What is Saxenda?
Saxenda is a prescription only, once daily injection used to promote weight loss in patients who are either obese, or who are overweight (with a Body Mass Index of 28 or more) and have additional health risk factors. It contains the active ingredient liraglutide, which was originally developed to treat diabetes. Saxenda has been available as a licensed medicine for weight loss since 2014.
How to take Saxenda
Saxenda is administered as a daily injection.
How long will Saxenda last?
When starting Saxenda, a single pen can be expected to last 17 days. When starting a new course of Saxenda a pack of 5 pens will last six weeks. Once you are established on Saxenda, we would expect a course of five pens to last you 30 days.
Saxenda has been tested for promotion of weight loss in several clinical trials. The SCALE Obesity and Pre-Diabetes phase 3a trial showed that the 3,731 participants lost an average of 8% of their body weight over a 56 week trial. In evidence presented to The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatic Surgery, the same study showed that 92% of patients lost weight, when 3mg liraglutide was used in conjunction with diet and exercise modifications.
Common side effects with Saxenda include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation, although these usually lessen over time and not everybody experiences them. It is important to stay well hydrated while taking Saxenda. Other potential side effects include low blood sugar, headache, indigestion, abdominal discomfort, constipation, decreased appetite, dizziness, fatigue, fever, toothache and injection site reactions. Rare side effects may include pancreatitis and thyroid events. If you experience any side effects, speak to your GP.
How does Saxenda work?
Saxenda works in the same way as natural substance found in the body called GLP-1, which helps to regulate blood sugar after eating. This decreases the production of glucagon, a hormone that opposes insulin and slows down the emptying of the stomach. This in turn lowers hunger and increases feelings of fullness.
Who gives the injections?
Saxenda is a once a day, self-injectable medicine.
How do I use Saxenda?
Saxenda can be injected into your stomach area, upper leg or upper arm. Never inject into a vein or muscle. It can be administered at any time of day, independent of meal times.
Who should use Saxenda?
Saxenda should only be used by adults who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, or 27 or more and a weight related medical problem such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. Saxenda is not a treatment for diabetes.
Who should not use Saxenda?
Saxenda is not recommended for those with liver disease, kidney disease or heart failure. It shoud not be used by those with severe stomach or gut problems or inflammatory bowel disease. If you have a thyroid disease, you should consult our doctors before using Saxenda.
Can I use Saxenda with other medications?
Saxenda should not be used in combination with any other GLP-1 receptor agonist, or with insulin. Saxenda has not been evalulated in combination with other prescription weight-loss medicines, diet programs or supplements. You must tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication, vitamins or herbal supplements.
Xenical (orlistat 120mg) is another prescription weight loss medicine, to be used in conjunction with diet and exercise modifications, which prevents some of the dietary fat from being absorbed. It is in the form of hard capsules. Mysimba (naltrexone 8mg + bupropion 90mg) is a combination of two medicines which has been developed to help encourage weight loss by reducing appetite. It is available in tablet form.