Victoza vs Trulicity

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For patients with type 2 diabetes, certain drugs that affect metabolic function and blood sugar regulation can be critical in maintaining a stable health condition. Victoza and Trulicity are two such medications often prescribed for managing symptoms of this chronic disease. Both drugs belong to the class of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists which help regulate insulin levels in response to food intake, but they each have different dosage routines and side effects profiles.

Victoza is taken once daily regardless of meals while Trulicity's once-weekly injection offers greater convenience for some individuals. As well as working on glucose control, both these medicines also offer cardiovascular benefits - reducing the risk of major heart events such as stroke or heart attack in high-risk diabetic patients. However, it's important to note that side effects may vary; nausea is more commonly reported with Victoza whereas Trulicity users may experience more frequent diarrhea.

What is Victoza?

Liraglutide (the generic name for Victoza) was the first drug of the GLP-1 receptor agonists class designed to lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. This medication, approved by the FDA in 2010, works by mimicking a hormone in your body that causes your pancreas to release insulin, effectively controlling blood glucose levels. It is prescribed as an adjunct to diet and exercise when metformin alone does not provide adequate glycemic control. Liraglutide has selective effects on pancreatic beta cells with minor influence elsewhere, resulting in fewer side effects compared to other diabetes medications that have broader systemic effects.

Dulaglutide (brand name Trulicity), another GLP-1 receptor agonist but engineered differently than liraglutide, was later introduced and approved by the FDA in 2014. Both drugs are similar but there are some differences such as dosing frequency; Trulicity is administered once per week while Victoza requires daily injections.

What conditions is Victoza approved to treat?

Victoza is approved for the treatment of several conditions related to type 2 diabetes:

  • It helps manage blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes
  • It reduces the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke or death in adults with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease
  • It's used along with a proper diet and exercise regime

On the other hand, Trulicity is also used for similar purposes:

  • Treatment of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in adults
  • To reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (heart attack, stroke) in patients who have heart disease or multiple cardiovascular risk factors.

How does Victoza help with these illnesses?

Victoza helps manage Type 2 diabetes by mimicking the effect of a hormone known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). It works by stimulating the release of insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, when glucose levels are high. By doing this, Victoza helps keep blood sugar levels steady throughout the day, which is crucial in managing Type 2 diabetes. GLP-1 also slows down gastric emptying and makes you feel full sooner after meals - this can help to control weight which is often beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. Similar to how Prozac increases serotonin availability to help manage depression symptoms, Victoza uses its GLP-1 mimicry mechanism to maintain stable blood sugar levels and consequently better manage Type 2 Diabetes.

What is Trulicity?

Trulicity is a brand name for dulaglutide, which is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. It mimics the action of GLP-1, which is a hormone that regulates glucose levels in the body by increasing insulin release and decreasing glucagon (a hormone that increases blood sugar) production when blood sugar levels get too high. Trulicity was first approved by the FDA in 2014.

As Trulicity isn't an oral antidiabetic drug, it doesn't inhibit DPP-4 enzyme like some diabetes medications do. Its unique mechanism means its side-effect profile also differs from those drugs; particularly it's less likely to cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugars), a common side effect of many other diabetic medications.

The effects of Trulicity on glucose regulation can be very beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes who struggle to manage their condition with diet and exercise alone or alongside traditional oral medication regimens.

What conditions is Trulicity approved to treat?

Trulicity is an injectable prescription medicine that is FDA-approved for the treatment of:

  • Type 2 Diabetes, as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control
  • Reduction of major cardiovascular events in adults with type 2 diabetes who have established cardiovascular disease or multiple risk factors.

How does Trulicity help with these illnesses?

Like Victoza, Trulicity is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that plays significant roles in various metabolic processes. It influences insulin secretion, gastric emptying, and the feeling of satiety or fullness. This hormone has been implicated in managing type 2 diabetes by enhancing glucose-dependent insulin release.

Trulicity works by increasing the levels of this hormone available to interact with its receptors thereby aiding in the management of blood sugar levels for diabetics. Its action on appetite may also play roles in achieving weight loss as an additional benefit for patients with type 2 diabetes who are often overweight or obese. Since it does not significantly affect fasting glucose levels, it is sometimes prescribed when a patient does not respond well to other diabetic medications (such as metformin), or may be combined with these agents.

How effective are both Victoza and Trulicity?

Both liraglutide (Victoza) and dulaglutide (Trulicity) are glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists approved by the FDA for treating type 2 diabetes, with Victoza being introduced in 2010 and Trulicity following in 2014. They work by enhancing glucose-dependent insulin secretion, suppressing elevated glucagon secretion, and slowing gastric emptying to ultimately lower blood sugar levels.

The AWARD-6 trial directly compared dulaglutide against liraglutide; both drugs showed comparable effectiveness in lowering HbA1c levels after a period of 26 weeks. The study also reported that patients receiving either drug experienced similar rates of gastrointestinal side effects, which are common with this class of medication. However, a key difference between these two medications is their dosing frequency: Victoza requires daily injections while Trulicity only needs to be injected once weekly.

A meta-analysis published in Diabetes Care Journal found that Victoza was effective at reducing the HbA1c level from baseline after just one week of treatment initiation. It has been well-tolerated among different demographic groups including elderly populations and is now one of the most commonly prescribed GLP-1 agonist worldwide.

On the other hand, a review conducted in 2017 indicated that Trulicity seems to have superior or similar efficacy when compared to other common antidiabetic agents like metformin or sitagliptin. Nevertheless, it's often considered as an add-on therapy rather than first-line due to its cost implications. Most studies involving Trulicity include it as part of combination therapy with other antidiabetics making data on its standalone efficacy less robust than for Victoza. However, due to its unique pharmacokinetic profile leading to sustained therapeutic effect throughout the week resulting from single injection makes it more convenient option over others especially for those who wish avoid frequent dosages or suffer from needle phobia.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Victoza typically prescribed?

Injectable dosages of Victoza range from 0.6-1.8 mg/day, but studies have indicated that 1.2 mg/day is sufficient for treating type 2 diabetes in most people. In either population, dosage can be increased after a month if there is inadequate response to the initial dose or according to individual glycemic response. The maximum dosage that should not be exceeded in any case is 1.8 mg/day.

Trulicity, on the other hand, comes as a pre-filled pen and is injected once weekly at any time of day without regard to meals. The recommended initiating dose of Trulicity (dulaglutide) for patients with type 2 diabetes is 0.75 mg once weekly; it may be increased to 1.5 mg once weekly for additional glycemic control as needed.

At what dose is Trulicity typically prescribed?

Trulicity treatment typically begins at a dosage of 0.75 mg/week, administered via subcutaneous injection. The dose can then be increased to 1.5 mg/week after evaluating the patient’s tolerance and blood glucose control level to the initial dose. Trulicity is provided in a single-dose pen which makes it convenient for once-weekly injections without any preparation or mixing needed prior to administration. It's essential that each injection is spaced one week apart, with no more than one dose per week. If there is inadequate response to the treatment at 0.75 mg/week after several weeks, your healthcare provider may recommend increasing your dosage up to maximum of 1.5mg/week.

What are the most common side effects for Victoza?

Common side effects of Victoza include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • Headache
  • Fatigue or general weakness (asthenia)
  • Dizziness

On the other hand, Trulicity may cause these common side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion

While both drugs have similar potential side effects such as nausea and diarrhea, Victoza is often associated with headaches and fatigue while Trulicity can cause more abdominal discomfort. Always consult your healthcare provider to understand the possible risks and benefits before starting a new medication.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Victoza?

While Victoza and Trulicity are both used to manage blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes, they may have different side effects. With Victoza, you should be on the lookout for:

  • Signs of thyroid cancer: a lump or swelling in your neck, trouble swallowing, a hoarse voice, or shortness of breath.
  • Serious allergic reactions: itching, rash, severe dizziness, trouble breathing
  • Pancreatitis symptoms such as persistent nausea/vomiting and severe stomach/abdominal pain.
  • Kidney problems indicated by changes in the amount of urine
  • Increased heartbeat or palpitation
  • Gallbladder disease like cholelithiasis

With Trulicity:

  • You must immediately report any signs of an allergic reaction including hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face/lips/tongue/throat. -Symptoms that indicate pancreatitis - severe abdominal pain that radiates to your back and accompanied by vomiting -Possible thyroid tumors including swollen neck lump/swelling/sore throat/trouble swallowing.

You should never ignore these symptoms if they occur after starting either medication. Always inform your healthcare provider about any unusual effects immediately.

What are the most common side effects for Trulicity?

While taking Trulicity, you may experience some of the following side effects:

  • Stomach discomfort or pain
  • Decreased appetite leading to weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Possible skin reactions at the injection site such as rash or irritation.

Trulicity can also lead to changes in urination patterns including frequency and quantity. As with any medication, it's essential to monitor how your body reacts and communicate any concerns with your healthcare provider promptly.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Trulicity?

While most people tolerate Trulicity well, it can sometimes lead to serious side effects. It's crucial to be aware of the following symptoms and seek medical attention if they occur:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction including hives, itching, difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Swelling in your face or throat
  • Severe pain in your stomach that won't go away, which could indicate pancreatitis
  • Rapid heartbeat with feelings of lightheadedness
  • Unusual mood changes or behaviors such as depression or suicidal thoughts
  • Changes in urination habits like frequency and color which might suggest kidney problems
  • Vision changes like blurred vision If you experience any of these side effects while on Trulicity, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Contraindications for Victoza and Trulicity?

Both Victoza and Trulicity, like many other diabetes medications, may cause certain side effects in some people. If you notice your blood sugar levels fluctuating drastically or uncontrolled weight loss, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Neither Victoza nor Trulicity should be used if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). They are also not recommended for patients with a severe gastrointestinal condition such as gastroparesis. Always inform your physician about any existing health conditions; these conditions may require special attention to prevent adverse reactions to either Victoza or Trulicity.

Patients already receiving treatment with insulin must be cautious when adding Victoza or Trulicity to their regimen due to the potential risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Regular monitoring is required under these circumstances.

Victoza and Trulicity both come in injectable forms but differ in how often they need to be administered – daily for Victoza versus weekly for Trulicity - so patient's lifestyle preferences and ability to adhere consistently should be taken into consideration.

How much do Victoza and Trulicity cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price of a 2-pen package (18mg/3ml each) of Victoza averages around $800, which works out to approximately $26–$40/day depending on your dose.
  • The price for a 4-pen pack of Trulicity (1.5 mg/0.5 ml each) is about $730, working out to roughly $24/day.

Thus, if you are in the higher dosage range for Victoza (i.e., 1.8 mg/day or higher), then brand-name Trulicity may be less expensive on a per-day treatment basis. Please note that cost should not be a primary consideration in determining which drug is right for you.

As far as we know at this time, there aren't any generic versions available yet for either Victoza (liraglutide) or Trulicity (dulaglutide). This means costs remain relatively high for both medications with no significant difference between them.

Popularity of Victoza and Trulicity

Victoza (liraglutide) and Trulicity (dulaglutide) are both injectable drugs used to manage type 2 diabetes. They belong to a class of medicines known as GLP-1 receptor agonists which help regulate blood sugar levels.

In 2020, Victoza was prescribed to approximately 1.9 million people in the USA, accounting for roughly 17% of prescriptions within its drug class. Since its approval by the FDA in 2010, Victoza has seen steady growth in usage due largely to its once-daily dosing and proven efficacy.

Trulicity, on the other hand, was prescribed to about 2.6 million Americans in 2020 despite being newer on the market with FDA approval granted in late 2014. This accounted for just over one-fourth of all GLP-1 receptor agonist prescriptions that year. The higher uptake rate compared to Victoza may be attributed not only to its similar efficacy profile but also because it offers more convenience with once-weekly dosing.


Both Victoza (liraglutide) and Trulicity (dulaglutide) are well-established treatments for type 2 diabetes, backed by numerous clinical studies indicating their effectiveness in managing blood sugar levels compared to placebo. Both drugs fall under the category of GLP-1 receptor agonists, which work by imitating the functions of natural incretin hormones in our body that stimulate insulin secretion and inhibit glucagon release, thereby lowering glucose levels.

While both medications share similar mechanisms of action, they differ slightly in dosing frequency - Victoza requires daily injections while Trulicity is administered once weekly. This can make a significant difference depending on patient preferences and lifestyle.

Victoza is also approved for reducing cardiovascular risk in patients with established cardiovascular disease whereas Trulicity has been shown to reduce HbA1c more effectively than liraglutide at equivalent doses. However, both drugs have not been directly compared against each other for this indication.

Just like Prozac and Wellbutrin mentioned earlier, neither Victoza nor Trulicity are available as generics and may require adjustment periods before you notice improvements in your diabetic symptoms.

Side effects between these two medications are relatively similar; common reactions include nausea or vomiting which usually subside over time but should be reported if persistent or severe. As with any medication used for chronic conditions like diabetes, monitoring one's health status closely under physician guidance is crucial when starting treatment.