Liraglutide (By injection)

Liraglutide (lir-a-GLOO-tide)

Treats type 2 diabetes and helps with weight loss in certain patients. Also reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients with type 2 diabetes and heart or blood vessel disease.

Brand Name(s):

Saxenda, Victoza

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to liraglutide, or if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2) or if you or anyone in your family had medullary thyroid cancer. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or have become pregnant while you are using this medicine.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin. It is usually given in your stomach, thighs, or upper arms.
  • If you use insulin in addition to Victoza®, do not mix them into the same syringe. You may give the shots in the same area (including your stomach), but do not give the shots right next to each other.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Check the liquid in the pen. It should be clear and colorless. Do not use it if it is cloudy, discolored, or has particles in it.
  • You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • Never share medicine pens with others under any circumstances. Sharing needles or pens can result in transmission of infection.
  • Drink extra fluids so you will urinate more often and help prevent kidney problems.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Never take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose. If you miss a dose for 3 days or more, call your doctor to talk about how to restart your treatment.
  • Store your new, unused medicine pen in its original carton in the refrigerator. Protect it from light. Do not freeze this medicine or use it if it has been frozen. You may store the opened medicine pen in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 30 days. Throw away any unused medicine after 30 days, even if it still has medicine in it. Always remove the needle from the pen before you store it.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use Saxenda® together with insulin.
  • Some medicines can affect how Victoza® works. Tell your doctor if you are using insulin or other diabetes medicine (including ‎‎glibenclamide, glimepiride, glipizide) or any other oral medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, digestion problems (including gastroparesis), gallbladder disease, or a history of pancreas problems, depression, or angioedema (swelling of the arms, face, hands, mouth, or throat).
  • Do not use Saxenda® if you are also using Victoza®. They contain the same medicine.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Increased risk for thyroid tumors
    • Pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas)
    • Low blood sugar (when used together with insulin or other diabetes medicine)
    • Kidney problems
    • Gallbladder problems, including gallstones
    • Thoughts of hurting yourself (Saxenda®)
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate, painful or burning urination
  • Feeling sad or depressed, thoughts of suicide, unusual changes in mood or behavior
  • Shaking, trembling, sweating, fast or pounding heartbeat, fainting, hunger, confusion
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, lightheadedness, yellow skin or eyes
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing, a lump in your neck, hoarseness when speaking

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea, constipation, stomach upset
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Redness, itching, swelling, or any changes in your skin where the shot was given

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/6/2020

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