Liraglutide (By injection)


Liraglutide (lir-a-GLOO-tide)

Treats type 2 diabetes. Also used to help with weight loss in certain patients.

Brand Name(s)

Saxenda, Victoza

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

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 the skin of your stomach, thighs, or upper arms.
  • If you use insulin in addition to this medicine, do not mix them into the same syringe. You may give the shots in the same area (such as 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.
  • 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, use it as soon as you remember. Then take your next daily dose as usual on the following day. 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 the refrigerator, in the original carton, and protect it from light. Do not freeze this medicine, and do not use the medicine if it has been frozen. You may store the opened medicine pen in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 30 days. Throw away your used pen after 30 days, even if it still has medicine in it. 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.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, digestion problems (such as 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:
    • An increased risk of thyroid tumor
    • Pancreatitis
    • Low blood sugar
    • Gallbladder problems, including gallstones (Saxenda®)
    • 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, or painful or burning urination
  • Fast or racing heartbeat
  • 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, and lightheadedness
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing, a lump in your neck, hoarseness when speaking
  • Yellow skin or eyes

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

  • Decreased appetite
  • Dizziness or headache
  • Nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or upset stomach
  • 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

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/12/2016

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.