Modified on

Trulicity vs Victoza: Once-weekly GLP-1 medication takes on a daily GLP-1 med

Take the quiz

The drugs Trulicity® and Victoza® may ring a bell if you or someone you know has type 2 diabetes or is on a weight management journey.

Trulicity and Victoza are injectable prescription meds approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat type 2 diabetes. They also belong to the GLP-1 drug class and are prescribed off-label for treating overweight and obesity.

So, if these prescription drugs are similar, you’re probably left wondering which is right for you, if one is more effective, and how they compare. Let’s explore Trulicity vs Victoza and how they can help you.

What is Trulicity?

Trulicity is the brand name for the drug dulaglutide. It’s manufactured by the U.S.-based drug company Eli Lilly. And you may also be familiar with the other Lilly diabetes drug, Mounjaro™ (tirzepatide), which was approved by the FDA in 2022. (Mounjaro’s also been making media waves because of its ability to help support significant weight loss.) But Trulicity’s been around longer: It was approved in September 2014 for treating type 2 diabetes in adults.

Dulaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. Like other drugs in its class, it can mimic the GLP-1 incretin hormone your body naturally produces that helps control appetite and lower blood glucose levels. Dulaglutide has also been shown to lower the risk of adverse cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. 

What is Victoza?

Like Trulicity, Victoza is part of the GLP-1 drug class and works in your body to help lower blood sugar levels. But its active ingredient is liraglutide, and it’s manufactured by the Danish company Novo Nordisk, which also makes the well-known diabetes drug, Ozempic® (semaglutide). Victoza was FDA-approved in the U.S. in 2010 for treating adults with type 2 diabetes. In June 2019, the FDA approved liraglutide to treat type 2 diabetes in children and teens ages 10 to 17 years old too.

In addition to helping manage blood sugar levels, liraglutide helps slow digestion (gastric emptying). It also prevents the liver from producing too much glucose and helps the pancreas produce more insulin when blood sugar levels are high. 

It’s worth knowing that liraglutide is the same active ingredient in the FDA-approved weight-loss drug, Saxenda®. But Saxenda comes in a higher dose than its sister diabetes drug, Victoza. 

And, as a head’s up, Victoza and Trulicity are not intended to treat those with type 1 diabetes.

Trulicity vs Victoza: can they help with weight loss?

The short answer: Yes. In clinical trials, both diabetes medications caused meaningful weight loss among participating patients. Here’s what we know:

Trulicity weight loss

In 2021, the journal Diabetes Care published the results of a clinical trial on 1,842 patients with type 2 diabetes and an average body mass index (BMI) of 34 who had tried the first-line diabetes drug metformin. The participants were given once-weekly Trulicity doses of 1.5 mg, 3.0 mg, or 4.5 mg for 52 weeks. The trial revealed that the 4.5 mg dose of dulaglutide (Trulicity) was the most effective, with an average weight loss of about 10 pounds after 36 weeks. 

Victoza weight loss

A critical review published in Obesity Science & Practice in 2017 saw significant results in a clinical trial performed in eight European countries on patients who had BMIs between 30 and 40. The study had participants take a 1.2 mg, 1.8 mg, 2.4 mg, or 3.0 mg once-daily dose of  liraglutide, a once-daily placebo, or a 120 mg oral dose of orlistat three times a day. 

After 20 weeks, those who had taken liraglutide lost significantly more weight. Even those who took the lowest dose of liraglutide, 1.2 mg, lost almost twice the weight as the placebo group (about 11 pounds vs about 6 pounds). 

In addition, the review also mentioned the patients in the trial were also instructed to make lifestyle changes such as a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity.

Victoza vs Trulicity: side effects

Like any med you take, side effects can occur. It’s important to tell your health care provider if you experience any when taking any new medications and ask for their medical advice. Interestingly enough, the most common side effects for both Victoza and Trulicity are similar: nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. But, there are a few others that do differ. Be on the lookout if you experience any of the following:

Trulicity side effects

  • Abdominal pain 

  • Decreased appetite 

  • Indigestion

  • Fatigue

Serious side effect warnings: risk of thyroid c-cell tumors, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), hypoglycemia, hypersensitivity reactions, diabetic retinopathy complications, and acute gallbladder disease.

Victoza side effects

  • Constipation

  • Upper respiratory tract infection

  • Headaches

Serious side effect warnings: pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), kidney problems, severe allergic reactions, and gallbladder problems.

And importantly, Victoza and Trulicity aren’t recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding so speak to your doctor before starting.

Do not use Victoza or Trulicity if you or anyone in your family has ever had a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or if you’ve had multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

How are Victoza and Trulicity taken?

Liraglutide and dulaglutide are subcutaneous (under the skin) injections you administer at home. However, Trulicity is taken weekly, while Victoza is a daily medication. Both meds can be injected in your upper arm, upper thigh, or abdomen.

Trulicity vs Victoza: dosing schedule

Your health care provider will cover in detail all prescribing information and decide the dosing that’s just right for you. But here’s the suggested dosing schedule:

Trulicity dosing schedule

The recommended starting dose for Trulicity is 0.75 mg subcutaneously once weekly. After four weeks, the dose can be increased to 1.5 mg for additional glycemic control. Then, if tolerated, doses can be increased by 1.5 mg every four weeks with a maximum dose of 4.5 mg injected weekly.

Victoza dosing schedule

Keep in mind that Victoza is dosed each day, so the recommended starting dose is 0.6 mg for at least one week, then 1.2 mg for at least one week, and finally 1.8 mg for further glycemic control. Additionally, 1.8 mg is the highest Victoza dose you’ll be prescribed.

Do Victoza and Trulicity cost the same?

Victoza pricing varies by insurance coverage. You can check the Novo Nordisk website to get estimates of your co-pay. It may be anywhere from $30 to $55 per fill (a 30-day supply) when prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Before being prescribed Victoza, check with your insurance provider to see if it's covered and how much you’ll pay out-of-pocket. The good news is research suggests most insurance companies cover most of Victoza’s cost when prescribed for its approved use.

On the other hand, the list price of Trulicity is $930.88 monthly per Eli Lilly. “About 92% of Trulicity prescriptions cost between $0 and $30 per month, and the remaining cost an average of $239 per month,” according to Lilly. So, check with your insurance company about coverage, but there's a good chance a majority will be covered.

Can you take Trulicity and Victoza at the same time?

No. Because Trulicity and Victoza are both GLP-1s, you should not take them together because your risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and other side effects will be much higher.

But, if you try Trulicity and find it’s not a fit, your health care professional may suggest trying Victoza next to see if it works better for you.

Also, let your doctor know about any other supplements or over-the-counter meds you may be taking to avoid any adverse drug interactions when taking Trulicity or Victoza.

The verdict: is Trulicity or Victoza more effective?

Both medications seem to have very similar efficacy; it truly comes down to what works best for you individually. You may try one and find that it’s not working for you, so you can switch to the other and see if it works better for you. 

On the other hand, it may be more appealing to you to have a once-weekly injection instead of a once-daily one. You and your doctor will decide the best medication for you during your weight-loss journey and help you to find the most maintainable one. 

*GLP-1 Note: "Found is not currently prescribing GLP-1 medications for weight loss, but we are considering it as a part of our strategy to help members meet their weight-loss goals in the future. Stay tuned for updates on a potential GLP-1 rollout at Found. Until then, we can still help you meet your weight-loss goals with our current online weight-loss program."

Found offers a science-backed approach to weight care that's based on your unique biology, psychology, lifestyle, and prescription medication needs. The average Found member loses 10 percent of their body weight during their first 12 months on the program. In total, members have lost 800,000 pounds to date. To start your journey with Found, take our quiz.

Find out what path is right for you