Patients and healthcare providers who have been wondering when Victoza (liraglutide) will be approved for weight management received their answer just before Christmas. On December 23, 2014, The FDA approved Saxenda (liraglutide) injection for chronic weight management in addition to a reduced calorie diet and physical activity. Liraglutide is the active ingredient in Victoza and Saxenda. However, Saxenda is available as 3 mg and is not approved for diabetes treatment. The maximum dose of Victoza is 1.8 mg daily. Essentially, Saxenda is a higher dose of Victoza. Saxenda is supplied as a solution for subcutaneous injection and a pre-filled multi-dose pen that delivers doses of 0.6 mg, 1.2 mg, 1.8 mg, 2.4 mg or 3 mg (6 mg/mL, 3 mL).
Saxenda is approved for use in obese adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater or overweight adults with a BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater who have at least one weight-related risk factor such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol (dyslipidemia).
Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that is 97% similar to the GLP-1 hormone produced by our bodies. Liraglutide binds to and activates GLP-1 receptors, which are found on pancreatic beta cells and in the brain. After food is ingested, liraglutide increases production of insulin from pancreatic beta cells and also reduces the output of glucose from the liver. Liraglutide also controls appetite by reducing the feeling of hunger. It also delays the emptying of food from the stomach and increases the feeling of fullness. This may result in weight loss.