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How and where do you inject liraglutide?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 29, 2021.

Official answer


Liraglutide is injected just under the skin (subcutaneously) and the best sites are your stomach (abdomen), thigh, or upper arm. Do not inject Victoza into a muscle (intramuscularly) or vein (intravenously). To do this, you pinch up an area of skin with your thumb and forefinger, and then push the needle of the pen into this area, so that the medication will be injected just under the skin. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to show you how to use the pen correctly before your first use.

  • Before injecting, wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Dial the pen to the dose that your doctor has prescribed you. Attach a new needle to the pen each time.
  • Pinch up an area of skin on your abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. Insert the needle of the pen
  • Press down on the center of the dose button to inject until “0 mg” lines up with the pointer. Keep the dose button pressed down and make sure that you keep the needle under the skin for a full count of 6 seconds to make sure the full dose is injected. Keep your thumb on the injection button until you remove the needle from your skin.
  • Withdrawal the needle from your injection site. If blood appears after you take the needle out of your skin, apply light pressure with a swab or stick on a plaster, but do not rub the area.
  • Remove the needle from the pen device and dispose of it in an FDA-approved sharps container. Do not throw away loose needles and pens in your household trash.
  • Store your pen without the needle attached.

You need to prepare a new pen before first use. To prepare the pen each time you get a new pen

  • Flow check symbols: The first time you use each new pen be sure to dial to the flow check symbol, which looks like two dashes. You only need to do this once with each new pen. Turn the dose selector until the flow check symbol (--) lines up with the pointer.
  • Hold the pen with the needle pointing up. Tap the cartridge gently with your finger a few times to bring any air bubbles to the top of the cartridge. Keep the needle pointing up and press the dose button until "0 mg" lines up with the pointer.
  • Repeat steps 1 and 2 (up to 6 times if needed) until a drop of Victoza appears at the needle tip.
  • If you still do not see a drop of fluid, use a new pen and contact Novo Nordisk at 1-877-484-2869.
  • Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Liraglutide is available as Victoza which is used together with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults and children at least 10 years old who have type 2 diabetes mellitus, and Saxenda which is for use in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, and for children at least 12 years old who weigh more than 132 pounds (60 kilograms).

Do not use Saxenda and Victoza together.

Liraglutide is injected under the skin at any time of the day, with or without a meal. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself. Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand all instructions.

  • Liraglutide Updated 08/2020.

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