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Victoza was first widely publicized and marketed when southern chef Paula Deen made the announcement that she is a diabetic.  Simultaneous with her announcement, Deen endorsed Victoza, saying that the drug has helped her control her diabetes.

But what Deen didn’t know was that Victoza comes with a hefty warning that patients can develop thyroid cancer while taking the drug.

Weight Loss in a “Little Blue Pen”

Nearly two months after Deen’s not so shocking admission, she now says she has lost weight and dropped two sizes thanks to Victoza.  That’s surprising, seeing as how Deen was photographed shortly after her announcement eating a very large cheeseburger while on a cruise.  But part of Deen’s weight loss could also be due to the fact that she has cut her portion sizes in half and has started walking for 30 minutes a day.

While patients taking Victoza have reported experiencing a decreased appetite, the drug’s ability to cause weight loss is difficult to predict.  Victoza manufacturer Novo Nordisk says that weight loss is just one of the many “beneficial” side effects of the drug.  Less talked about are the dangerous side effects of Victoza, which include thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, and severe stomach problems.

Although Victoza is only approved to treat Type-2 diabetes, some critics of the drug are concerned that doctors could legally prescribe it to patients who are borderline diabetic to help them lose weight and fend off diabetes.  But whether the benefits of the drug outweigh its dangerous risks remains to be seen.

Similar Dangerous Diabetes Drugs

Other diabetes drugs that are being praised for their weight loss inducing side effects include Byetta, Bydureon, and Januvia.  Yet all of these drugs come with warnings of serious side effects similar to those of Victoza.

For instance, Byetta can cause pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas that can be painful and can lead to death if not treated.  Bydureon can cause a type of thyroid cancer known as medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), the symptoms of which are swelling or lumps in the neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, and shortness of breath.  Additionally, Bydureon can cause pancreatitis, dehydration leading to kidney problems, and severe stomach problems. Januvia can cause serious side effects like pancreatitis, kidney problems, and hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.

Additionally, diabetes drug Actos has been shown to cause bladder cancer.

Big Pharma Markets Diabetes Drugs as Lifestyle Drugs

This recent development that Victoza can cause weight loss is just another tool in big pharma’s arsenal to get people to buy their drugs.  Big pharma markets drugs like Victoza, Byetta, Bydureon, and Januvia as lifestyle drugs that will allow people to live their lives as they always have—eating foods high in fat and sugar and not exercising regularly.  Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “miracle diet drug” and for some patients, the benefits of taking these drugs may be outweighed by the risks the drugs pose, like thyroid cancer.

To learn more about the secrets of big pharma, download my FREE ebook Prescription Drug Safety: 7 Secrets the Pharmaceutical Industry Does NOT Want You to Know at