Victoza is an injectable medicine taken once a day to treat blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It helps people achieve lower blood sugar and HbA1c levels and even lose weight.
Various dosages are available depending on your health history, health goals and lifestyle.
It may take some time to find the right dose of Victoza and should only be done under medical supervision.
This article explains everything you need to know about dosing Victoza.
What dose do you usually start with?
If you have recently been prescribed Victoza, your doctor will probably want to start with a low dose to avoid unwanted side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
The starting dose of Victoza is 0.6 mg administered once a day under the skin.
Side effects may occur when starting Victoza, so never take more than prescribed, especially at the beginning.
If you are prone to nausea and vomiting, your doctor may even recommend starting with less than 0.6 mg per day.
What is the normal dose of Victoza?
The “normal” or maintenance dose will depend on your health history, goals, lifestyle, weight, age, and level of insulin resistance.
The maintenance dose for most people, after a week of using 0.6 mg, is 1.2 mg per day.
If you need extra blood sugar control and are not experiencing side effects, your doctor may increase the dose to 1.8 mg.
How and when can the dose be increased?
The dose should only be increased under medical supervision.
Typically, they will want you to take a starting dose of 0.6mg for a week or two before increasing your dose. You can stay at 0.6mg if you are having success with lower blood sugar.
If additional blood sugar control is needed, your doctor may increase the dose to 1.2 mg or 1.8 mg daily.
Never increase your dose without your doctor’s advice.
What is the right dose for me?
This can only be determined by you and your doctor.
The effectiveness of Victoza depends on the dose. So, the more insulin resistant you are, the higher the dose you may be prescribed.
In general, higher doses of Victoza produce better results, such as lower blood sugar, weight loss and better HbA1C values, as well as a higher chance of side effects.
Keep this in mind when increasing your doses, especially if you don’t tolerate side effects well.
What is the right dose for weight loss?
Victoza is approved by the FDA for the treatment of type 2 diabetes only and is not approved for weight loss. However, many people experience weight loss while taking Victoza.
In clinical trials of drugs for adults with type 2 diabetes, many lost weight in 6-12 months.
Other studies have shown that when Victoza therapy was added to a metformin regimen, adults lost around 10 pounds.
Since Victoza is not an FDA approved weight loss drug, there is no recommended dosage to achieve weight loss.
Victoza works best when taken consistently and used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
Talk to your doctor if you have diabetes and want to take an FDA-approved weight-loss drug. Options include Saxenda, which has the same active ingredient (liraglutide) as Victoza.
What happens if I stop taking Victoza?
Never stop taking Victoza or any other diabetes medicine without talking to your doctor first.
If you suddenly stop taking Victoza, you may experience side effects such as increased insulin resistance, higher blood sugar, increased hunger, and weight gain.
If you want to stop taking Victoza, your doctor will likely want to reduce your dose and eventually find an alternative medicine to help you avoid these side effects.
Are there different Victoza pens?
No, there is only one Victoza pen. Depending on your dose, you may get one or more a month as part of your prescription.
The following tips may help:
Dosage Doses per pen
0.6 mg 30 (1 pen per month)
1.2 mg 15 (2 pens per month)
1.8 mg 10 (3 pens per month)
What is the strongest Victoza?
All Victoza pens are of the same strength and contain the same active substance, liraglutide.
When you increase the dose, you simply increase the amount of the drug you take.
Never take more Victoza than prescribed by your doctor.
What is the maximum daily dose?
The maximum dose of Victoza is 1.8 mg per day.
If you are taking the maximum dose of Victoza but still need extra blood sugar control, see your doctor who may prescribe a stronger or different medication for you.
If you are not currently taking insulin, your doctor may also recommend starting insulin, changing your diet, or increasing your daily physical activity.
Can Victoza be taken long term?
Yes, Victoza is a safe and effective long-term treatment option.
If you see an improvement in your blood sugar and A1C levels, you can continue taking the drug.
Reasons for stopping Victoza include no results, unwanted side effects or a negative drug reaction.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Don’t worry if you miss a dose of Victoza. Skipping a single dose will not cause an increase in blood sugar, HbA1C, insulin resistance, hunger or weight gain.
However, Victoza is most effective when taken consistently. If more than 12 hours have passed since you missed a dose, remember to take it on time the next day.
Never take two doses within the same 24-hour period or you will experience significant side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Call your doctor or 911 if you suspect you have overdosed on Victoza.
If your daily dose doesn’t fit your lifestyle, there are alternative options. Ask your doctor about GLP-1 agonist medications that only require a weekly injection. These include Ozempic, Trulicity and Mounjaro.