What is Saxenda (Liraglutide)?
Saxenda is the brand name of liraglutide, which is a prescription drug used to help obese or overweight adults lose weight and maintain weight loss. Saxenda is an alternative to Victoza for people looking to manage their weight. You can buy Victoza here.
What is it used for?
Saxenda is used as a treatment for adults over 18 years old who are obese or overweight with a weight-related medical condition.
It is used for weight loss in adults with a BMI* of 27 or greater.
* – BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measure of your weight in relation to your height. See your doctor to have your BMI measured.
How does the drug work?
Saxenda, combined with a low-calorie diet and exercise program, aims to help patients lose weight. In turn, the weight loss may help to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels.
This medication is an incretin mimetic that acts similarly to glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which is naturally found in the body. GLP-1 enhances the secretion of insulin and lower blood sugar levels. Saxenda works to regulate the appetite, which in turn may inhibit glucagon production.
For it to be most effective, it should be taken with a reduced calorie diet and a regulated increase in physical activity.
How to inject this medication
Please consult your doctor and read the packaging carefully for the appropriate use instructions. Do not use the pen without getting proper training from your doctor or diabetes nurse educator before using.
Check the pen to ensure that you have the correct medication, and that the solution is colorless. Discuss the appropriate needle size with your pharmacist prior to use. You can check the flow prior to use of each new pen by selecting the flow check symbol with the dose selector. A drop should appear at the tip of the needle. Select the dose specified by your doctor by centering the dose selector at the end of the pen. The pen delivers doses of 0.6mg, 1.2mg, 1.8mg, 2.4mg, and 3.0mg. Inject into the upper arm, abdomen, or thigh, unless specified otherwise by your health-care provider. Properly dispose of used needles.
Do not use this pen without help if you have poor eyesight, or are blind. Your helper should be properly trained to administer the dose.
Do not touch the dose counter, as this can affect the injection process. Do not share your medication with others, even if they have the same prescription.
Needles are not included with the pack.
Your doctor will likely increase your dose slowly. The typical starting dose is 0.6mg injected once a day. Each week, the dose is increased until 3.0mg is reached. Do not adjust your dose unless specified by your doctor.
Inject into the appropriate area once a day, with or without food. Saxenda is prescribed with a low-calorie diet and regular exercise plan, which should be followed in order to increase the effectiveness of the medication.
If you happen to miss your regular dose, do not double your next dose to make up for it. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, and take the next usual dose the following day. If you have missed your dose for 3 days or longer, contact your medical practitioner.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not use it if:
You are allergic to any of Saxenda’s ingredients;
You or any of your close family members have a history of medullary thyroid cancer;
You have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2;
You are currently pregnant or are planning on becoming pregnant.
It is common to feel nauseous or to experience vomiting and diarrhea or constipation. These effects typically resolve themselves within a few weeks of beginning treatment.
Those under the age of 18 should not use Saxenda.
Inform your doctor if you develop pain in the abdomen in addition to vomiting and/or nausea.
Saxenda side effects
Most common effects:
Common side effects:
Bloating, heartburn, gas, discomfort or inflammation in the stomach, indigestion, and upper stomach pain
Injection-related reactions, including bruising, irritation, and rash
Change in your sense of taste
Feeling tired or weak
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)*
Uncommon side effects:
Rare negative effect may include:
Acute kidney failure (signs of which include metallic taste in mouth and easily bruising)
Reduced kidney function
* – The warning signs of hypoglycemia can be sudden, and can include: headache, cold sweats, increased hunger, cool pale skin, nausea, fast heart beat, vision changes, nervous, anxiety, fatigue, feeling of weakness, confusion, shaking, and difficulty concentrating. Low blood sugar can be treated. Speak with your doctor about the best way for you to raise your blood sugar if you experience any warning signs of hypoglycemia.
If any of the side effects persist or worsen, speak with your health-care provider. Refer to the product leaflet for a complete list of side effects, precautions, and contraindications.