and quantitative composition

One ml of solution contains 6 mg of liraglutide*. One pre-filled pen contains 18 mg liraglutide in 3 ml.

* human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue produced by recombinant DNA technology in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.

3. Pharmaceutical form

Solution for injection.

Clear, colourless or almost colourless, isotonic solution; pH=8.15.

4. Clinical particulars
4.1 Therapeutic indications

Victoza is indicated for treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus to achieve glycaemic control in combination with oral glucose-lowering medicinal products and/or basal insulin when these, together with diet and exercise, do not provide adequate glycaemic control (see sections 4.4 and 5.1 for available data on the different combinations).

4.2 Posology and method of administration

Posology

To improve gastro-intestinal tolerability, the starting dose is 0.6 mg liraglutide daily. After at least one week, the dose should be increased to 1.2 mg. Some patients are expected to benefit from an increase in dose from 1.2 mg to 1.8 mg and based on clinical response, after at least one week, the dose can be increased to 1.8 mg to further improve glycaemic control. Daily doses higher than 1.8 mg are not recommended.

Victoza can be added to existing metformin or to a combination of metformin and thiazolidinedione therapy. The current dose of metformin and thiazolidinedione can be continued unchanged.

Victoza can be added to existing sulphonylurea or to a combination of metformin and sulphonylurea therapy or a basal insulin. When Victoza is added to sulphonylurea therapy or basal insulin, a reduction in the dose of sulphonylurea or basal insulin should be considered to reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia (see section 4.4).

Self-monitoring of blood glucose is not needed in order to adjust the dose of Victoza. However, when initiating treatment with Victoza in combination with a sulphonylurea or a basal insulin, blood glucose self-monitoring may become necessary to adjust the dose of the sulphonylurea or the basal insulin.

Special populations

Elderly patients (>65 years old)

No dose adjustment is required based on age. Therapeutic experience in patients ≥75 years of age is limited (see section 5.2).

Patients with renal impairment

No dose adjustment is required for patients with mild renal impairment (creatinine clearance 60-90 ml/min). There is very limited therapeutic experience in patients with moderate renal impairment (creatinine clearance of 30-59 ml/min) and no therapeutic experience in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance below 30 ml/min). Victoza can currently not be recommended for use in patients with moderate and severe renal impairment including patients with end-stage renal disease (see section 5.2).

Patients with hepatic impairment

The therapeutic experience in patients with all degrees of hepatic impairment is currently too limited to recommend the use in patients with mild, moderate or severe hepatic impairment (see section 5.2).

Paediatric population

The safety and efficacy of Victoza in children and adolescents below age 18 have not been established (see section 5.1). No data are available.

Method of administration

Victoza must not be administered intravenously or intramuscularly.

Victoza is administered once daily at any time, independent of meals, and can be injected subcutaneously in the abdomen, in the thigh or in the upper arm. The injection site and timing can be changed without dose adjustment. However, it is preferable that Victoza is injected around the same time of the day, when the most convenient time of the day has been chosen. For further instructions on administration, see section 6.6.

4.3 Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.

4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use

Liraglutide should not be used in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus or for the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Liraglutide is not a substitute for insulin.

There is limited experience in patients with congestive heart failure New York Heart Association (NYHA) class I-II and liraglutide should therefore be used with caution. There is no experience in patients with congestive heart failure NYHA class III-IV and liraglutide is therefore not recommended in these patients.

There is limited experience in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and diabetic gastroparesis. Use of liraglutide is not recommended in these patients since it is associated with transient gastrointestinal adverse reactions, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Pancreatitis

Use of GLP-1 analogues has been associated with the risk of pancreatitis. There have been few reported events of acute pancreatitis. Patients should be informed of the characteristic symptom of acute pancreatitis: persistent, severe abdominal pain. If pancreatitis is suspected, Victoza and other potentially suspect medicinal products should be discontinued.

Thyroid disease

Thyroid adverse events, including increased blood calcitonin, goitre and thyroid neoplasm have been reported in clinical trials in particular in patients with pre-existing thyroid disease and liraglutide should therefore be used with caution.

Hypoglycaemia

Patients receiving liraglutide in combination with a sulphonylurea or a basal insulin may have an increased risk of hypoglycaemia (see section 4.8). The risk of hypoglycaemia can be lowered by a reduction in the dose of sulphonylurea or basal insulin.

Dehydration

Signs and symptoms of dehydration, including renal impairment and acute renal failure have been reported in patients treated with liraglutide. Patients treated with liraglutide should be advised of the potential risk of dehydration in relation to gastrointestinal side effects and take precautions to avoid fluid depletion.

4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

In vitro, liraglutide has shown very low potential to be involved in pharmacokinetic interactions with other active substances related to cytochrome P450 and plasma protein binding.

The small delay of gastric emptying with liraglutide may influence absorption of concomitantly administered oral medicinal products. Interaction studies did not show any clinically relevant delay of absorption and therefore no dose adjustment is required. Few patients treated with liraglutide reported at least one episode of severe diarrhoea. Diarrhoea may affect the absorption of concomitant oral medicinal products.

Warfarin and other coumarin derivatives

No interaction study has been performed. A clinically relevant interaction with active substances with poor solubility or with narrow therapeutic index such as warfarin cannot be excluded. Upon initiation of liraglutide treatment in patients on warfarin or other coumarin derivatives, more frequent monitoring of INR (International Normalised Ratio) is recommended.

Paracetamol

Liraglutide did not change the overall exposure of paracetamol following a single dose of 1000 mg. Paracetamol Cmax was decreased by 31% and median tmax was delayed up to 15 min. No dose adjustment for concomitant use of paracetamol is required.

Atorvastatin

Liraglutide did not change the overall exposure of atorvastatin to a clinically relevant degree following single dose administration of atorvastatin 40 mg. Therefore, no dose adjustment of atorvastatin is required when given with liraglutide. Atorvastatin Cmax was decreased by 38% and median tmax was delayed from 1 h to 3 h with liraglutide.

Griseofulvin

Liraglutide did not change the overall exposure of griseofulvin following administration of a single dose of griseofulvin 500 mg. Griseofulvin Cmax increased by 37% while median tmax did not change. Dose adjustments of griseofulvin and other compounds with low solubility and high permeability are not required.

Digoxin

A single dose administration of digoxin 1 mg with liraglutide resulted in a reduction of digoxin AUC by 16%; Cmax decreased by 31%. Digoxin median tmax was delayed from 1 h to 1.5 h. No adjustment of digoxin dose is required based on these results.

Lisinopril

A single dose administration of lisinopril 20 mg with liraglutide resulted in a reduction of lisinopril AUC by 15%; Cmax decreased by 27%. Lisinopril median tmax was delayed from 6 h to 8 h with liraglutide. No dose adjustment of lisinopril is required based on these results.

Oral contraceptives

Liraglutide lowered ethinyloestradiol and levonorgestrel Cmax by 12 and 13%, respectively, following administration of a single dose of an oral contraceptive product. Tmax was delayed by 1.5 h with liraglutide for both compounds. There was no clinically relevant effect on the overall exposure of either ethinyloestradiol or levonorgestrel. The contraceptive effect is therefore anticipated to be unaffected when co-administered with liraglutide.

Insulin

No pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interactions were observed between liraglutide and insulin detemir when administering a single dose of insulin detemir 0.5 U/kg with liraglutide 1.8 mg at steady state in patients with type 2 diabetes.

4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation

Pregnancy

There are no adequate data from the use of liraglutide in pregnant women. Studies in animals have shown reproductive toxicity (see section 5.3). The potential risk for humans is unknown.

Liraglutide should not be used during pregnancy, and the use of insulin is recommended instead. If a patient wishes to become pregnant, or pregnancy occurs, treatment with Victoza should be discontinued.

Breast-feeding

It is not known whether liraglutide is excreted in human milk. Animal studies have shown that the transfer of liraglutide and metabolites of close structural relationship into milk is low. Non-clinical studies have shown a treatment-related reduction of neonatal growth in suckling rat pups (see section 5.3). Because of lack of experience, Victoza should not be used during breast-feeding.

Fertility

Apart from a slight decrease in the number of live implants, animal studies did not indicate harmful effects with respect to fertility.

4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines

Victoza has no or negligible influence on the ability to drive and use machines.

Patients should be advised to take precautions to avoid hypoglycaemia while driving and using machines, in particular when Victoza is used in combination with a sulphonylurea or a basal insulin.

4.8 Undesirable effects

Summary of the safety profile

In five large long-term clinical trials over 2,500 patients have received treatment with Victoza alone or in combination with metformin, a sulphonylurea (with or without metformin) or metformin plus rosiglitazone.

The most frequently reported adverse reactions during clinical trials were gastrointestinal disorders: nausea and diarrhoea were very common, whereas vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, and dyspepsia were common. At the beginning of the therapy, these gastrointestinal adverse reactions may occur more frequently. These reactions usually diminish within a few days or weeks on continued treatment. Headache and nasopharyngitis were also common. Furthermore, hypoglycaemia was common, and very common when liraglutide is used in combination with a sulphonylurea. Major hypoglycaemia has primarily been observed when combined with a sulphonylurea.

Tabulated list of adverse reactions

Table 1 lists adverse reactions reported in long term phase 3 controlled trials and spontaneous (postmarketing) reports. Frequencies for related spontaneous reports (postmarketing) have been calculated based on their incidence in phase 3 clinical trials.

Frequencies are defined as: Very common (≥1/10); common (≥1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100); rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000); not known (cannot be estimated from the available data). Within each frequency grouping, adverse reactions are presented in order of decreasing seriousness.

Table 1 Adverse reactions from long-term controlled phase 3 trials and spontaneous (postmarketing) reports

MedDRA system organ classes

Very common

Common

Uncommon

Rare

Very rare

Infections and infestations

 

Nasopharyngitis

Bronchitis

   

Immune system disorders

   

Anaphylactic reactions

 

Metabolism and nutrition disorders

 

Hypoglycaemia

Anorexia

Appetite decreased

Dehydration

  

Nervous system disorders

 

Headache

Dizziness

   

Cardiac disorders

 

Increased heart rate

   

Gastrointestinal disorders

Nausea

Diarrhoea

Vomiting

Dyspepsia

Abdominal pain upper

Constipation

Gastritis

Flatulence

Abdominal distension

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Abdominal discomfort

Toothache

 

Intestinal obstruction

Pancreatitis (including necrotising pancreatitis)

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorder

 

Rash

Urticaria

Pruritus

  

Renal and urinary disorders

  

Renal impairment

Renal failure acute

  

General disorders and administration site conditions

 

Fatigue

Injection site reactions

Malaise

  

Description of selected adverse reactions

In a clinical trial with liraglutide as monotherapy, rates of hypoglycaemia reported with liraglutide were lower than rates reported for patients treated with active comparator (glimepiride). The most frequently reported adverse reactions were gastrointestinal disorders, infections and infestations.

Hypoglycaemia

Most episodes of confirmed hypoglycaemia in clinical trials were minor. No episodes of major hypoglycaemia were observed in the trial with liraglutide used as monotherapy. Major hypoglycaemia may occur uncommonly and has primarily been observed when liraglutide is combined with a sulphonylurea (0.02 events/subject year). Very few episodes (0.001 events/subject year) were observed with administration of liraglutide in combination with oral antidiabetics other than sulphonylureas. The risk of hypoglycaemia is low with combined use of basal insulin and liraglutide (1.0 events per subject year, see section 5.1).

Gastrointestinal adverse reactions

When combining liraglutide with metformin, 20.7% of patients reported at least one episode of nausea, and 12.6% of patients reported at least one episode of diarrhoea. When combining liraglutide with a sulphonylurea, 9.1% of patients reported at least one episode of nausea and 7.9% of patients reported at least one episode of diarrhoea. Most episodes were mild to moderate and occurred in a dose-dependent fashion. With continued therapy, the frequency and severity decreased in most patients who initially experienced nausea.

Patients >70 years may experience more gastrointestinal effects when treated with liraglutide.

Patients with mild renal impairment (creatinine clearance 60-90 ml/min) may experience more gastrointestinal effects when treated with liraglutide.

Withdrawal

The incidence of withdrawal due to adverse reactions was 7.8% for liraglutide-treated patients and 3.4% for comparator-treated patients in the long-term controlled trials (26 weeks or longer). The most frequent adverse reactions leading to withdrawal for liraglutide-treated patients were nausea (2.8% of patients) and vomiting (1.5%).

Injection site reactions

Injection site reactions have been reported in approximately 2% of patients receiving Victoza in long-term (26 weeks or longer) controlled trials. These reactions have usually been mild.

Pancreatitis

Few cases (<0.2%) of acute pancreatitis have been reported during long-term clinical trials with Victoza. Pancreatitis was also reported post-marketing.

Allergic reactions

Allergic reactions including urticaria, rash and pruritus have been reported from marketed use of Victoza.

Few cases of anaphylactic reactions with additional symptoms such as hypotension, palpitations, dyspnoea and oedema have been reported with marketed use of Victoza. Few cases (0.05%) of angioedema have been reported during all long-term clinical trials with Victoza.

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via:

Ireland

Pharmacovigilance Section

Irish Medicines Board

Kevin O'Malley House

Earlsfort Centre

Earlsfort Terrace

IRL - Dublin 2

Tel: +353 1 6764971

Fax: +353 1 67625177836

Website: www.imb.ie

e-mail: imbpharmacovigilance@imb.ie

United Kingdom

Yellow Card Scheme

Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard

4.9 Overdose

From clinical trials and marketed use, overdoses have been reported of up to 40 times (72 mg) the recommended maintenance dose. Events reported included severe nausea and severe vomiting. None of the reports included severe hypoglycaemia. All patients recovered without complications.

In the event of overdose, appropriate supportive treatment should be initiated according to the patient's clinical signs and symptoms.

5. Pharmacological properties
5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Drugs used in diabetes, other blood glucose lowering drugs, excl. insulins. ATC code: A10BX07

Mechanism of action

Liraglutide is a GLP-1 analogue with 97% sequence homology to human GLP-1 that binds to and activates the GLP-1 receptor. The GLP-1 receptor is the target for native GLP-1, an endogenous incretin hormone that potentiates glucose-dependent insulin secretion from the pancreatic beta cells. Unlike native GLP-1, liraglutide has a pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile in humans suitable for once daily administration. Following subcutaneous administration, the protracted action profile is based on three mechanisms: self-association, which results in slow absorption; binding to albumin; and higher enzymatic stability towards the dipeptidyl peptidase -4 (DPP-4) and neutral endopeptidase (NEP) enzymes, resulting in a long plasma half-life.

Liraglutide action is mediated via a specific interaction with GLP-1 receptors, leading to an increase in cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Liraglutide stimulates insulin secretion in a glucose-dependent manner. Simultaneously, liraglutide lowers inappropriately high glucagon secretion, also in a glucose-dependent manner. Thus, when blood glucose is high, insulin secretion is stimulated and glucagon secretion is inhibited. Conversely, during hypoglycaemia liraglutide diminishes insulin secretion and does not impair glucagon secretion. The mechanism of blood glucose lowering also involves a minor delay in gastric emptying. Liraglutide reduces body weight and body fat mass through mechanisms involving reduced hunger and lowered energy intake.

Pharmacodynamic effects

Liraglutide has 24-hour duration of action and improves glycaemic control by lowering fasting and postprandial blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Clinical efficacy and safety

Five double-blind, randomised, controlled clinical trials were conducted to evaluate the effects of liraglutide on glycaemic control. Treatment with liraglutide produced clinically and statistically significant improvements in glycosylated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), fasting plasma glucose and postprandial glucose compared with placebo.

These trials included 3,978 exposed patients with type 2 diabetes (2,501 patients treated with Victoza), 53.7% men and 46.3% women, 797 patients (508 treated with liraglutide) were ≥65 years of age and 113 patients (66 treated with liraglutide) were ≥75 years of age.

• Glycaemic control

Combination with oral antidiabetics

Liraglutide in combination therapy, for 26 weeks, with metformin, glimepiride or metformin and rosiglitazone resulted in statistically significant (p<0.0001) and sustained reductions in HbA1c compared with patients receiving placebo (Tables 2 to 5).

Combination with metformin

Table 2 Victoza in combination with metformin (26 weeks)

Metformin add-on therapy

1.8 mg liraglutide + metformin3

1.2 mg liraglutide + metformin3

Placebo + metformin3

Glimepiride2 + metformin3

N

242

240

121

242

Mean HbA1c (%)

Baseline

Change from baseline

 

8.4 

-1.00

 

8.3 

-0.97

 

8.4 

0.09

 

8.4 

-0.98

Patients (%) achieving HbA1c <7%

All patients

Previous OAD monotherapy

 

42.4 

66.3

 

35.3 

52.8

 

10.8 

22.5

 

36.3 

56.0

Mean body weight (kg)

Baseline

Change from baseline

 

88.0

-2.79

 

88.5

-2.58

 

91.0

-1.51

 

89.0

0.95

Combination with sulphonylurea

Table 3 Victoza in combination with glimepiride (26 weeks)

Glimepiride add-on therapy

1.8 mg liraglutide + glimepiride2

1.2 mg liraglutide + glimepiride2

Placebo + glimepiride2

Rosiglitazone1 + glimepiride2

N

234

228

114

231

Mean HbA1c (%)

Baseline

Change from baseline

 

8.5 

-1.13

 

8.5 

-1.08

 

8.4 

0.23

 

8.4 

-0.44

Patients (%) achieving HbA1c <7%

All patients

Previous OAD monotherapy

 

41.6 

55.9

 

34.5 

57.4

 

7.5 

11.8

 

21.9 

36.1

Mean body weight (kg)

Baseline

Change from baseline

 

83.0

-0.23

 

80.0

0.32

 

81.9

-0.10

 

80.6

2.11

1 Rosiglitazone 4 mg/day; 2 glimepiride 4 mg/day; 3 metformin 2000 mg/day

Combination with thiazolidinedione and metformin

Table 4 Victoza in combination with metformin + rosiglitazone (26 weeks)

Metformin + rosiglitazone add-on therapy

1.8 mg liraglutide + metformin2 + rosiglitazone3

1.2 mg liraglutide + metformin2 + rosiglitazone3

Placebo + metformin2 + rosiglitazone3

N/A

N

178

177

175

 

Mean HbA1c (%)

Baseline

Change from baseline

 

8.56 

-1.48

 

8.48 

-1.48

 

8.42 

-0.54

 

Patients (%) achieving HbA1c <7%

All patients

 

53.7 

 

57.5  

 

28.1  

 

Mean body weight (kg)

Baseline

Change from baseline

 

94.9

-2.02

 

95.3

-1.02

 

98.5

0.60

 

Combination with sulphonylurea and metformin

Table 5 Victoza in combination with glimepiride + metformin (26 weeks)

Metformin + glimepiride add-on therapy

1.8 mg liraglutide + metformin2 + glimepiride4

N/A

Placebo + metformin2 + glimepiride4

Insulin glargine 1 + metformin2 + glimepiride4

N

230

 

114

232

Mean HbA1c (%)

Baseline

Change from baseline

 

8.3 

-1.33

 

 

8.3 

-0.24

 

8.1 

-1.09

Patients (%) achieving HbA1c <7%

All patients

 

53.1 

 

 

15.3 

 

45.8 

Mean body weight (kg)

Baseline

Change from baseline

 

85.8

-1.81

 

 

85.4

-0.42

 

85.2

1.62

1 The dosing of insulin glargine was open-labelled and was applied according to the following titration guideline. Titration of the insulin glargine dose was managed by the patient after instruction by the investigator. 2 Metformin 2,000 mg/day; 3 rosiglitazone 4 mg twice daily; 4 glimepiride 4 mg/day.

Guideline for titration of insulin glargine

Self-measured FPG

Increase in insulin glargine dose (IU)

≤5.5 mmol/l (≤100 mg/dl) Target

No adjustment

>5.5 and <6.7 mmol/l (>100 and <120 mg/dl)

0–2 IUa

≥6.7 mmol/l (≥120 mg/dl)

2 IU

a According to the individualised recommendation by the investigator at the previous visit, for example depending on whether the patient has experienced hypoglycaemia.

Combination with insulin

In a 104-week clinical trial, 57% of patients with type 2 diabetes treated with insulin degludec in combination with metformin achieved a target HbA1c <7% and the remaining patients continued in a 26-week open label trial and were randomised to add liraglutide or a single dose of insulin aspart (with the largest meal). In the insulin degludec + liraglutide arm, the insulin dose was reduced by 20% in order to minimize the risk of hypoglycaemia. Addition of liraglutide resulted in a statistically significantly greater reduction of HbA1c (-0.73% for liraglutide vs -0.40% for comparator) and body weight (-3.03 vs 0.72 kg). The rate of hypoglycaemic episodes (per patient year of exposure) was statistically significantly lower when adding liraglutide compared to adding a single dose of insulin aspart (1.0 vs 8.15; ratio: 0.13; 95% CI: 0.08 to 0.21).

In a 52-week clinical trial, the addition of insulin detemir to liraglutide 1.8 mg and metformin in patients not achieving glycaemic targets on liraglutide and metformin alone resulted in a HbA1c decrease from baseline of 0.54%, compared to 0.20% in the liraglutide 1.8 mg and metformin control group. Weight loss was sustained. There was a small increase in the rate of minor hypoglycaemic episodes (0.23 versus 0.03 events per subject years).

• Proportion of patients achieving reductions in HbA1c

Liraglutide in combination with metformin, glimepiride, or metformin and rosiglitazone resulted in a statistically significant (p≤0.0001) greater proportion of patients achieving an HbA1c≤6.5% at 26 weeks compared with patients receiving these agents alone.

• Fasting plasma glucose

Treatment with liraglutide alone or in combination with one or two oral antidiabetic drugs resulted in a reduction in fasting plasma glucose of 13-43.5 mg/dl (0.72-2.42 mmol/l). This reduction was observed within the first two weeks of treatment.

• Postprandial glucose

Liraglutide reduces postprandial glucose across all three daily meals by 31-49 mg/dl (1.68-2.71 mmol/l).

• Beta-cell function

Clinical trials with liraglutide indicate improved beta-cell function based on measures such as the homeostasis model assessment for beta-cell function (HOMA-B) and the proinsulin to insulin ratio. Improved first and second phase insulin secretion after 52 weeks treatment with liraglutide was demonstrated in a subset of patients with type 2 diabetes (N=29).

• Body weight

Liraglutide in combination with metformin, metformin and glimepiride or metformin and rosiglitazone was associated with sustained weight reduction over the duration of trials in a range from 1.0 kg to 2.8 kg.

Larger weight reduction was observed with increasing body mass index (BMI) at baseline.

• Cardiovascular evaluation

Blood pressure

Over the duration of the trials, liraglutide decreased the systolic blood pressure on average of 2.3 to 6.7 mmHg from baseline and compared to active comparator the decrease was 1.9 to 4.5 mmHg.

Post-hoc analysis of serious major adverse cardiovascular events (cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke) from all intermediate and long-term phase 2 and 3 trials (ranging from 26 and up to 100 weeks duration) including 5,607 patients (3,651 exposed to liraglutide), showed no increase in cardiovascular risk (incidence ratio of 0.75 (95% CI 0.35; 1.63) for the composite endpoint for liraglutide versus all comparators (metformin, glimepiride, rosiglitazone, insulin glargine, placebo)). High-risk cardiovascular patients were excluded from the trials and the incidence rates of serious major cardiovascular events in the trials were low (6.02 per 1,000 patient years in liraglutide-treated patients and 10.45 in all-comparator-treated patients), precluding firm conclusions.

Immunogenicity

Consistent with the potentially immunogenic properties of medicinal products containing proteins or peptides, patients may develop anti-liraglutide antibodies following treatment with liraglutide. On average, 8.6% of patients developed antibodies. Antibody formation has not been associated with reduced efficacy of liraglutide.

Paediatric population

The European Medicines Agency has deferred the obligation to submit the results of studies with Victoza in one or more subsets of the paediatric population in type 2 diabetes mellitus (see section 4.2 for information on paediatric use).

Other clinical data

In an open label trial comparing the efficacy and safety of liraglutide (1.2 mg and 1.8 mg) and sitagliptin (a DPP-4 inhibitor, 100 mg) in patients inadequately controlled on metformin therapy (mean HbA1c 8.5%), liraglutide at both doses was statistically superior to sitagliptin treatment in reducing HbA1c after 26 weeks (-1.24%, -1.50% vs -0.90%, p<0.0001). Patients treated with liraglutide had a significant decrease in body weight compared to that of patients treated with sitagliptin (-2.9 kg and -3.4 kg vs -1.0 kg, p<0.0001). Greater proportions of patients treated with liraglutide experienced transient nausea vs patients treated with sitagliptin (20.8% and 27.1% for liraglutide vs. 4.6% for sitagliptin). The reductions in HbA1c and superiority vs sitagliptin observed after 26 weeks of liraglutide treatment (1.2 mg and 1.8 mg) were sustained after 52 weeks of treatment (-1.29% and -1.51% vs -0.88%, p<0.0001). Switching patients from sitagliptin to liraglutide after 52 weeks of treatment resulted in additional and statistically significant reduction in HbA1c (-0.24% and -0.45%, 95% CI: -0.41 to -0.07 and -0.67 to -0.23 ) at week 78, but a formal control group was not available.

In an open label trial comparing the efficacy and safety of liraglutide 1.8 mg once daily and exenatide 10 mcg twice daily in patients inadequately controlled on metformin and/or sulphonylurea therapy (mean HbA1c 8.3%), liraglutide was statistically superior to exenatide treatment in reducing HbA1c after 26 weeks (-1.12% vs -0.79%; estimated treatment difference: -0.33; 95% CI: -0.47 to -0.18). Significantly more patients achieved HbA1c below 7% with liraglutide compared with exenatide (54.2% vs 43.4%, p=0.0015). Both treatments resulted in mean body weight loss of approximately 3 kg. Switching patients from exenatide to liraglutide after 26 weeks of treatment resulted in an additional and statistically significant reduction in HbA1c (-0.32%, 95% CI: -0.41 to -0.24) at week 40, but a formal control group was not available. During the 26 weeks, there were 12 serious events in 235 patients (5.1%) using liraglutide, whereas there were 6 serious adverse events in 232 patients (2.6%) using exenatide. There was no consistent pattern with respect to system organ class of events.

5.2 Pharmacokinetic properties

Absorption

The absorption of liraglutide following subcutaneous administration is slow, reaching maximum concentration 8-12 hours post dosing. Estimated maximum liraglutide concentration was 9.4 nmol/l for a subcutaneous single dose of liraglutide 0.6 mg. At 1.8 mg liraglutide, the average steady state concentration of liraglutide (AUC/24) reached approximately 34 nmol/l. Liraglutide exposure increased proportionally with dose. The intra-subject coefficient of variation for liraglutide AUC was 11% following single dose administration.

Absolute bioavailability of liraglutide following subcutaneous administration is approximately 55%.

Distribution

The apparent volume of distribution after subcutaneous administration is 11-17 l. The mean volume of distribution after intravenous administration of liraglutide is 0.07 l/kg. Liraglutide is extensively bound to plasma proteins (>98%).

Biotransformation

During 24 hours following administration of a single radiolabelled [3H]-liraglutide dose to healthy subjects, the major component in plasma was intact liraglutide. Two minor plasma metabolites were detected (≤9% and ≤5% of total plasma radioactivity exposure). Liraglutide is metabolised in a similar manner to large proteins without a specific organ having been identified as major route of elimination.

Elimination

Following a [3H]-liraglutide dose, intact liraglutide was not detected in urine or faeces. Only a minor part of the administered radioactivity was excreted as liraglutide-related metabolites in urine or faeces (6% and 5%, respectively). The urine and faeces radioactivity was mainly excreted during the first 6-8 days, and corresponded to three minor metabolites, respectively.

The mean clearance following subcutaneous administration of a single dose liraglutide is approximately 1.2 l/h with an elimination half-life of approximately 13 hours.

Special populations

Elderly patients:

Age had no clinically relevant effect on the pharmacokinetics of liraglutide based on the results from a pharmacokinetic study in healthy subjects and population pharmacokinetic data analysis of patients (18 to 80 years).

Gender:

Gender had no clinically meaningful effect on the pharmacokinetics of liraglutide based on the results of population pharmacokinetic data analysis of male and female patients and a pharmacokinetic study in healthy subjects.

Ethnic origin:

Ethnic origin had no clinically relevant effect on the pharmacokinetics of liraglutide based on the results of population pharmacokinetic analysis which included patients of White, Black, Asian and Hispanic groups.

Obesity:

Population pharmacokinetic analysis suggests that body mass index (BMI) has no significant effect on the pharmacokinetics of liraglutide.

Hepatic impairment:

The pharmacokinetics of liraglutide was evaluated in patients with varying degree of hepatic impairment in a single-dose trial. Liraglutide exposure was decreased by 13-23% in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment compared to healthy subjects.

Exposure was significantly lower (44%) in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child Pugh score >9).

Renal impairment:

Liraglutide exposure was reduced in patients with renal impairment compared to individuals with normal renal function. Liraglutide exposure was lowered by 33%, 14%, 27% and 28%, respectively, in patients with mild (creatinine clearance, CrCl 50-80 ml/min), moderate (CrCl 30-50 ml/min), and severe (CrCl <30 ml/min) renal impairment and in end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis.

5.3 Preclinical safety data

Non-clinical data reveal no special hazards for humans based on conventional studies of safety pharmacology, repeat-dose toxicity or genotoxicity.

Non-lethal thyroid C-cell tumours were seen in 2-year carcinogenicity studies in rats and mice. In rats, a no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) was not observed. These tumours were not seen in monkeys treated for 20 months. These findings in rodents are caused by a non-genotoxic, specific GLP-1 receptor-mediated mechanism to which rodents are particularly sensitive. The relevance for humans is likely to be low but cannot be completely excluded. No other treatment-related tumours have been found.

Animal studies did not indicate direct harmful effects with respect to fertility but slightly increased early embryonic deaths at the highest dose. Dosing with Victoza during mid-gestation caused a reduction in maternal weight and foetal growth with equivocal effects on ribs in rats and skeletal variation in the rabbit. Neonatal growth was reduced in rats while exposed to Victoza, and persisted in the post-weaning period in the high dose group. It is unknown whether the reduced pup growth is caused by reduced pup milk intake due to a direct GLP-1 effect or reduced maternal milk production due to decreased caloric intake.

Following intra-arterial injection of liraglutide to rabbits, slight to moderate haemorrhage, erythema and swelling at the injection site were observed.

6. Pharmaceutical particulars
6.1 List of excipients

Disodium phosphate dihydrate

Propylene glycol

Phenol

Water for injections

6.2 Incompatibilities

Substances added to Victoza may cause degradation of liraglutide. In the absence of compatibility studies, this medicinal product must not be mixed with other medicinal products.

6.3 Shelf life

30 months.

After first use: 1 month.

6.4 Special precautions for storage

Store in a refrigerator (2°C - 8°C).

Do not freeze.

Store away from the freezer compartment.

After first use: Store below 30°C or store in a refrigerator (2°C - 8°C). Do not freeze.

Keep the cap on the pen in order to protect from light.

6.5 Nature and contents of container

Cartridge (type 1 glass) with a plunger (bromobutyl) and a stopper (bromobutyl/polyisoprene) contained in a pre-filled multidose disposable pen made of polyolefin and polyacetal.

Each pen contains 3 ml solution, delivering 30 doses of 0.6 mg, 15 doses of 1.2 mg or 10 doses of 1.8 mg.

Pack sizes of 1, 2, 3, 5 or 10 pre-filled pens.

Not all pack sizes may be marketed.

6.6 Special precautions for disposal and other handling

Victoza should not be used if it does not appear clear and colourless, or almost colourless.

Victoza should not be used if it has been frozen.

Victoza can be administered with needles up to a length of 8 mm and as thin as 32G. The pen is designed to be used with NovoFine or NovoTwist disposable needles.

Needles are not included.

The patient should be advised to discard the injection needle in accordance with local requirements after each injection and store the pen without an injection needle attached. This prevents contamination, infection and leakage. It also ensures that the dosing is accurate.

7. Marketing authorisation holder

Novo Nordisk A/S

Novo Allé

DK-2880 Bagsværd

Denmark

8. Marketing authorisation number(s)

EU/1/09/529/001-005

9. Date of first authorisation/renewal of the authorisation

Date of first authorisation: 30/06/2009

Date of last renewal:

10. Date of revision of the text

04/2014

Detailed information on this medicinal product is available on the website of the European Medicines Agency http://www.ema.europa.eu.

Company contact details

Novo Nordisk Limited

Company image
Address

3 City Place, Beehive Ring Road, Gatwick, West Sussex, RH6 0PA

Fax

+44 (0)1293 613535

Medical Information e-mail
Telephone

+44 (0)1293 613555

Medical Information Direct Line

+44 (0)845 600 5055

Customer Care direct line

+44 (0)845 600 5055

Before you contact this company: often several companies will market medicines with the same active ingredient. Please check that this is the correct company before contacting them. Why?

Active ingredients

liraglutide

Legal categories

POM - Prescription Only Medicine

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