Victoza's Dosage: What to Know

Medically Reviewed By Amber R. Watson, PharmD

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In animal studies, mice and rats given Victoza were found to have a higher risk of certain thyroid cancers, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). However, animal studies don’t always predict how a drug will affect people. It’s not known whether Victoza also raises the risk of thyroid cancer in humans.

Due to this risk, doctors typically will not prescribe Victoza if you or a close family member have or have had MTC. They also won’t prescribe Victoza to people with a condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

Victoza: Introduction

Victoza is a brand-name prescription medication that contains the active drug liraglutide. It belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Victoza is not available in a generic form.

This medication has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to:

  • Manage blood sugar levels in adults and children ages 10 years and older with type 2 diabetes. For this use, Victoza is used in combination with certain diet and exercise recommendations.
  • Lower the risk of certain cardiovascular problems, such as stroke and heart attack, in adults who have both type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Victoza is available as follows.


  • Form: liquid solution inside prefilled pens, given as a subcutaneous injection
  • Strength: 6 milligrams (mg) per milliliter (mL) of solution

In this article, you’ll find additional information about Victoza’s dosage and details on how to take the drug. For a comprehensive overview of Victoza, view this article.

Dosage summary

For details about the drug’s dosage, see the “Victoza: Dosage” section below. Your doctor will prescribe the dosage of Victoza that’s right for your condition.

Finding a healthcare professional

If you’re interested in taking Victoza, search here to find a doctor who might prescribe it.

This article describes typical recommended dosages for Victoza. These dosages are provided by the drug’s manufacturer.

Always follow the dosage of Victoza that your doctor prescribes.

Victoza: Dosage

Commonly recommended dosages for Victoza are shown below.

You should take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll recommend the dosing schedule that’s best for your condition.

Victoza’s form and strength

Victoza comes as a liquid solution inside prefilled pens, which you’ll use to give doses via subcutaneous injection.

These pens are available in one strength: 6 milligrams (mg) per milliliter (mL) of solution. Each pen may be used to deliver doses in the following amounts:

  • 0.6 mg
  • 1.2 mg
  • 1.8 mg

Typical recommended Victoza pen dosages

Usually, doctors will prescribe a low dosage of Victoza at the start of treatment. This is because the drug is known to cause gastrointestinal side effects, including diarrhea, upset stomach, and nausea. Starting at a low dose and slowly increasing your Victoza dose over time can help your body get used to the drug. This helps lower your risk of mild gastrointestinal side effects the drug may cause.

Then, doctors will adjust the Victoza dosage over time if needed. Ultimately, your doctor will prescribe the smallest daily dose of Victoza that gives the desired effect.

Purpose Dosing frequency Starting dosage Maximum dosage
treating type 2 diabetes* once per day 0.6 mg 1.8 mg
reducing the risk of certain cardiovascular problems once per day 0.6 mg 1.8 mg

* For this use, Victoza is used in combination with certain diet and exercise recommendations.

Children’s dosage

Victoza may be prescribed to manage blood sugar levels in children ages 10 years and older who have type 2 diabetes. For this use, Victoza is used in combination with certain diet and exercise recommendations.

The children’s dosage of Victoza for managing blood sugar levels is the same as the dosage for adults.

  • Dosing frequency: once per day
  • Starting dosage: 0.6 mg
  • Maximum dosage: 1.8 mg

Length of treatment

Doctors typically prescribe Victoza as a long-term treatment. You’ll likely take it long term if you and your doctor feel it’s safe and effective for your condition.

Victoza: Common questions about dosage

Below are some common questions related to Victoza’s dosage.

Is Victoza used for weight loss? If so, what’s the dosage for weight loss? Is there a maximum dose for weight loss?

No, Victoza isn’t approved for weight loss. Since Victoza isn’t prescribed for weight loss, there is no recommended maximum dose for this use.

However, using Victoza may lead to weight loss. Victoza works by slowing down the rate at which your stomach empties food into your intestine. It can cause decreased appetite as a side effect, and this may lead to minor weight loss in some people.

Victoza is meant to be used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise. This may also contribute to weight loss for some people.

The active ingredient in Victoza is liraglutide. This is also the active ingredient in another prescription medication, Saxenda. Unlike Victoza, Saxenda is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as a weight-loss treatment in certain people.

You should not use Victoza to lose weight. If you have concerns about your weight, talk with your doctor. They can recommend ways to maintain a weight that’s healthy for you.

How many Victoza doses are in each Victoza pen?

The number of Victoza doses in each Victoza pen will vary depending on your dose.

Victoza pens are available in one strength: 6 milligrams (mg) per milliliter (mL) of solution. Each pen contains a total of 18 mg (3 mL).

However, each pen may be used to deliver a dose of:

  • 0.6 mg
  • 1.2 mg
  • 1.8 mg

So, if your Victoza dose is 1.2 mg once per day, each pen will last you about 15 doses.

If you have questions about your dose of Victoza, talk with your doctor.

Is Victoza injected in 3-mg doses?

No, 3 milligrams (mg) is not an approved Victoza dose.

A similar medication called Saxenda is available in a 3-mg dose. Both Victoza and Saxenda contain liraglutide as their active ingredient. However, these drugs are prescribed for different uses.

If you have questions about your dose of Victoza, talk with your doctor.

Victoza: Dosage considerations

Your doctor will consider several factors when prescribing the dosage for Victoza. These factors include:

  • the reason you’re taking Victoza
  • the severity of your condition

Your prescribed dosage may also vary based on other medical conditions you have.

Victoza: How to use

Victoza comes as a liquid solution inside prefilled pens. You’ll give it by subcutaneous injection.

Typically, Victoza is used once per day. It’s best to inject Victoza around the same time each day. You may inject the drug under the skin of your thigh, upper arm, or abdomen.

For more information about giving Victoza injections, see the instructions on the manufacturer’s website.

ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS

If you find it challenging to read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Certain pharmacies provide medication labels with large print or braille. They may also offer labels containing a scannable code that your smartphone can convert from text to speech. If your pharmacy doesn’t provide these choices, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

If it’s difficult for you to open medication bottles, ask your pharmacist if they can dispense Victoza in an easy-open container. They also may recommend ways to help make it easier to open the bottles.

Victoza: Missing a dose

If you miss a dose of Victoza, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose the next day at the usual time. Do not take more than one Victoza dose at a time.  

If you miss more than three Victoza doses in a row, your doctor may temporarily lower your dose to 0.6 mg and have you slowly increase to your regular dose. This is to help prevent certain side effects caused by Victoza, including nausea and vomiting.

View these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses. You could also set an alarm or download a reminder app on your phone.

Victoza: Overdose

If you take more than the recommended dosage of Victoza, serious effects can occur. Do not take more Victoza than your doctor prescribes. 

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms that an overdose of Victoza could cause include:

What to do in case of overdose

Call your doctor if you think you’ve used too much of this drug. Also, you can call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Victoza: What to discuss with your doctor

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist for additional information about Victoza’s dosage. Keep in mind that the dosages presented in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Victoza that’s right for you and your condition. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.

As with any medications you’re taking, do not change your Victoza dosage without a recommendation from your doctor.

In addition to discussing Victoza with your doctor, you may find the following articles helpful in learning more:

  • Overview of Victoza. For comprehensive details on Victoza, see this article.
  • Drug comparisons. To learn how Victoza compares with Trulicity, read this article. You can view this comparison on Victoza and Ozempic. And see this detailed breakdown of Victoza compared with Saxenda.
  • Information on side effects. If you’d like to know about possible side effects of Victoza, view this article.
  • Details about type 2 diabetes. To learn more about type 2 diabetes, which Victoza is used to treat, see this article.

Disclaimer: Healthgrades has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.


 
Medical Reviewer: Amber R. Watson, PharmD
Last Review Date: 2022 Aug 1
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