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Saxenda daily injection pen

A helping hand on your weight loss journey

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Saxenda FAQs

What is Saxenda?

Saxenda (Liraglutide) is a prescription-only injectable medicine used for weight loss and keeping weight off. It is used in obese people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more or in patients with a BMI of 27 or more if they also have weight-related medical problems.

Saxenda is prescribed with a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity.

What is Saxenda used for?

Doctors prescribe Saxenda as a weight loss shot in adult patients with a body mass index (BMI) of:

  • 30 or more (obese), or
  • 27 or more (overweight) if they have at least one weight-related medical condition (e.g. hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia)

Saxenda is also indicated for use in people aged 12-17 years with a body weight above 132 pounds (60 kg) and obesity. Here at SpeedyHealth, our doctors are only able to prescribe Saxenda for patients over 18 years old.

Saxenda contains the active ingredient Liraglutide. Liraglutide is sold under the brand names Victoza and Saxenda among others. Victoza is a medication used to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

How does Saxenda work?

Saxenda is a GLP-1 receptor agonist which works in the brain to decrease appetite, resulting in reduced food intake.

In the body, a hormone called GLP-1 reduces food intake, appetite and hunger and promotes the feeling of fullness. Saxenda is 97% similar to this naturally occurring hormone and mimics these effects.

As a result, patients using this drug feel satisfied and less hungry. They then eat less food, which leads to weight loss.

In clinical trials, Saxenda has proved to be very effective in achieving significant weight loss. In a study of 3,731 adult patients:

  • 62.3% of patients using Saxenda achieved weight loss of 5% or more. In comparison, only 34.4% of patients taking the placebo (drug with no active ingredient in it) achieved the same results.
  • 33.9% of patients using Saxenda achieved weight loss of 10% or more compared to 15.4% of patients taking the placebo.
 Graph showing clinical trial results of Saxenda vs placebo

Are there similar medicines to Saxenda?

Saxenda vs Wegovy

Wegovy is an alternative injectable weight loss medication. It contains the active ingredient Semaglutide. This works in the same way as Saxenda, by reducing your appetite so you eat fewer calories and lose weight.

Saxenda vs Ozempic

Like Wegovy, Ozempic contains the active ingredient Semaglutide. However, it is prescribed to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes or to reduce the risk of conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, or death in adults with type 2 diabetes with known heart disease.

How should Saxenda be used?

Saxenda is an injection given once daily under the skin (subcutaneously) from a multi-dose injection pen. You should use this medication as directed by your doctor.

If you are unsure how to use it, ask your doctor or follow the instructions in the patient package insert included with your order. To use Saxenda correctly, follow these steps:

Step 1. Prepare your pen with a new needle

  • Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them well.
  • Pull off the pen cap.
  • Check that the medication solution is clear and colorless. If not, do not use it.
  • Attach a new needle to your pen and pull off the needle cap.
Prepare the pen and needle

Step 2. Check the medication flow each time you use a new pen

  • Turn the dose selector until you see the flow check symbol.
  • Hold the pen upright with the needle facing upwards. Press and hold the dose button until you see a 0 appear on the dose counter. You should see a drop of the medication appear at the needle tip.
  • If no drop appears, follow the troubleshooting instructions in your patient package insert.
Place the new needle

Step 3. Select the correct dose

  • Turn the dose selector until the dose counter shows your current dose (0.6mg, 1.2mg, 1.8mg, 2.4mg or 3mg).
Check the flow

Step 4. Inject your dose

  • Insert the needle into your skin in the stomach area, thigh, or upper arm. You should change your injection site with each injection to reduce your risk of getting lumps under the skin.
  • Press and hold down the dose button until the dose counter shows 0.
  • Keep the needle in your skin after the dose counter reaches 0 and wait for 6 seconds (count slowly) to ensure the full dose is delivered.
  • Remove the needle from your skin.
Select the dose

Step 5. After your injection

  • Carefully remove the needle from the pen and place the needle in a sharps container immediately.
  • Place the pen cap back on your pen after each use to protect this medication from light.
Inject the dose

How should I store it?

  • Any new, unused pens should be kept in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).
  • The pen that you are currently using may be stored at room temperature between 59ºF to 86ºF (15ºC to 30ºC) or in a refrigerator at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) for only 30 days. After 30 days, throw this pen away even if there is still some medication left in it.
  • Do not freeze this medication.
  • Keep the pens away from heat and protect them from light.

What dosages of Saxenda are available and which one is right?

Saxenda is available as a clear and colourless solution for injection in a pre-filled pen. Each pen contains 3mL of solution and can deliver doses of 0.6mg, 1.2mg, 1.8mg, 2.4mg or 3.0mg.

This medicine is given as a daily injection, with the dose changing each week until you reach the recommended daily maintenance dose of 3mg.

Here is an example of the usual Saxenda dosing schedule:

  • Week 1 - inject 0.6mg each day
  • Week 2 - inject 1.2mg each day
  • Week 3 - inject 1.8mg each day
  • Week 4 - inject 2.4mg each day
  • Week 5 and onwards - inject 3mg each day

After 16 weeks of treatment, your doctor will evaluate the change in your body weight. If you have not lost at least 4% of your baseline body weight by this time, your doctor may recommend that you stop treatment. This is because Saxenda may not be the best option for you. You may discuss alternatives with your doctor.

 Graphic showing the dosage schedule for Saxenda

Increasing the Saxenda dose slowly can reduce the likelihood of experiencing side effects such as nausea.

Who can and cannot use Saxenda?

To be prescribed this medication, you must have a BMI of 30 or more. Otherwise, if you have a BMI of 27 or more with other weight-related health conditions, you may be able to use this medicine.

You should not use this medicine if:

  • You have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC).
  • You have a condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
  • You have had a serious allergic reaction to Liraglutide or any of the ingredients in Saxenda.
  • You are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

What precautions should I take?

Before taking this medicine, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, especially if you:

  • Have severe problems with your stomach, such as slowed emptying or problems with digestion.
  • Have or have had problems with your pancreas, kidneys or liver.
  • Have or have had depression, suicidal thoughts, or mental health issues.
  • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

What interactions are there?

Saxenda slows stomach emptying which may affect the way some medicines work. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, natural health supplements and more.

Do not use Saxenda if you are taking other GLP-1 receptor agonists, such as Victoza. Both of these medicines have the same active ingredient and should not be used together or with other GLP-1 receptor agonist medicines.

Ensure to tell your doctor if you take:

  • Insulin
  • Other diabetes medicines
  • Medicines used to thin your blood
  • High blood pressure medicines

This is not a complete list of interactions. For a full list, refer to your patient package insert.

Can I mix Saxenda and alcohol?

There are no known drug interactions between Saxenda and alcohol. However, you should avoid or limit drinking alcohol during Saxenda treatment. This is because drinking alcohol while taking Saxenda may worsen some of its side effects, such as nausea, headache, and dizziness.

What are Saxenda's side effects?

Like any prescription treatment, this medication can cause side effects.

The most common side effects of Saxenda include:

  • Feeling sick (nausea) or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pain
  • Feeling tired
  • Low blood sugar levels

There can also be local injection site reactions, such as bruising, redness, and tenderness.

Serious side effects whilst using this medication are rare. If you experience any of the following, you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • Severe and ongoing stomach pain
  • Mood changes
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin

You should seek immediate medical help if you experience an allergic reaction. Symptoms include breathing difficulties, rashes, and swelling of the face and throat.

Can I buy Saxenda online?

You can buy Saxenda online from SpeedyHealth. Before you purchase this medicine, you will be asked to complete a consultation, this is a requirement.

One of our board-certified doctors will review your consultation and check your medical history before prescribing this medicine.

Here at SpeedyHealth, we provide a quick and easy prescription service. We have very high standards for our service. Our top priority is your health and well-being.