Do you need help with weight loss? Something to help you alongside a diet and exercise programme? Do you have an unhealthy BMI of 27 or over and other health problems due to the weight you are carrying? Or perhaps your BMI is over 30 and you know losing weight is no easy mission. Saxenda is not a fad – it is a weight-loss medication that you can get on prescription which works alongside a diet and exercise programme to regulate your blood sugar levels, so that your stomach is less likely to signal hunger to your brain.
What is Saxenda?
Saxenda is an injectable medicine that helps adults lose weight and keep it off in conjunction with a diet and exercise programme. The active ingredient, liraglutide, acts in a similar way to a hormone that is naturally produced by your body after a meal. It sends a message to the brain helping you to feel fuller for longer in order to eat less. A reduced appetite can make a diet and exercise programme easier and help you see quicker results.
When is Saxenda used?
Saxenda is used for adults who need to lose weight, specifically those with a BMI of 27 or higher who have other weight- related issues such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or breathing problems when sleeping, or for those with a BMI over 30 (clinically obese). It helps your weight loss by sending signals to your brain which make you feel fuller for longer. Saxenda is to be used in conjunction with a healthy eating and exercise programme.
How do you take Saxenda?
Saxenda weight-loss treatment comes in an injection that you can administer yourself. You inject yourself just below the layer of the skin in the stomach, thigh or upper arm. Never inject into a vein or blood vessel. Please read the instructions on the information sheet provided with your medication carefully before injecting yourself, and ensure you know exactly what you are doing before you start using this medicine. The injection comes in a pre-filled dial-a-dose pen, so you can select the dosage you need. Saxenda should be used in conjunction with a diet and exercise programme to maximise you weight loss and well-being.
What dosages are there?
Saxenda weight-loss treatment dosages start small and grow week by week as your body gets used to the treatment. When you first start using Saxenda weight-loss treatment, you will need a dose of 0.6 mg per day . then increase the dosage each week in line with a doctor’s recommendation. As a general rule, you should increase by 0.6 mg each week until you reach a total of 3.0 mg per day on week 5. For example, week 1 – 0.6 mg, week 2 – 1.2 mg, week 3 – 1.8mg and so on. Inject the dose yourself in a single daily injection, in the stomach, thigh or upper arm. You should inject yourself at the same time each day. This can be at any time of the day, with or without food and drink.
What are the side effects with Saxenda?
As with all medicines, Saxenda weight-loss treatment can cause side effects, although of course not everyone taking the medication will get them. Some side effects are serious and others, although less serious, are more common. Do not take Saxenda weight-loss treatment if you are allergic to liraglutide or any of the other ingredients listed on the information leaflet.
Serious side effects: In rare cases, Saxenda weight-loss treatment can cause anaphylaxis, and as such you should contact your doctor if you experience swelling around the face and throat or shortness of breath. Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) has also affected a limited number of patients, so you should monitor for severe and lasting stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, and contact your doctor if you are concerned.
Other side effects:
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation are all quite common side effects, around 1 in 10 people suffer from these, but they usually go away on their own after a few days or weeks;
- Stomach pain or problems can also be an issue, including indigestion, bloating, heartburn etc. Again, around 1 in 10 people will suffer from these;
- Discomfort around the injection site, for example swelling, bruising, irritation, rashes or itching;
- Difficulty in sleeping (usually during the first three months of treatment);
- Gall stones;
- Changed sense of taste;
- Low blood sugar: a feeling of weakness, cold sweats, confusion and faster heart rate.
Less common side effects (experienced by around 1 in 100 people):
- Faster pulse;
- Inflamed gall bladder;
- Allergic reactions (including rashes).
When should you not use Saxenda?
Do not use Saxenda weight-loss treatment if you:
- Are allergic to liraglutide or any of the other ingredients;
- Are pregnant, suspect you might be pregnant or are trying for a baby as it may harm the baby;
- Are breast-feeding, as it is not known if Saxenda passes on to the baby through breastmilk;
- Have MTC or a family history of MTC;
- Have multiple endocrine neoplasia;
- Are taking insulin.
Taking Saxenda weight-loss treatment should not affect driving or operating heavy machinery, however if you are experience the side effects of drowsiness or dizziness, do not drive or operate heavy machinery. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Saxenda. It is high in calories so should always be limited or avoided on a weight-loss programme. In addition, drinking alcohol can cause the appearance of side effects or make them worse.
Does Saxenda react with other medication?
Saxenda works on your stomach to help you suppress your appetite, but this injectable weight-loss medication can affect other medication you take as it slows down your stomach emptying.
If the medication you need to take has to pass quickly through the stomach, Saxenda will have an adverse effect. You should tell the prescribing doctor of any other medication you are taking, including herbal supplements and vitamins. If you are taking any medication for diabetes, including insulin, it is important to tell your doctor.
Where can I buy Saxenda?
Saxenda has recently been approved for online ordering by the US Food and Drug Administration, which means that you will soon be able to place an order with an independent pharmacy. Saxenda is still a prescription medicine so you cannot order without a prescription.
Can I get Saxenda without a prescription?
No, Saxenda weight-loss treatment is a prescription-only drug and so you will not be able to buy it without a prescription. Ordering medicines from websites you cannot trust is never a good idea.
Novo Nordisk, (2018) retrieved from https://www.saxenda.com/