Diabetes patient turn knob on end of insulin pen and dial up correct insulin dose for injection. Scale window on pen syringe showing number of units dose. Medical equipment is easy to self injection.

Trulicity vs. Victoza

Authored by The Rx Advocates, / Medically Reviewed by Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS
Last Updated: June 21, 2022

These are medications that can be prescribed for people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Both medications are injections that are self-administered underneath the skin. Trulicity and Victoza also lower the risk of major cardiovascular problems.

Trulicity and Victoza should be used in combination with diet and exercise. These two types of medications have been shown to manage high blood sugar and treat type 2 diabetes.

Trulicity and Victoza are injection treatments for type 2 diabetes but are used for different reasons, so a doctor will need to look at each individual’s case to determine which medication might be best for each patient.

It is always important to know the differences between Trulicity and Victoza to understand why the doctor prescribed that specific medication for them.

 

What is Trulicity?

Trulicity was approved by the FDA in 2014. This medication, along with diet and exercise, can reduce blood sugar levels. This medication is also known to help patients reduce their risk of cardiovascular events, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Trulicity is used by injecting a prefilled pen into the body to help the body control blood sugar levels. It can start working after the first dose to help the body release its own insulin. It should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes.

Trulicity works by mimicking the action of a naturally occurring hormone action of GLP-1 that helps regulate blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, there is no generic form of this medication.

Trulicity is an injection that can be done under the skin into the stomach, thigh or upper arm.  This is to be done once a week, any time, with or without food. Trulicity has also been used to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes.

Trulicity is not to be confused with insulin, and it still relies on the human body to produce, store and release insulin. Trulicity dosage starts with 0.75 mg injections and can be increased up to 4.5 mg depending on the response from the patient.

 

The Side Effects of Trulicity

As with any medication prescribed by a doctor, it is important to understand the potential side effects of Trulicity. It is pertinent to tell the doctor if the individual has had a history of thyroid cancer or is allergic to any of the ingredients.

The most common side effect that patients have with Trulicity include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

There are more serious side effects patients need to be aware of, and these include:

  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Low blood sugar
  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Acute kidney injury

Patients will need to recognize these serious side effects and talk to the doctor immediately.

 

What is Victoza?

Victoza is similar to a hormone that occurs in the body naturally, and it helps control blood sugar, insulin levels, and digestion. It is recommended that this medication be used with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control.

This medication is given typically after other medications have been shown not to work with the patient.

Victoza has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in as little as two weeks after the first dose.   Also, it has been good at lowering A1C and keeping it down.

It works in three ways, like the naturally occurring hormone GLP-1 that helps control blood sugar. Victoza will help the pancreas produce more insulin to help the liver from making too much sugar.

It also helps slow down the process of food leaving the stomach, controlling the blood sugar levels after a meal.

Victoza is injected in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm once a day. It is given in 0.6 mg dose and can be increased up to 1.8 mg daily dose.

 

The Side Effects of Victoza

Many people experience side effects when taking Victoza. Some of the more common side effects of Victoza include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Decreased appetite

Some more serious side effects can occur and if experienced, a healthcare provider should be called right away:

  • Inflammation of the pancrea
  • Sudden kidney problems
  • Lump or swelling in the neck (possible sign of thyroid cancer)
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, mouth, tongue, or throat (allergic reaction)
  • Low blood sugar
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing (allergic reaction)

 

Trulicity Vs. Victoza: Which Medication Works Best for Type 2 Diabetes?

When diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it is good to understand the best medication for each patient. It is important to understand that patients are all different, and that is why doctors look at the pros and cons when prescribing medication for type 2 diabetes.

 

What are the Pros and Cons of Trulicity?

The pros of taking  for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Medicine is ready to use, no need to mix.
  • Only injected once a week.
  • Helps with weight loss and appetite control.
  • Lowers A1C up to 1.5%.
  • No limitation for people with kidney problems.

Cons of taking Trulicity include:

  • Only available as an injection.
  • Many who take Trulicity experience stomach side effects.
  • Generic is not available.

 

What are the Pros and Cons of Victoza?

The pros of taking Victoza include:

  • It can help with weight loss and control appetite.
  • It can improve sugar control and lower A1c levels by as much as 1.5%.
  • No limitation for people with kidney problems.
  • It is ready to use, with no mixing.

The cons of taking Victoza include: 

  • This is only available as an injectable medication.
  • There is no generic brand available.
  • The medication has to be injected daily.

In choosing a medication that is right for a patient, a physician will look at what will give the patient the most benefit in contrast to the risks. This will be done on an individual basis by the attending physician.

 

The Rx Advocates Can Help Save Money on Monthly Prescriptions

Many doctors will prescribe Trulicity or Victoza as a treatment option for type 2 diabetes, but it depends on the needs of the individual. Trulicity and Victoza are not generic medications, so paying for them can be a challenge. At The Rx Advocates, we help make monthly prescription medications much more affordable for the consumer.

We act on our patients’ behalf with our patient assistance program to get discounts. In the end, you just pay for our services. The benefit is that the medication will be delivered to you at no additional cost.

We have helped many individuals save hundreds of dollars every month on Trulicity and Victoza as well as other medications. If paying for medicine has been a financial concern for you, we can help. Please contact us today.

 

Sources:

Drugs. How Does Trulicity Work? https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/trulicity-work-type-2-diabetes-3544526/. 2020.

Drugs. Victoza. https://www.drugs.com/victoza.html. 2021.

Trulicity. Managing Side Effects. https://www.trulicity.com/how-to-use/side-effects. 2021.

Victoza. What is Victoza? https://www.victoza.com/faq/About-Victoza.html. 2021.

Medline. Liraglutide Injection. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a611003.html. 2021.

Iodine. Compare Victoza vs. Trulicity. https://www.iodine.com/compare/victoza-vs-trulicity. 2021.

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