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Liraglutide parenteral

Updated 2 Feb 2023 | GLP-1 agonists


Solution for injection containing liraglutide

Drugs List

  • liraglutide 6mg/ml solution for injection 3ml pre-filled pen
  • SAXENDA 6mg/ml solution for injection 3ml pre-filled pen
  • VICTOZA 6mg/ml solution for injection 3ml pre-filled pen
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Type 2 diabetes (NIDDM) not controlled by diet,weight loss & exercise alone
    Weight management in adults with BMI > 30 - adjunct
    Weight management in adults with BMI 27 to < 30 with comorbidity -adjunct

    Treatment of adult patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus:
    As monotherapy when diet and exercise do not provide adequate glycaemic control in patients for whom use of metformin is considered inappropriate.
    In combination with other glucose lowering medication including insulin where the existing regimen with diet and exercise does not provide adequate glycaemic control.

    Weight management in adults as an adjunct to diet and exercise:
    In patients with an initial body mass index of 30kg/m square or greater.
    In patients with an initial body mass index of 27 to 29kg/m square with at least one weight-related comorbidity such as dysglycaemia (pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes mellitus), hypertension, dyslipidaemia or obstructive sleep apnoea.



    Type 2 diabetes
    A starting dose of 0.6mg daily is recommended in order to improve gastro-intestinal tolerability.
    After at least 1 week, increase to 1.2mg.

    After another week at 1.2mg the dose may be increased to a maximum of 1.8mg daily if required.

    Weight management
    A starting dose of 0.6mg daily is recommended in order to improve gastro-intestinal tolerability.
    The dose should be increased to 3mg daily in increments of 0.6mg at weekly intervals.

    If the increase in dose is not tolerated for 2 consecutive weeks, consider discontinuing treatment.

    Patients with Renal Impairment

    Creatinine clearance 30ml/minute or greater
    No dose adjustment required.

    Creatinine clearance less than 30ml/minute
    Avoid if treating weight management.
    No dose adjustment recommended, however, avoid in end stage renal disease.

    Additional Dosage Information

    When used in combination with a sulfonylurea or basal insulin therapy, a lower dose of the sulfonylurea or basal insulin should be considered to reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia.

    Missed dose
    If missed for more than 12 hours, the dose should be skipped and the patient should resume the regimen with the next schedule dose. An extra dose should not be taken to make up for the missed dose.


    Inject subcutaneously into the abdomen, thigh or upper arm.

    Inject around the same time each day independent of meals. Injection site and timing may be changed without the need for dose adjustment.


    Children under 18 years
    End stage renal disease
    Inflammatory bowel disease
    New York Heart Association class IV failure
    Severe hepatic impairment

    Precautions and Warnings

    Patients over 75 years
    History of pancreatitis
    Mild hepatic impairment
    Renal impairment - creatinine clearance below 30 ml/minute
    Thyroid dysfunction

    Not all available brands are licensed for all indications
    Exclude pregnancy prior to initiation of treatment
    Insulin dose adjustment: Reduce insulin dose gradually and monitor for DKA
    Monitor heart rate
    Monitor patient for hypoglycaemia if adjunct to insulin or sulfonylurea
    Advise patient of potential risk of dehydration
    Advise patient to report symptoms of cholelithiasis and cholecystitis
    Advise patients to report symptoms of acute pancreatitis immediately
    Discontinue permanently if acute pancreatitis occurs
    Discontinue if heart rate is increased for sustained period
    Discontinue if pancreatitis is suspected
    Weight loss: Discontinue if after 12 weeks at 3mg dose, weight loss is < 5%
    Advise patient on fluid replacement if GI side effects occur
    Patient to inform DVLA if fitness to drive impaired or hypoglycaemic risk

    Use with caution in patients with thyroid dysfunction as adverse events such as goitre have been reported in clinical trials, particularly in patients with a pre-existing thyroid disease.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Liraglutide is contraindicated in pregnancy.
    Manufacturers advise that liraglutide should be discontinued if the patient wishes to become pregnant or if pregnancy occurs during treatment.
    There is limited data available on the use of liraglutide during pregnancy.
    Animal studies have showed development toxicity (structural anomalies and decreased body weight) in 2 animal species.


    Liraglutide is contraindicated in breastfeeding.
    Manufacturers advise that liraglutide should not be used during breastfeeding.
    It is not known whether liraglutide is excreted in human milk. Animal studies have shown that the transfer of liraglutide and its metabolites into milk is low.
    Studies have shown a treatment-related reduction of neonatal growth in rats.
    Briggs (2015) suggests that the high molecular weight of liraglutide (3751) indicates that the drug would not pass freely into breast milk. The long half life and low metabolism may, however, increase the likelihood of transfer.


    Advise patient to report signs of acute pancreatitis: severe abdominal pain with or without back pain.

    Advise patients if they develop diarrhoea, vomiting or other fluid losses they should increase their fluid intake.

    Advise patient of potential risk of dehydration.

    Advise patient to report symptoms of cholelithiasis and cholecystitis.

    Advise patient to report to DVLA if there is a risk of hypoglycaemia, or if fitness to drive may be impaired due to diabetes complications. Guidance can be found by accessing website.

    Side Effects

    Abdominal discomfort
    Abdominal distension
    Abdominal pain
    Acute renal failure
    Anaphylactic reaction
    Decreased appetite
    Dry mouth
    Elevated amylase levels
    Elevated serum lipase
    Gastroesophageal reflux disease
    Increased heart rate
    Injection site reactions
    Intestinal obstruction
    Necrotising pancreatitis
    Renal impairment
    Tooth ache


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: April 2019

    Reference Sources

    Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 10th edition (2015) ed. Briggs, G., Freeman, R. Wolters Kluwer Health, Philadelphia.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Saxenda 6 mg/ml solution for injection in pre-filled pen. Novo Nordisk Limited. Revised March 2019.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: Victoza 6 mg/ml solution for injection in pre-filled pen. Novo Nordisk Limited. Revised July 2017.

    MHRA Drug Safety Update June 2019
    Available at:
    Last accessed: 28 August 2019

    NICE Evidence Services Available at: Last accessed: 03 April 2019

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    Medscape UK | Univadis prescription drug monographs & interactions are based on FDB Multilex Content

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    FDB Disclaimer : FDB Multilex is intended for the use of healthcare professionals and is provided on the basis that the healthcare professionals will retain FULL and SOLE responsibility for deciding what treatment to prescribe or dispense for any particular patient or circumstance.