GLP-1 Victoza Approved by the FDA for Children and Teens with Type 2 Diabetes
By Emma Ryan, Ann Carracher, and Kelly Close
Powerful A1C-lowering from Victoza now an option for ages 10-17, in addition to metformin and insulin
The FDA has approved Victoza, a once-daily injectable GLP-1 agonist, for children and teens with type 2 diabetes ages 10-17. This is the only drug other than metformin and insulin approved to lower blood sugar in children with type 2 diabetes. Victoza has been approved for adults (18+ years) since 2010.
A recently-published study showed that in this age group, compared to placebo (a “nothing” pill), Victoza reduced A1C by an average of 1.3% (baseline 7.8%) over the course of a year when added to metformin. That’s a great drop! We do not have the data on “time in range,” but we suspect a substantial improvement there as well. Surprisingly, there was no significant effect on body weight among this young age group – Victoza has been shown to lower weight in adults. The study also found that 29% of kids taking Victoza experienced nausea and 26% experienced vomiting – common side effects of GLP-1 agonists and we recommend kids and teens get lots of advice on the best “titration” for them (that means how the drug is dosed).
If tolerated, Victoza provides meaningful A1C lowering for youth with type 2 diabetes. This approval is an important step to increase treatment options for type 2 diabetes for this age group.
For adults, three once-weekly injectable GLP-1 agonists are currently available in the US: Ozempic, Trulicity, and Bydureon. A pill version of Ozempic was also recently submitted for approval in the US and Europe. Over time, we think these will probably also become available for kids and teens and we encourage parents and other caretakers to talk to healthcare providers about what might be appropriate.