Saxenda vs Victoza: Which one wins on effectiveness, safety, and side effects?

There are several other weight loss medications available. Because of their potential for improved outcomes, medications such as Saxenda and Victoza are being studied. Times Change! Keep reading to learn more about Saxenda vs Victoza. 

When it comes to setting healthy weight goals, the variety of diets, fitness programs, and supplements available can be overwhelming. Medications like Saxenda or Victoza may help people. They all contain the same active substance: liraglutide, which can help individuals maintain a healthy weight and enhance blood sugar control.

However, do you know the variations between Saxenda and Victoza? Saxenda and Victoza are both prescribed drugs that contain the same active component. Victoza is used to help people with Type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels, while Saxenda is used to help obese people with long-term weight loss.

What exactly are Saxenda and Victoza?

Saxenda (liraglutide) is a brand-name medication that doctors prescribe to help people lose weight. It is provided in the form of a clear liquid solution in the form of an injection pen.

Victoza (liraglutide) is a brand-name diabetic medicine that doctors prescribe when other diabetes treatments, such as metformin, aren’t working well enough [1]. Victoza is also available in an injectable pen form as a clear liquid solution.

Saxenda vs Victoza applications

The active ingredient in Victoza and Saxenda is liraglutide. They are, however, approved for different purposes.

Victoza uses

Victoza has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetic patients. It is also approved for this use in children aged 10 and above. It is administered in conjunction with a healthier diet and more physical exercise. Victoza is also advised for people with type 2 diabetes and heart disease to reduce their chance of developing catastrophic cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes [2].

Note: It should be noted that Victoza is not authorized for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. It is also not approved to assist people in losing weight.

Saxenda uses

Saxenda has been approved by the FDA to help in long-term weight loss. While taking Saxenda, you should avoid certain foods and engage in daily exercise. Adults who are overweight or have weight-related conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes are prescribed Saxenda. It is also not suitable for youngsters under the age of 12.

Note: It should be noted that Saxenda has not been authorized for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Side effects of Saxenda and Victoza

The active ingredient in both Saxenda and Victoza is the same, but the doses are different. As a result, these medicines may induce some of the same as well as separate negative effects. Some of these adverse effects are explored in further detail below.

Minor adverse effects

Following list include some of the minor side effects of Saxenda and Victoza that are most frequently reported as well as effects that both medications share in common.

Saxenda’s side effects include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness 
  • Abdominal pain

Victoza’s side effects include:

  • Contagious bacterial infections of the respiratory system, namely the common cold.
  • Backache

This can happen with both Saxenda and Victoza:

  • Headache 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Constipation 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Indigestion 
  • Injection site reactions such as redness, itching, or rash

Severe side effects

The next sections discuss the major negative effects of Saxenda and Victoza, as well as the ones that both medicines have in common.

Saxenda’s side effects include: 

Suicidal thoughts or acts

People who are administered saxenda can have suicidal ideas or behaviors. Consult your doctor about the safety of saxenda if you’ve ever experienced depression, suicidal thoughts, or any other mental health problem.

Victoza side effects include:

Kidney issues (including kidney failure)

Consumption of victoza has the potential to worsen or cause kidney problems. If you use victoza, consult your doctor immediately and keep an eye on your kidney health.

Allergic reactions that are severe

Victoza should be stopped immediately and you should consult your healthcare professional if you develop any severe cases of itching, swelling, swallowing difficulties, or any combination of these side effects.

It’s something that can happen with both Saxenda and Victoza:

Thyroid cancer

Both of these medications come along with a boxed warning. There is a chance that Victoza and Saxenda will make thyroid cancers more severe. These medications  should not be used by anyone who has ever had thyroid cancer. If you experience any thyroid cancer symptoms while taking Saxenda or Victoza, consult your doctor straight away.


Users taking these medications have reported swelling in the pancreas. If you get severe stomach or back pain, nausea or frequent vomiting, call your doctor straight away.

Gallbladder disease

While using Saxenda and Victoza, some patients experienced severe gallbladder issues. Therefore, get medical help right away if you suddenly have significant upper stomach and back pain.

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

When Saxenda and Victoza are consumed along with medications prescribed for diabetes, the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) might increase. Discuss with your doctor on how to handle low blood sugar levels with your existing diabetic medications.

Effectiveness of Saxenda vs Victoza

Saxenda has been approved to help people who are overweight or obese and want to lose weight over time. Victoza has been granted to alleviate acute symptoms of type 2 diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels. Additionally, it has been authorized for use in individuals who have type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and the possibility of heart stroke. Both drugs are effective for the indications for which they have been approved.

Can I use Victoza instead of Saxenda?

Because Saxenda and Victoza contain the same active ingredient, you may be wondering if you can switch between them. Despite their similarities, switching between these medications is not advised because they are approved for different purposes.

Ignoring the fact that they contain the same component, these medicines are not interchangeable. Victoza is approved to treat type 2 diabetes, whereas Saxenda is approved to treat obesity. Furthermore, Saxenda is used at a higher dose than Victoza and comes with additional warnings and side effects.

Which is better for weight loss, Saxenda or Ozempic?

Semaglutide (Ozempic) is prescribed once a week. However, a liraglutide (Saxenda) injection is required every day. This is because semaglutide has a longer duration of action in the body.

According to research, semaglutide is more effective than liraglutide in improving blood glucose control and weight loss. The biggest difference between these two medications is that Ozempic is not approved for the treatment of obesity as Saxenda.

What is comparable to Saxenda?

Several medications alleviating weight loss symptoms are widely accessible on the market. However, saxenda is widely recommended due to its effective results in weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness and decreasing hunger in the brain.

However, wegovy (Semaglutide) is another effective medication for weight loss. Both saxenda and wegovy are members of the same peptide class for weight loss known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists [3]. Wegovy, like Saxenda, is used to help in weight loss and management. Both medications are given via injection. However, Saxenda is taken once daily, and Wegovy is taken once a week. Read here a detailed comparison between Saxenda and Wegovy.

What is better than Saxenda for weight loss?

There are several other weight loss medications on the market. Because of their potential and effectiveness, medications such as Saxenda and Wegovy are being studied. Although Wegovy and Saxenda work in the same way, their outcomes may differ. A subset of patients actively participated in a survey that analyzed the two medicines side by side. People taking Wegovy lost significantly more weight than those taking Saxenda when combined with diet and exercise, according to the findings. The Wegovy group lost approximately 16% of their initial body weight. This compares to 6% for the Saxenda group [4].

Saxenda vs Victoza vs Ozempic

Basis Saxenda Victoza Ozempic
Purpose Prescribed for Weight Loss and Obesity Prescribed for lowering blood glucose levels for people having Type 2 diabetes Prescribed for lowering blood glucose levels for people having Type 2 diabetes
Drug Class GLP-1 agonist GLP-1 agonist GLP-1 agonist
Generic Name Liraglutide Liraglutide Semaglutide
What form does the drug come in? Prefilled injection pens Prefilled injection pens Prefilled injection pens
Who usually takes the medication? Adults and children aged 12 to 17 are considered. Adults and children 10 years and older Adults 18 years and older


Are victoza and saxenda interchangeable?

Victoza and Saxenda both contain the same medicinal constituents, however, only Saxenda is authorized to treat weight loss conditions. Victoza has still not been licensed to treat obesity. Victoza may promote weight loss in certain type 2 diabetic patients. However, Saxenda is used at a higher dose than Victoza.

What should you do after 30 days with your victoza pen?

Even if some medicine remains in your Victoza pen after 30 days, throw it away. After the expiration date written on the carton, Victoza should not be used.

How long does your body take to adjust to victoza?

Most people notice changes in their blood sugar levels two weeks after starting Victoza (liraglutide). Expect no changes in your blood sugar while taking the 0.6 mg starting dose, as this is a low dose intended to allow your body to adjust to the medication.

Is it okay to take saxenda every other day?

Saxenda is an injectable medication that is given once daily and comes in the shape of a prefilled pen. It is the first and only FDA-approved weight-loss medicine in a pen that can assist you in reducing and maintaining your weight loss.

Does victoza make you feel hungry?

Even after a heavy meal, Victoza seems to be quite successful at maintaining low blood glucose levels. Additionally, it is considered to be an appetite suppressant that helps people finally lose weight after years of struggle.

Wrapping Up 

Despite having the same medicinal constituents, Saxenda and Victoza are not interchangeable for the treatment of type 2 diabetes or weight loss conditions. Victoza is used to control blood sugar levels, whereas Saxenda is used to help you lose weight.

If you plan to use Victoza or Saxenda, or if you have any questions about either medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist.


  1. Sylvia H. Jackson. “Liraglutide (Victoza).” P T vol. 35,9 (2010): 498-502.
  2. Initial U.S. Approval. “VICTOZA® (liraglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use.” (2010).
  3. Gurdeep Singh. “Wegovy (semaglutide): a new weight loss drug for chronic weight management.” BMJ Open Access vol. 70,1 (2021): 5-13.
  4. U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Effect of Weekly Subcutaneous Semaglutide vs Daily Liraglutide on Body Weight in Adults With Overweight or Obesity Without Diabetes: The STEP 8 Randomized Clinical Trial.”, (2022).
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