Last Updated February 1, 2024

 February 1, 2024

The topic of liraglutide side effects is getting a lot of attention due to vast interest in the weight loss potential of this peptide.

For researchers looking to conduct studies on liraglutide, then it’s essential to be aware of the possible risks of experimentation.

In this informative article, we explore the potential side effects of liraglutide and provide guidance on how to mitigate them in research settings.

We also discuss considerations related to liraglutide dosing and administration, and provide details on our most trusted source for obtaining research-grade liraglutide online.

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What is Liraglutide?

Developed in the 1990s by the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, liraglutide was based on the discovery of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), with which it is 97% homologous [1, 2].

GLP-1 is an endogenous incretin hormone produced in the gut in response to carbohydrate intake, and plays an essential role in regulating blood sugar.

Liraglutide is a synthetic, long-acting analog of GLP-1. Liraglutide works by activating the GLP-1 receptors, which are widely distributed throughout the body, namely in the pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, adipose tissue, kidneys, and central nervous system [3].

By activating these receptors, liraglutide increases insulin secretion, decreases glucagon secretion, suppresses appetite, and slows gastric emptying after a meal. This results in lower blood sugar, reduced postprandial hyperglycemia, improved feelings of fullness, and less cravings [2, 3].

Liraglutide was first approved for human use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010 under the brand name Victoza. It was initially used as an add-on therapy for improving glycemic control in type 2 diabetes (T2D) [4].

Later, Victoza was also approved for reducing cardiovascular risk in T2D patients, while another liraglutide formulation under the brand name Saxenda was approved for chronic weight management in adults and adolescents.

Research into the use of liraglutide in other conditions is pending. The potential applications include non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), psoriasis, Alzheimer's, and even Parkinson's [5, 6, 7, 8].

liraglutide side effects

What Does Liraglutide Do?

The various FDA-approved indications of liraglutide are based on substantial research to support its effects in diabetics and obese individuals.

Current research is also focused on the potential of liraglutide in other conditions, such as metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases.

Improved Glycemic Control and Reduced Cardiovascular Risk in T2D

Research in type 2 diabetes patients has shown that once-daily liraglutide effectively reduces hemoglobin A(1c), body weight, and the risk of hypoglycemic events, whether used as a monotherapy or in combination with other medications. Liraglutide may also improve beta-cell responsiveness to glucose, potentially benefiting beta-cell mass and neogenesis [9].

According to another recent study, liraglutide may also reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and increase heart-rate variability in T2D patients. The authors found that once-daily 3mg liraglutide administration can reduce mean systolic blood pressure by 12.38 mmHg and mean diastolic blood pressure by 5.55 mmHg with 3-6 months of therapy [10].

Reduced Appetite and Increased Weight Loss

Numerous large-scale investigations have demonstrated that liraglutide can produce substantial weight loss in individuals with chronic weight issues [11].

One of the most extensive trials involved 846 participants from nine countries with both T2D and obesity. In this 56-week study, the subjects received either 3mg or 1.8mg liraglutide once daily or placebo. The results showed that the 3mg dose was the most effective regime at promoting weight management, leading to 6% weight loss, compared to 2% weight loss in the placebo group [12].

Reduced Inflammation in Neurodegenerative Disease Settings

Liraglutide may offer potential benefits in neurodegenerative disease settings by reducing brain inflammation, according to animal experiments. In a murine model of Parkinson's disease, liraglutide improved mouse behavior and increased neuron count in the substantia nigra while reducing inflammation [8].

Additionally, a 12-month trial conducted by Edison et al. (2021) and published in Journal of the Alzheimer's Association found that liraglutide therapy significantly improved cognitive function and brain cortex volume in Alzheimer's patients [13].

Liraglutide Side Effects | A-Z Guide

Studies into liraglutide therapy have provided extensive information on the potential side effects of liraglutide and strategies to minimize their occurrence, such as by determining the optimal dosing regime based on the condition treated [14].

To ensure safety in experimentation, researchers must be aware of potential liraglutide side effects, including their rate of occurrence and severity. Below researchers will find trial data regarding the risk of adverse events associated with once-daily 3mg liraglutide administration.

Common Liraglutide Side Effects

One of the largest clinical trials involving once-daily 3mg liraglutide administration was published by Pi-Sunyer et al. in 2015. It was conducted on patients with chronic weight issues, with 2487 patients receiving liraglutide and 1244 receiving placebo.

According to the authors, adverse reactions affected at least 5% of test subjects and were much more frequent in the liraglutide group compared to placebo. The side effects classified as common included [15]:

  • Nausea (40.2%)
  • Diarrhea (20.9%)
  • Constipation (20.0%)
  • Vomiting (16.3%)
  • Dyspepsia (9.5%)
  • Upper abdominal pain (5.7)

Other side effects such as headache, dizziness, joint pain, and fatigue occurred with similar rates (5-15%) in both the liraglutide and the placebo groups. Hematoma at the injection site affected 5.7% of the liraglutide patients and 7.5% of the placebo group [15].

Liraglutide may also increase heart rate by around 8-9 beats per minute according to research. Although this side effect may be unpleasant for certain patients, researchers have found this effect to be completely benign and one that does not increase the risk of adverse events, even in patients with heart failure [16].

Further, the overall cardiovascular safety of liraglutide has been thoroughly examined, and the drug has been determined to be safe even in T2D patients with cardiovascular comorbidities [17].

Serious Adverse Events Associated With Liraglutide

In the trial conducted by Pi-Sunyer et al., rare (<1%) but serious side effects of liraglutide included pancreatitis and gallbladder disease. Also notably, about 20 patients (0.8%) in the treatment group developed cholelithiasis, compared to 12 patients (0.4%) in the placebo group. Further, four individuals (0.2%) in the liraglutide group experienced acute pancreatitis, compared to none in the control [15].

Studies report that activating the GLP-1 receptors suppresses the secretion of cholecystokinin after a meal, reducing the gallbladder's contractility, and potentially explaining the increased risk of cholelithiasis and other gallbladder problems [18].

Another study by Steinberg et al. (2017) reported that liraglutide 3.0mg once-daily was associated with increases in mean levels of amylase (7%) and lipase (31%), with more participants having experienced elevations in these levels compared to placebo [19].

In that study, the occurrence of gallstones had a much better predictive value for the occurrence of pancreatitis than the elevation of the pancreatic enzymes. In fact, the researchers suggested that gallstones may have contributed to 50% of the pancreatitis cases [19].

Potential Risks of Liraglutide Therapy

Side effects that are serious but not yet proven to occur in humans include thyroid, breast, and pancreatic cancers. The data on these side effects are from animal studies that report a small but statistically significant increased risk of these cancers [20].

Researchers are yet to determine the clinical significance of these potential adverse effects.

Liraglutide Cycle | Safety Concerns

The majority of liraglutide trials involving the maximum approved dose of 3mg/daily have lasted 20-56 weeks, with each reporting a favorable safety profile for the GLP-1 agonist [12, 15, 19, 21, 22].

One of the longer trials in volunteers with overweight and obesity lasted 68 weeks and reported that the rate of serious adverse events was around 11%, compared to 7% in the placebo group. On the other hand, 82.7% of the test subjects reported milder side effects, such as gastrointestinal issues. About 27.6% of the subjects on liraglutide dropped off the trial compared to 17.6% in the placebo group [22].

Notably, liraglutide has been administered safely for weight management and glycemic control in T2D for up to five years (60 months) at the daily dose of 1.8mg [23].

Based on the data available, liraglutide may be safely administered for extended durations in chronic weight management settings.

liraglutide side effects

Liraglutide Dosage Guide

An appropriate liraglutide dosing protocol for research settings depends on various factors, including the research objective.

Clinical trials represent the primary source of scientific data regarding the dosing of liraglutide, which has been investigated for its effects on diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular health.

In clinical practice, liraglutide is typically administered in doses of up to 1.8mg for type 2 diabetes and up to 3.0mg for chronic weight management [24, 25].

Liraglutide has a half-life of roughly 13 hours, making it suitable for once-daily administration [26].

Liraglutide Dosing for Weight Loss

In weight loss settings, it is essential to begin with a low daily dose of 0.6mg and gradually increase the liraglutide dose over several weeks to reduce the likelihood of adverse effects.

Here is a sample liraglutide dosing regimen for weight loss based on current guidelines [27, 28]:

  • Liraglutide Dose: Start with 0.6mg/daily in week one, followed by an increase to 1.2mg/daily in week two, 1.8mg/daily in week three, 2.4mg/daily in week four, and 3.0mg/daily in weeks five and beyond.
  • Frequency: Once daily at regular times.
  • Study Duration: 20-64 weeks.
  • Notes: The optimal liraglutide dose will vary depending on the research aim. Dosages may need to be adjusted accordingly but should never exceed 3mg/daily.

Where to Buy Liraglutide Online? | 2024 Edition

Qualified researchers in search of liraglutide online are advised to order strictly from a reputable source.

A reliable liraglutide vendor should offer not only high-quality products, but also great customer service, reasonable prices, and reliable shipping. Here is our top recommendation for purchasing research-grade liraglutide:


PureRawz offers several advantages for researchers looking to source liraglutide:

  • Lab-Tested for Purity: PureRawz relies on both in-house and third-party testing to ensure product purity and consistency. As a result, researchers can rest assured that the liraglutide they are purchasing exceeds 99% purity.
  • Clean Liraglutide: This vendor sources all products from accredited partner facilities, providing researchers with additional confidence that the peptides they receive are genuine, effective, and safe to administer for research purposes.
  • Reliable Shipping: PureRawz offers secure online shopping and fast, reliable shipping for researchers around the globe. Orders over $100 are eligible for free shipping.
  • Great Care, Support, and Service: This top vendor values customer experience and has a dedicated support team to promptly respond to any questions or concerns that may arise.

For researchers looking for a reliable source of liraglutide, PureRawz stands out as a trusted vendor serving the research community.

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Bacteriostatic Water and Liraglutide

To successfully conduct research with liraglutide and similar peptides, scientists will need a properly equipped lab. The essential equipment for handling injectable peptides involves insulin syringes, bacteriostatic water, and sterile vials, among others.

Yet, finding all of the required supplies and ensuring their research-grade quality can be challenging and time-consuming.

However, it is essential to conducting proper researcher. Here are the supplies and materials a lab may require to handle peptides:

  • Bacteriostatic Water
  • Insulin Syringes
  • Alcohol Prep Pads
  • Sterile Empty Glass Vials
  • Large Needles + Syringes

Side Effects of Liraglutide | Verdict

Liraglutide is a synthetic, long-acting peptide analog of GLP-1, prized for its efficacy in managing T2D and chronic weight issues.

The peptide is generally well-tolerated, with the most common side effects being gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. Serious but rare side effects include gallbladder disease and pancreatitis.

Researchers must stay aware of all potential liraglutide side effects and mitigate their incidence in research settings, such as by following appropriate dosing guidelines.

Interested in purchasing liraglutide for research purposes? We recommend the vendor with the purest peptides and most secure buying experience on the market.


  1. Knudsen, L. B., & Lau, J. (2019). The Discovery and Development of Liraglutide and Semaglutide. Frontiers in endocrinology, 10, 155.
  2. Cheng, K. C., Li, Y. X., Shieh, P. C., Cheng, J. T., & Hsu, C. C. (2020). Liraglutide Activates Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 Receptor to Attenuate Hyperglycemia through Endogenous Beta-Endorphin in Diabetic Rats. Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland), 13(11), 407.
  3. Davis, E. M., & Sandoval, D. A. (2020). Glucagon-Like Peptide-1: Actions and Influence on Pancreatic Hormone Function. Comprehensive Physiology, 10(2), 577–595.
  4. Iepsen, E. W., Torekov, S. S., & Holst, J. J. (2015). Liraglutide for Type 2 diabetes and obesity: a 2015 update. Expert review of cardiovascular therapy, 13(7), 753–767.
  5. Vargas-Soria, M., Carranza-Naval, M. J., Del Marco, A., & Garcia-Alloza, M. (2021). Role of liraglutide in Alzheimer's disease pathology. Alzheimer's research & therapy, 13(1), 112.
  6. Rasmussen, C. B., & Lindenberg, S. (2014). The effect of liraglutide on weight loss in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: an observational study. Frontiers in endocrinology, 5, 140.
  7. Guss, D. A., & Mohanty, S. R. (2016). Liraglutide's use in treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver: an evaluation of the non-alcoholic steatohepatitis study. Hepatobiliary surgery and nutrition, 5(6), 515–518.
  8. Cao, B., Zhang, Y., Chen, J., Wu, P., Dong, Y., & Wang, Y. (2022). Neuroprotective effects of liraglutide against inflammation through the AMPK/NF-κB pathway in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease. Metabolic brain disease, 37(2), 451–462.
  9. Neumiller, J. J., & Campbell, R. K. (2009). Liraglutide: a once-daily incretin mimetic for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The Annals of pharmacotherapy, 43(9), 1433–1444.
  10. Zameer, R., Kamin, M., Raja, U., Wahab, M. U., Ishtiaq, O., Raashid, K., Ahmed, N., & Rehman, A. U. (2020). Effectiveness, Safety, and Patient Satisfaction of Liraglutide in Type 2 Diabetic Patients. Cureus, 12(8), e9937.
  11. Barboza, J. J., Huamán, M. R., Melgar, B., Diaz-Arocutipa, C., Valenzuela-Rodriguez, G., & Hernandez, A. V. (2022). Efficacy of Liraglutide in Non-Diabetic Obese Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal of clinical medicine, 11(11), 2998.
  12. Davies, M. J., Bergenstal, R., Bode, B., Kushner, R. F., Lewin, A., Skjøth, T. V., Andreasen, A. H., Jensen, C. B., DeFronzo, R. A., & NN8022-1922 Study Group (2015). Efficacy of Liraglutide for Weight Loss Among Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: The SCALE Diabetes Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA, 314(7), 687–699.
  13. Edison, P., Femminella, G. D., Ritchie, C. W., Holmes, C., Walker, Z., Ridha, B. H., … & Ballard, C. (2021). Evaluation of liraglutide in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 17, e057848.
  14. Seo Y. G. (2021). Side Effects Associated with Liraglutide Treatment for Obesity as Well as Diabetes. Journal of obesity & metabolic syndrome, 30(1), 12–19.
  15. Pi-Sunyer, X., Astrup, A., Fujioka, K., Greenway, F., Halpern, A., Krempf, M., Lau, D. C., le Roux, C. W., Violante Ortiz, R., Jensen, C. B., Wilding, J. P., & SCALE Obesity and Prediabetes NN8022-1839 Study Group (2015). A Randomized, Controlled Trial of 3.0 mg of Liraglutide in Weight Management. The New England journal of medicine, 373(1), 11–22.
  16. Tougaard, R. S., Jorsal, A., Tarnow, L., Hansson, N. H., Kistorp, C., Schou, M., Nielsen, R., Flyvbjerg, A., Videbaek, L., Mølgaard, H., Nielsen, J. C., Gustafsson, I., & Wiggers, H. (2020). Heart rate increases in liraglutide treated chronic heart failure patients: association with clinical parameters and adverse events. Scandinavian cardiovascular journal : SCJ, 54(5), 294–299.
  17. Marso, S. P., Lindsey, J. B., Stolker, J. M., House, J. A., Martinez Ravn, G., Kennedy, K. F., Jensen, T. M., & Buse, J. B. (2011). Cardiovascular safety of liraglutide assessed in a patient-level pooled analysis of phase 2: 3 liraglutide clinical development studies. Diabetes & vascular disease research, 8(3), 237–240.
  18. Rehfeld, J. F., Knop, F. K., Asmar, A., Madsbad, S., Holst, J. J., & Asmar, M. (2018). Cholecystokinin secretion is suppressed by glucagon-like peptide-1: clue to the mechanism of the adverse gallbladder events of GLP-1-derived drugs. Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology, 53(12), 1429–1432.
  19. Steinberg, W. M., Rosenstock, J., Wadden, T. A., Donsmark, M., Jensen, C. B., & DeVries, J. H. (2017). Impact of Liraglutide on Amylase, Lipase, and Acute Pancreatitis in Participants With Overweight/Obesity and Normoglycemia, Prediabetes, or Type 2 Diabetes: Secondary Analyses of Pooled Data From the SCALE Clinical Development Program. Diabetes care, 40(7), 839–848.
  20. Funch, D., Mortimer, K., Ziyadeh, N. J., D Seeger, J., Zhou, L., Ng, E., Ross, D., Major-Pedersen, A., Bosch-Traberg, H., Gydesen, H., & Dore, D. D. (2021). Risk of Thyroid Cancer Associated with Use of Liraglutide and Other Antidiabetic Drugs in a US Commercially Insured Population. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity : targets and therapy, 14, 2619–2629.
  21. Xie, Z., Yang, S., Deng, W., Li, J., & Chen, J. (2022). Efficacy and Safety of Liraglutide and Semaglutide on Weight Loss in People with Obesity or Overweight: A Systematic Review. Clinical epidemiology, 14, 1463–1476.
  22. Rubino, D. M., Greenway, F. L., Khalid, U., O'Neil, P. M., Rosenstock, J., Sørrig, R., Wadden, T. A., Wizert, A., Garvey, W. T., & STEP 8 Investigators (2022). Effect of Weekly Subcutaneous Semaglutide vs Daily Liraglutide on Body Weight in Adults With Overweight or Obesity Without Diabetes: The STEP 8 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA, 327(2), 138–150.
  23. Mirabelli, M., Chiefari, E., Caroleo, P., Arcidiacono, B., Corigliano, D. M., Giuliano, S., Brunetti, F. S., Tanyolaç, S., Foti, D. P., Puccio, L., & Brunetti, A. (2019). Long-Term Effectiveness of Liraglutide for Weight Management and Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(1), 207.
  24. Ostawal, A., Mocevic, E., Kragh, N., & Xu, W. (2016). Clinical Effectiveness of Liraglutide in Type 2 Diabetes Treatment in the Real-World Setting: A Systematic Literature Review. Diabetes therapy : research, treatment and education of diabetes and related disorders, 7(3), 411–438.
  25. Tilinca, M. C., Tiuca, R. A., Burlacu, A., & Varga, A. (2021). A 2021 Update on the Use of Liraglutide in the Modern Treatment of ‘Diabesity': A Narrative Review. Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 57(7), 669.
  26. Alruwaili, H., Dehestani, B., & le Roux, C. W. (2021). Clinical Impact of Liraglutide as a Treatment of Obesity. Clinical pharmacology : advances and applications, 13, 53–60.
  27. Mehta, A., Marso, S. P., & Neeland, I. J. (2017). Liraglutide for weight management: a critical review of the evidence. Obesity science & practice, 3(1), 3–14.
  28. Trenson, L., Trenson, S., van Nes, F., Moyson, C., Lannoo, M., Deleus, E., Meulemans, A., Matthys, C., Mertens, A., Van der Schueren, B., & Vangoitsenhoven, R. (2022). Liraglutide for Weight Management in the Real World: Significant Weight Loss Even if the Maximal Daily Dose Is Not Achieved. Obesity facts, 15(1), 83–89.

Scientifically Fact Checked by:

Luis Daniel López Murillo, PhD

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