What Is Victoza? Victoza (liraglutide) is a prescription drug used with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes who are aged 10 years and older. It can also be used to lower the risk of major heart events,
Victoza (liraglutide) is a prescription drug used with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes who are aged 10 years and older. It can also be used to lower the risk of major heart events, such as heart attack and stroke, in adults with type 2 diabetes who have heart disease.
Victoza is available as a prefilled pen for injection under the skin (of the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm). It works by:
Victoza contains the ingredient liraglutide. It is in a drug class called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists.
Generic Name: Liraglutide
Brand Name(s): Victoza, Saxenda
Administration Route(s): Subcutaneous
Drug Availability: Prescription
Therapeutic Classification: Antidiabetic
Available Generically: No
Controlled Substance: N/A
Active Ingredient: Liraglutide
Dosage Form(s): Solution
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Victoza to:
Victoza is not indicated to treat type 1 diabetes. It should not be used with other medications that contain liraglutide, such as Saxena or Xultophy.
Before starting Victoza, read the patient information that comes with your prescription. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions. Make sure to take Victoza exactly as instructed. Your healthcare provider will show you how to administer the medication.
Victoza is available as an injectable pen. When administering Victoza, remember to:
Talk to your healthcare provider about low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If your blood sugar is low, you may feel hungry, shaky, dizzy, or irritable. A fast-acting source of carbohydrates/sugar, such as glucose tablets or apple juice, can treat low blood sugar. Your healthcare provider may prescribe glucagon for use in an emergency low blood sugar situation. Make sure your family, friends, and/or caregivers know how to use it. Also, look for signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), such as increased thirst, hunger, and urination.
Do not change your dose or medication schedule unless you talk to your healthcare provider. Call your healthcare provider if you become ill and have vomiting or diarrhea.
Store the unopened Victoza pen in the refrigerator. Once opened, you can store the pen at room temperature for up to 30 days or in the refrigerator. Do not freeze Victoza. Throw it away if it becomes frozen. Keep Victoza out of the reach of children.
Victoza may start lowering blood sugar as soon as two weeks. Your healthcare provider will instruct you on blood sugar monitoring.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at fda.gov/medwatch or 1-800-FDA-1088.
The most common side effects of Victoza are:
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
In rare cases, some side effects may not occur right away. Some are considered mild, such as:
Other long-term or delayed side effects are considered moderate and may include:
Some people experience orthostatic hypotension. This is when you have low blood pressure and dizziness when standing up quickly. If this happens, stand up slowly, and make sure you can support yourself while standing.
Severe long-term or delayed side effects may include:
Victoza may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
Modifications, or changes, to your dose or treatment plan may be necessary in some cases.
In clinical trials, Victoza had similar safety and efficacy data in older adults (aged 65 years and older) compared with younger adults. However, some older adults may still have greater sensitivity to Victoza. For children, Victoza can be used in those aged 10 and older. However, Victoza has not been studied in children younger than 10 years old.
Based on nonhuman animal studies, Victoza may harm the fetus if used during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should consult their healthcare provider for medical guidance. If you are already taking Victoza and find out you are pregnant, consult your healthcare provider.
There is no data on Victoza and human milk. Consult your healthcare provider for medical advice.
Kidney or Liver Problems
People with kidney or liver problems should consult their healthcare provider for medical advice before using Victoza.
If you miss a dose of Victoza, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together.
Too much Victoza can cause severe nausea, vomiting, and low blood sugar.
If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Victoza, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).
If someone collapses, has a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t wake up after taking too much Victoza, call 911 immediately.
It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Do not use Saxenda® if you are also using Victoza® . They contain the same medicine.
It is very important to carefully follow any instructions from your health care team about:
Check with your doctor right away if you have a mass in the neck, difficulty with swallowing, hoarseness, or trouble breathing. These may be symptoms of a serious thyroid problem.
Pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas) may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have sudden and severe stomach pain, chills, constipation, nausea, vomiting, fever, or lightheadedness.
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after using this medicine.
This medicine does not cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). However, low blood sugar can occur when you use liraglutide with other medicines that can lower blood sugar, such as insulin, metformin, or a sulfonylurea. Low blood sugar also can occur if you delay or miss a meal or snack, exercise more than usual, drink alcohol, or cannot eat because of nausea or vomiting. Victoza® may increase the risk for low blood sugar in children 10 years of age and older, even if they are not using other medicines that can lower blood sugar.
Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may occur if you do not take enough or skip a dose of your antidiabetic medicine, overeat or do not follow your meal plan, have a fever or infection, or do not exercise as much as usual.
This medicine may cause gallbladder problems, including gallstones. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach fullness, gaseous stomach pain, recurrent fever, or yellow eyes or skin.
If you are using Saxenda® :
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Victoza is not appropriate for everyone. You should not take Victoza if you are allergic to liraglutide, any other GLP-1 agonist, or any of the inactive ingredients in Victoza.
People with the following should also not take Victoza:
Some people may be able to take Victoza with caution, under close monitoring of their healthcare provider. Examples of situations where Victoza may be prescribed with caution include:
Before taking Victoza, tell your healthcare provider about any medical conditions you have as well as your medical history.
Before you take Victoza, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements.
Victoza causes delayed gastric emptying, so it can affect the absorption of any medications taken by mouth at the same time. Ask your healthcare provider how you should time your medications to avoid absorption issues. Victoza can also lower blood sugar, and the risk is higher when you also use insulin or take another drug that lowers blood sugar. A dosage adjustment may be required.
This is not a full list of drug interactions. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for a complete list of drug interactions.
Victoza is in a class of medications called GLP-1 receptor agonists. Victoza contains the ingredient liraglutide. Other injectable drugs in the GLP-1 receptor agonist class of drugs include:
Rybelsus is an oral GLP-1 receptor agonist that contains semaglutide. It is used to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Many oral medications are available to help control blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. They include:
In some cases, people with type 2 diabetes may need injectable insulin to help control blood sugar. There are various types of long-acting and short-acting insulin.
This is a list of drugs also prescribed for type 2 diabetes. It is NOT a list of drugs recommended to take with Victoza. Ask your pharmacist or a healthcare provider if you have questions.
Victoza is used along with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes who are 10 years or older. Victoza can also be used in adults with type 2 diabetes and heart disease to lower the risk of major cardiovascular (heart) events like heart attack and stroke.
Victoza works by slowing food that is leaving the stomach, which can help control blood sugar and may decrease appetite and promote weight loss. Victoza can also help prevent the liver from making too much sugar and help the pancreas make more insulin when blood sugar is high.
Victoza can affect the absorption of any oral medicine taken around the same time. Ask your healthcare provider how to space your medications to avoid any interactions. Victoza can also lower blood sugar, even more so when combined with insulin or another drug that lowers blood sugar. Therefore, a dosage adjustment may be required to help prevent low blood sugar.
Victoza may start lowering blood sugar in two weeks. Your healthcare provider will give you instructions on blood sugar testing.
The most common side effects of Victoza are low blood sugar, stomach problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, indigestion), headache, decreased appetite, back pain, and injection site reactions.
Your healthcare provider will advise you on how long to take Victoza.
Before you take Victoza, read the patient information leaflet that comes with your prescription. Consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.
If you have never given yourself an injection, it can feel very scary initially. Your healthcare provider will teach you how to administer Victoza. Bring along a family member or a close friend for support and training, if you can.
Give yourself ample time to prepare and administer the injection. Do not rush. Once you get past the first injection, it becomes easier, and after you do it a few times, it will become routine.
Prepare a kit with supplies that you take with you everywhere you go. Include:
Wear a medical alert at all times. This will communicate to responders that you have type 2 diabetes in the event of an emergency. Victoza should be used in conjunction with diet and exercise. Ask your healthcare provider what kind of diet and exercise you should follow. Monitor your blood sugar daily or several times daily as directed.
Before taking Victoza, discuss your medical conditions and medical history with your healthcare team. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medications you take. This helps ensure that Victoza will be prescribed safely.
Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.