Saxenda
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Saxenda for Weight Loss: A Complete Guide

If you’re interested in a new weight loss treatment, a prescription medication called Saxenda might be right for you. According to some recent statistics, Americans spend approximately $33 billion on weight loss products each year. 

Saxenda is a prescription injection weight loss medication that may help you achieve your goal weight.

Read on to learn more about Saxenda for weight loss to help you decide whether it’s the right option for you and your goals.

Saxenda Basics

Saxenda is an FDA-approved medication for patients who are obese. While this injection weight loss medication works, it’s most effective when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise.

Adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher may be approved for Saxenda. Patients with a BMI of 27 and at least one other weight-related health condition like diabetes or high blood pressure may also be approved for a prescription.

The FDA expanded the approval of Saxenda for adolescents ages 12 and older with a BMI of 30 or higher in 2020. This once-daily injection is available as a multi-dose injection pen. Patients can administer five different doses that range from 0.6 mg as the starting dose to 3 mg as the target Saxenda dosage.

How it Works

This weight loss treatment is part of a medication class called GLP-1 agonists, which is short for glucagon-like peptide-1. GLP-1 is a gut hormone that helps to regulate your appetite. It also helps your body handle sugar more effectively.

The active ingredient in Saxenda is called liraglutide. This ingredient mimics the effects of the appetite hormones in the body. It encourages and supports weight loss by helping to slow gastric emptying after you eat.

When the gastric emptying process is slowed, food stays in the stomach longer, helping you to feel full. This could help you eat less or eat fewer calories throughout the day, resulting in weight loss over time.

Saxenda Side Effects

Before you take any medication, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects. Make sure you talk to your doctor before you begin this weight loss treatment so you know what to look for. Overall, patients say they experience more side effects with Saxenda than they do with similar medications like Ozempic or Mounjaro.

Because Saxenda slows down the food moving through your stomach, you may experience mild to severe stomach upset. These Saxenda side effects could include nausea, mild to severe heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting. Some patients experience frequent indigestion or abdominal pain.

Other common side effects include mild pain at the injection site, headache, dizziness, and fatigue. Most of the stomach-related side effects are noticeable when you first start taking the medicine. They may also increase when your dose increases. 

Your doctor will adjust the prescribed dose slowly over several weeks to help keep the side effects minimal. Although Saxenda is generally considered safe, there are some more severe side effects to be aware of.

Severe Side Effects

All GLP-1 agonists have an FDA-issued boxed warning for the risk of thyroid C-cell tumors, which have been found in some animal studies. Don’t use Saxenda if you or your family have a family history of medullary thyroid cancer.

Other serious potential side effects may include pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), or rapid heart rate/palpitations. Kidney problems, severe allergic reactions, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors are other potentially serious side effects. However, it’s important to note that all of these side effects are rare with Saxenda.

How Much Weight Can You Lose?

Every patient will react differently to this weight loss treatment, but it has been studied in adults and adolescents with and without Type 2 diabetes. The studies were conducted over 56 weeks and were compared with a placebo.

One study found that adults with Type 2 diabetes lost an average of between five to six percent of their starting body weight. People who took Saxenda saw a weight loss of three to four percent more than those who were taking a placebo.

Another study found that adults without Type 2 diabetes lost an average of eight percent of their starting body weight. That’s approximately five percent more than the placebo group.

As you can see, Saxenda may help you lose weight more easily than through diet and exercise alone. However, this injection weight loss medication works best when you take it in tandem with a reduced-calorie diet and a regular exercise program.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

Since Saxenda is a prescription medication, you’ll need to get it from your doctor. There are a few things you should discuss with your doctor before taking this medication.

First, if you have stomach issues like gastroparesis or if you have issues digesting food, let your doctor know. If you’ve had or have pancreas, liver, or kidney problems, this medicine may not be the right choice.

Patients who have depression, mental health issues, or suicidal thoughts should be monitored carefully when taking Saxenda. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also talk to your doctor. It is not known if Saxenda passes into breast milk.

If your doctor prescribes Saxenda, make sure you tell them if you experience any side effects that cause concern. They may need to adjust your dosage or change you to a different medication. Keep a journal of your weight loss progress and any side effects you feel.

Some people compare Saxenda to other GLP-1 agonists like Ozempic and Wegovy. However, these are different medications, although they all work for chronic weight loss as well as other health problems like Type 2 diabetes.

Meet Your Weight Loss Goals

Taking Saxenda as prescribed can help you reach your weight loss goals if it’s taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Always talk to your doctor before you start any medication, and make sure you tell them if you experience any side effects.

If you’d like to learn more about where you can find Saxenda or many other prescription medications, get in touch with the team at Canadian Pharmacy Online today.