Comparing weight loss treatments reveals that long-term use of prescription drugs leads to significantly more significant weight loss than lifestyle changes alone, as per experts.

Saxenda and Victoza, both developed by Novo Nordisk, are at the forefront of these treatments. Although similar, they are approved for different uses and dosages.

This article will thoroughly compare Saxenda and Victoza, delving into their effectiveness, usage, and patient outcomes to help you make an informed decision.

Key Takeaways

  • Both Saxenda and Victoza contain liraglutide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, but they are used for different indications. Saxenda is used mainly for weight loss, while Victoza is used to manage type 2 diabetes.
  • Clinical trials have shown that Saxenda effectively promotes weight loss and improves glycemic control in obese individuals. Victoza has been proven to reduce blood sugar levels and aid in weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes.
  • Common side effects for both medications include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which are usually mild and improve over time. Serious side effects, though rare, may consist of pancreatitis and gallbladder disease for Saxenda and pancreatitis and potential thyroid tumors for Victoza.
  • Both medications are administered once daily via subcutaneous injection. Saxenda’s dosage is gradually increased to minimize gastrointestinal side effects, while Victoza’s dosage is adjusted based on patient response and tolerability.
  • Saxenda is indicated for individuals with a BMI of 30 or greater or 27 with weight-related comorbidities. Victoza is for adults with type 2 diabetes needing improved glycemic control. The cost of both medications varies, and the most cost-effective option should be discussed with healthcare providers and insurance companies.

Mechanism of Action

Weight loss treatments.

Saxenda helps overweight or obese adults lose weight. It works by making you feel full longer and eat less. This drug can also lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes but is not FDA-approved for this use.

On the other hand, Victoza is crucial for those managing type-2 diabetes. It mimics the hormone GLP-1, enhancing insulin release when blood sugar is high. Unlike Saxenda, its primary role revolves around stabilizing glucose levels rather than directly targeting obesity.

Clinical Efficacy

Clinical trials have shown that Saxenda is effective for weight loss in obese or overweight adults. Since it contains liraglutide, the same active ingredient found in Victoza, its efficacy is unsurprising. Moreover, some doctors often compare products like Saxenda vs. Mounjaro, with many preferring the former because of its safety and efficacy. 

In these studies, Saxenda participants saw significant body weight reductions compared to placebo participants. The trials highlight Saxenda’s role in shedding pounds and managing obesity-related conditions.

Alternatively, Saxenda has been approved by the FDA for managing type-2 diabetes and has shown positive outcomes in clinical trials. These studies highlight its effectiveness in controlling blood sugar levels. 

Victoza works by imitating GLP-1, a hormone that lowers blood glucose after eating. This mechanism aids in stabilizing blood sugar and plays a role in weight management. In trials, patients using Victoza experienced better control of their diabetes symptoms than those on other treatments.


Safety Profile

Weight loss treatments.

Like other medical treatments, Saxenda and Victoza have their share of side effects. Users often report nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and headaches as common reactions to these injections. Some might notice that they lose their appetite or have minor stomach pain.

However, Saxenda can lead to some severe side effects, which include heart problems. Patients using Saxenda need close monitoring for signs of heart issues. This drug is not recommended for use with other GLP-1 receptor agonists because combining them could increase the risk of serious complications.

Victoza also has its own set of severe side effects. This drug, primarily used for type-2 diabetes management, can lead to significant health issues. Like Saxenda, heart problems are a primary concern when using Victoza. The active ingredient liraglutide is effective but demands attention for its potential risks. 


Practical Considerations

Weight loss treatments.

Saxenda starts with a low dose of 0.6 mg daily for one week. This process helps your body get used to the medicine. The dose increases by 0.6 mg weekly until it reaches 3.0 mg daily.

Victoza offers a different schedule aimed at its primary function—managing type-2 diabetes. Victoza is injected once daily at any time, regardless of meals.

Doctors might adjust these doses based on how well someone manages their blood sugar levels and how they respond to treatment with Victoza. Patients must follow their healthcare professional’s instructions closely for the best results in controlling type-2 diabetes with this FDA-approved medication.

Patient Selection Criteria

People who are obese or overweight can use this medication for weight loss. Adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more qualify.

Also, adults with a BMI of 27 or more can use it if they have at least one weight-related condition, like type 2 diabetes. Saxenda and Victoza help control obesity and aid in weight loss.

Healthcare professionals always check the patient’s medical history and current medications due to known drug interactions; there are 256 known interactions with Saxenda and Victoza, including two major ones.

Cost Comparison Between Saxenda and Victoza

While both Saxenda and Victoza contain liraglutide and are administered as daily injections, their costs and insurance coverage differ due to their distinct primary indications.

  • Saxenda, used for weight management, tends to be more expensive and may have less insurance coverage, leading to higher out-of-pocket costs.
  • Victoza, used for diabetes management, generally has broader insurance coverage and lower monthly costs. 

Patients should consult their healthcare provider and insurance company to determine the most cost-effective option based on their needs and coverage.


Saxenda and Victoza share the same active ingredient but serve different health goals. Saxenda aids in weight loss for overweight or obese adults, while Victoza manages type-2 diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels.

Each has side effects and dosing schedules, making consultation with a healthcare professional crucial. Choosing between them depends on individual health needs and goals. This comparison sheds light on their unique uses, helping patients and doctors make informed decisions.


1. What’s the main difference between Saxenda and Victoza?

Saxenda is used mainly for weight loss, while Victoza helps people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar.

2. Is Victoza good for losing weight?

Yes, some people might lose weight with Victoza, as it helps manage blood sugar levels, which can affect appetite and metabolism.

3. Do both medications have side effects?

Yes, both Saxenda and Victoza can cause side effects like nausea or a sore stomach.

4 Will my insurance cover Saxenda or Victoza?

It depends on your insurance plan; you must check with them to see if either medication is covered.

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Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Weight-loss drugs. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from

Medical News Today. (n.d.). Saxenda vs. Victoza: What to know. Medical News Today. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from

My BMI. (n.d.). The difference between Saxenda and Victoza. My BMI. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from