What is Victoza? 

Victoza is a GLP-1 medication that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of diabetes in adults or children over the age of 10. Non-insulin, once-daily Victoza for type 2 diabetes is proven to lower A1C and blood sugar in adults and children 10 years of age and older. Victoza® also reduces the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death in adults with type 2 diabetes with known heart disease. It is a potent selective GLP-1 receptor agonist that has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels as well as the feeling of hunger and increase the feeling of fullness in subjects with high BMI. Victoza is one of the weight loss medications that may be prescribed by an Alfie healthcare provider for weight loss or a weight-related medical condition. It is produced by Novo Nordisk.

Victoza should not be taken by individuals with a personal or family history of MTC or in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2) as it may increase your risk of thyroid cancer, in patients with a prior serious hypersensitivity reaction to liraglutide or to any of the ingredients in Victoza, or in patients with a history of pancreatitis.

Generic Name and Class

The active ingredient in Victoza is liraglutide. Liraglutide is a synthetic peptide that acts like a naturally occurring hormone in the body called GLP-1. Liraglutide works by slowing the stomach from emptying, which helps you feel full after eating. It is also one of many diabetes medicines which slow down the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, which helps keep blood sugar levels under control.

How it works

GLP-1 is a natural hormone in your body that acts on your brain to regulate your appetite and food intake. By acting like GLP-1, Victoza lowers your appetite and how much food you eat to help you lose weight.

GLP-1s lead the pancreas to produce insulin after meals to bring down blood sugar. They also bind to receptors in the brain to suppress appetite. These receptors release chemicals that help diminish the desire to eat, reducing your hunger. GLP-1s are natural chemicals, but don't last long within the human body. That's why taking GLP-1s can help reduce your weight even though your body already produces its own.

Is this prescription effective for weight loss? 

In clinical studies of adults with type 2 diabetes, ranging from 26 to 52 weeks in length, many lost some weight. In a large study, when Victoza® was added to metformin, adults lost on average up to 6.2 pounds. While many adults in clinical trials lost weight, some did gain weight. The American Diabetes Association recommends weight loss as an important goal for overweight people with type 2 diabetes.

How much does Victoza Cost?

Victoza may be an expensive medication, with an out of pocket cost above $1,000. The price of Victoza is around$ 1,865 for a three-month supply. Alfie works with the vast majority of commercial and employer insurance plans in order to get coverage for your doctor-prescribed medication.

Victoza is not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

Can I get a Coupon for Victoza?

Coupons for Victoza are available thought Novo Nordisk's website.

How do injection pens work?

Victoza injected under the skin via a simple pen injector syringe. Victoza can be injected from the comfort of your own home without a healthcare provider or clinician present, and are simple to use. Shots of Victoza are injected into the fatty tissue just beneath the skin's surface and should be injected once weekly at the same time of day. You should store Victoza in a refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F.

If your doctor prescribes Victoza, he or she will walk you through the process of injecting it into your belly or upper thigh. Someone else can inject the medicine into your upper arm if you are unable to do it yourself.

If you are prescribed Victoza, you can visit their webpage here for more information and instructions on how to administer the medication, or visit the Medication Guide here.

Victoza should be injected per the instructions given by your provider in one of the locations shown below.

Understanding your dosage

GLP-1 injectable medications are offered via a step-up approach, meaning your Alfie healthcare professionals (either an MD or NP) will prescribe a higher dose as your progress through the program until you are at the full dose. This helps minimize the risk of any side effects of taking the medication.

Your Victoza pen contains 18 mg of Victoza and will deliver doses of 0.6 mg, 1.2 mg, or 1.8 mg. The number of doses that you can take with a Victoza pen depends on the dose of medication that is prescribed for you. Your health care provider will tell you how much Victoza to take. You start Victoza at a dose of 0.6 mg once daily and increase the dose after one week until you reach the full dose of 1.2 mg. Your doctor can also prescribe 1.8 mg if you do not see effectiveness with the 1.2 mg dose. It’s important to follow the dosing schedule as recommended by your health care provider.

Potential Side Effects

The most common side effects of Victoza include headache, back pain, stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting. Other side effects may include: nausea, feeling sick, ringing in the ears, lightheadedness, weakness, dizziness, feeling nervous or anxious, depression, mood changes, changes in blood pressure or heart rate, or mood or behavior changes that seem out of the ordinary for you. Most people taking Victoza will not have any side effects. It is very important that you tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions and all medications you are taking before taking Victoza.

Taking GLP-1 medications may also put you at serious risk of hypoglycemia or acute kidney injury if you are taking another similar medication at the same time. Victoza (liraglutide) may interact with certain medications or supplements. Always let your doctor and pharmacist know about any other medications or supplements (including prescribed and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and dietary or herbal supplements) that you are currently taking.

The GLP-1 class of drugs isn't recommended if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2) as it may increase your risk of developing thyroid tumors. They're also not recommended if you've had pancreatitis. If you have any concerns about your family history and ability to take a GLP-1 receptor agonist medication, talk to your primary care provider.

Victoza Reviews

  • Verified Victoza user: "Victoza has been the very best drug to help me lose weight and control my blood sugar. I love the stuff. I had no side effects. I stopped using it because it helped me lose enough weight to get off all diabetic medications." 
  • Verified Victoza user: “I have been on Victoza for a month. I have to lose a lot of weight so I can have hip replacement surgery. 20 pounds gone. I wish I could stay on this forever. It REALLY works on curbing my appetite.”
  • Verified Victoza user: “Started Victoza 6 months ago and have lost 32 lbs. I am also on a low carb diet. No side effects at all. I eat small meals and don’t get hungry between meals. I’m on 1.8 mg."

Alternative Medications

Victoza is one of multiple weight-loss drugs which fit into the GLP-1 category. Other GLP-1 medications include: