2 New Diabetes Medications Available for Treating Adults

FEBRUARY 07, 2018
A pair of new diabetes medications was recently made available to pharmacies to help lower A1C in adults. Ozempic (semiglutide) and Fiasp (insulin aspart injection) are both manufactured by Novo Nordisk and were approved by the FDA in 2017.

Ozempic is a .5 mg or 1 mg injectable prescription medicine for adults with type 2 diabetes that demonstrated statistically significant A1C reductions in clinical trials. It is a once-weekly glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor agonist that may, along with diet and exercise, improve glycemic control, according to the recent announcement by Noro Nordisk.1

Fiasp is a fast-acting mealtime, man-made insulin indicated to improve glycemic control in adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.1 Patients are directed to administer the drug at the beginning of a meal or within 20 minutes after starting a meal. It appears in the blood in approximately 2.5 minutes.

In a press release, David Moore, Novo Nordisk’s senior vice president, Commercial, said the availability of the two drugs reflects the company’s efforts to provide options for patients. “With 1.5 million new patients diagnosed with diabetes each year, we must continue to innovate and bring new market options to meet the diverse needs of patients,” Moore said. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to effectively managing diabetes.”

Ozempic

According to the manufacturer, Ozempic should not be used by patients who have had, or whose family has had, medullary thyroid carcinoma; patients who have Multiple Endocrin Neoplasia syndrome type 2 and those who are allergic to semaglutide or drug ingredients. In addition, Ozempic is not recommended as the first choice of medicine for treating diabetes, it is not a substitute for insulin and it is not intended for people with type 1 diabetes or people with diabetic ketoacidosis. In addition, it is not known if Ozempic can be used by patients who have had pancreatitis nor is it known to be safe and effective for children under age 18.

Ozempic is injected under the skin of a patient’s stomach, thigh or upper arm. It is not intended for intramuscular or intravenous injection, and should not be mixed with insulin. Novo Nordisk also recommends rotating the injection site. Possible adverse effects of Ozempic include thyroid tumors, including cancer; inflammation of the pancreas, changes in vision, hypoglycemia, kidney failure and serious allergic reactions, as well as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and constipation.

Fiasp

It is not known if Fiasp is safe and effective for children under age 18, nor should it be taken by patients who are allergic to its ingredients. Fiasp should also not be taken by patients whose blood sugars are too low, nor should it be shared with other people, according to Novo Nordisk, due to the risk of serious infection.

Possible adverse effects of taking Fiasp include anxiety, irritability, mood changes, dizziness or light-headedness, sweating, confusion and headache. Common adverse effects include skin problems, such as eczema and itching; reactions at the injection site, lipodystrophy or weight gain. In addition, insulin doses may change due to weight gain or loss, increased stress, illness or change in diet or level of physical activity; hypokalemia, serious allergic reactions or heart failure.

References
Novo Nordisk Launches Ozempic® and Fiasp®, Expanding Treatment Options for Adults with Diabetes [news release] Novo Nordisk. Accessed Feb. 7. 2018.

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