OverviewDosageSide EffectsInteractionsHalf-Life

Liraglutide was the 163rd most commonly prescribed drug in the United States in 2017, with 3,802,464 prescriptions for the drug written that year. This fact is rather impressive, considering the FDA has approved more than 20,000 prescription drugs for the U.S. market. Because of the drug’s popularity, it is important that consumers know more about this medication, including how long Victoza stays in your system.

The National Library of Medicine provides the following information regarding liraglutide half-life:

Mean effective half-life: 13 hours

Time to steady-state: approximately 3 days

Mean accumulation ratio: 1.4–1.5

Victoza has poor oral availability, according to the National Library of Medicine, and a bioavailability of 55 percent, according to DrugBank. Very little intact liraglutide is excreted in urine and feces, and low levels of liraglutide metabolites are present in plasma, which suggest that liraglutide completely degrades in the body.


What is the half-life of Victoza?

The half-life of Victoza is 13 hours, according to the National Library of Medicine.

How long does it take to get Victoza out of your system?

With a 13-hour half-life, it would take about 3 days to get out of the patient’s system. Sometimes, doctors may order therapeutic drug testing to ensure patients are taking their medications as directed and that the medications are working as they should. What should Victoza patients expect for therapeutic drug testing?

  • Urine: Since liraglutide and its metabolites are not largely excreted through either urine or feces, urine testing for this medication is not likely
  • Plasma: According to the FDA, “[l]iraglutide is extensively bound to plasma protein (>98%)”; as such, blood tests are a much more reliable way to detect levels of liraglutide in the body

Do Victoza side effects go away?

Victoza side effects usually go away with continued use as directed, as the body adjusts to treatment.

How much weight will I lose on Victoza?

Victoza is not for weight loss, but it can result in loss of appetite, which in turn leads to weight loss. The manufacturer of Victoza refers to clinical studies in which adults with type 2 diabetes lost up to 6.2 pounds on average when taking Victoza and metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet).

Does Victoza need to be refrigerated?

Victoza should be refrigerated at temperatures between 36ºF to 46ºF (2ºC to 8ºC) prior to its first use, according to the FDA. But, people may store it at room temperature or in the refrigerator after initial use.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

Medically Reviewed by:

Paul Bossung

Paul Bossung, Pharm. D. is a Missouri Board of Pharmacy certified pharmacist. He practices at a Mercy ospital  in in the inpatient pharmacy aswell as other outpatient pharmacies.  Paul attended St. Louis College of Pharmacy (STLCOP) and graduated in 2018. He worked at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon for six years as a student pharmacist prior to graduating.OVERVIEWDOSAGESIDE EFFECTSINTERACTIONSHALF-LIFE

Generic Name: Liraglutide

Brands: Victoza,Victoza 3-Pak, Victoza 2-Pak, Saxenda

Class: Antidiabetics, Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Agonists

Availability: Prescription only

Molecular Formula: ‎C172H265N43O51

Substance UNII: 839I73S42A

What is Victoza?

Victoza is an injectable anti-diabetic drug regularly used with other diabetes medications. The generic drug liraglutide is often sold under the brand names Victoza 3-Pak, Victoza 2-Pak, and Saxenda.

What is Victoza Used For?

People with diabetes use Victoza along with diet and exercise to lower their blood sugar levels and to control their A1C(a blood test that detects blood sugar levels from the previous 3 months). Victoza can control blood sugar levels in adults and in children aged 10 and older who have type 2 diabetes when other medications have not worked well enough. When used along with a reduced calorie diet and exercise plan, this medication can help promote and maintain weight loss people who are overweight or obese and have weight-related medical problems.

Victoza can also reduce the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death in adults with type 2 diabetes who also have heart and blood vessel disease.

How Does Victoza Work?

Victoza works by increasing the amount of insulin released by the pancreas and by decreasing the excessive release of glucagon. Namely, insulin “unlocks” body cells to allow the cells to absorb sugar, or glucose, from the bloodstream; absorption of glucose from the bloodstream allows blood sugar levels to drop. Glucagon is a hormone that stops the absorption of glucose from the bloodstream to prevent blood sugar levels from dropping too low. An excessive release of glucagon would thereby cause the body to maintain an unhealthy high blood sugar level, known as hyperglycemia.

How Long Does it Take for Victoza to Work?

It takes about two weeks for Victoza to lower blood sugar levels, according to the manufacturer’s website.

Do Not Use Victoza If:

There are several situations where Victoza may not be the right choice for a consumer. According to the FDA, the following should not use Victoza:

  • Those with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma, a type of cancer that affects the thyroid, or in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia, which is a group of disorders that affect the endocrine system (a system that releases hormones to the body)
  • Those with a prior serious hypersensitivity reaction, which is an overreaction of the immune system, to Victoza or any of its components

Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other situations where Victoza use is not advisable.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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