Victoza is an injectable medication taken once daily for the treatment of blood sugars in people with type 2 diabetes. It helps people achieve lower blood sugar and HbA1c levels, and even lose weight.
There are different doses available, depending on your health history, health goals, and lifestyle.
Figuring out the right dose of Victoza for you can take time and should only be done under the guidance of your doctor.
This article will explain everything you need to know about Victoza dosing.
What dose do you typically start with?
If you’ve recently been prescribed Victoza, your doctor will probably want to start you out on a small dose to help you avoid adverse side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The starting dose of Victoza is 0.6mg, administered once daily subcutaneously (under the skin.)
You may experience adverse side effects when you start Victoza, so never take more than is prescribed to you, especially in the beginning.
If you’re prone to nausea and vomiting, your doctor may even recommend that you start at less than 0.6 mg daily.
What is a normal Victoza dose?
A “normal” or maintenance dose will depend on your health history, goals, lifestyle, weight, age, and level of insulin resistance.
A maintenance dose for most people, after one week at 0.6mg, is 1.2mg administered daily.
If you need additional blood sugar control, and aren’t experiencing adverse side effects, your doctor may increase your dose to 1.8mg.
How and when can you increase your dose?
You should only increase your dose under the guidance of your doctor.
They will typically want you on the starting dose of 0.6mg for a week or two before increasing your dose. You may stay at 0.6mg if you’re experiencing success with lower blood sugar levels.
If you need additional blood sugar control, your doctor may increase your dose to either 1.2mg or 1.8mg, administered daily.
Never increase your dose without the guidance of your doctor.
What is the correct 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 larger your prescribed dose may be.
In general, higher doses of Victoza yield more results such as lower blood sugar levels, weight loss, and improved A1Cs—as well as a higher chance of adverse side effects.
Keep this in mind as you scale up your doses, especially if you do not tolerate side effects well.
What is the correct dose for weight loss?
Victoza is only FDA-approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and it is not approved for weight loss. However, many people experience weight loss while taking Victoza.
In clinical trials of the medication of adults with type 2 diabetes, many lost weight over the course of 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 medication, there is no recommended dose to achieve weight loss.
Victoza works best when it is taken consistently and used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
Talk with your doctor if you have diabetes and wish to take an FDA-approved weight loss medication. Options include Saxenda which shares the same active ingredient (liraglutide) as Victoza.
What happens if I stop taking Victoza?
Never stop taking Victoza, or any other diabetes medication, without talking to your doctor first.
If you stop taking Victoza abruptly, you may experience adverse side effects such as increased insulin resistance, higher blood sugar levels, increased hunger, and weight gain.
If you wish to stop taking Victoza, your doctor will likely want to wean your dose and eventually find you an alternative medication to help you avoid those side effects.
Are there different Victoza pens?
No, there is only one single Victoza pen. Depending on your dose, you may receive one or more per month as part of your prescription.
The following guidelines may be helpful:
Dosage Doses per pen
0.6mg 30 (1 pen per month)
1.2mg 15 (2 pens per month)
1.8 mg 10 (3 pens per month)
What is the strongest Victoza?
All Victoza pens are the same strength and contain the same active ingredient—liraglutide.
When you increase your dose, you simply increase the amount of the medication that you’re taking.
Never take more Victoza than your doctor has prescribed.
What is the maximum daily dose?
The maximum dose of Victoza is 1.8mg administered daily.
If you’re on the maximum dose of Victoza but still need additional blood sugar control, contact your doctor who may be able to prescribe you a stronger or different medication.
If you’re not currently on insulin, your doctor may also recommend that you start insulin, change your diet, or increase your daily physical activity level.
Can Victoza be taken long-term?
Yes, Victoza is safe and effective as a long-term treatment option.
If you’re seeing improvements in your blood sugar levels and A1C, you may continue to take it.
Reasons for stopping Victoza include a lack of results, adverse side effects, or if you develop a negative reaction to the medication.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Do not worry if you’ve missed a dose of Victoza. Missing a single dose will not increase your blood sugars, A1C, insulin resistance, hunger, or make you gain weight.
However, Victoza is most effective when taken consistently. If it’s been more than 12 hours since your missed dose, make sure to take it on time the following day.
Never take two doses within the same 24-hour period, or you’ll experience significant adverse side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Call your doctor or 911 if you suspect that you’ve overdosed on Victoza.
If a daily dose doesn’t fit into 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.