Saxenda for weight loss
Reviewed by our clinical team
When it comes to weight loss, the most common advice usually trying to eat a healthy, balanced diet and increase the exercise you’re doing. But for some people, weight loss aids and treatments might also be an option to consider.
There are lots of treatments available for weight loss, from weight loss pills to shakes and injections. One of these injections is a treatment called Saxenda, which is an effective weight loss treatment used for people with high BMIs. Your BMI (body mass index) is a measurement calculated using your height and weight, to determine if you’re a healthy weight for your body.
In this article we’re going to look at how Saxenda works, its effectiveness and the benefits you might feel before and after using the treatment.
What is Saxenda?
Saxenda is a daily weight loss injection, used to help people with high BMIs try and lose weight. Saxenda has been proven to be a fairly effective weight loss treatment, with around 85% of people using it losing some weight.
The active ingredient in the treatment is liraglutide, so sometimes it’s referred to as liraglutide instead of Saxenda.
The treatment is available for some people on the NHS and can also be access privately through the LloydsPharmacy in-store medicated weight loss service.
How does liraglutide (Saxenda) work?
Liraglutide works by supressing your appetite – this means you feel fuller for longer and less hungry.
Saxenda supresses your appetite by copying the action of a hormone that your body naturally produces to regulate how hungry you feel. With liraglutide copying that action, you should feel like eating less.
What you need to know before using Saxenda
Like with any prescription-medication, it’s important you have a consultation with a clinician (whether that’s online or face-to-face) before taking Saxenda.
It’s not suitable for everyone and can only be prescribed to people who have a:
- BMI of 30 and over
- BMI of 27 to 30 and have another weight-related ‘co-morbidity’ (e.g. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnoea)
You should also be aware that Saxenda is most effective when it’s combined with a reduced calorie diet and increased exercise regime.
The dosage of Saxenda changes in the first few weeks you’re using the treatment, this helps your body get used to it and hopefully limits some of the side effects. This process of increase dosing is called titration.
The dosing schedule for Saxenda is as follows:
- Week 1 – 0.6mg injected daily
- Week 2 – 1.2mg injected daily
- Week 3 – 1.8mg injected daily
- Week 4 – 2.4mg injected daily
- Week 5 – 3.0mg injected daily
If your body can manage the 3.0mg dose, you’ll then be kept on this dose for the rest of the time you’re taking the treatment. This is known as the maintenance phase.
How to manage weight alongside Saxenda
To get the best results out of Saxenda, you’ll need to be eating a reduced calorie diet and increase the amount of exercise you’re getting. This will give you the best chance of losing weight and keeping weight off.
When you start Saxenda, your healthcare provider or clinician will give you advice on ways to change your diet and how to get more physical exercise.
How exercise boosts weight loss with Saxenda
We also know that increasing the amount of exercise we do can help us lose weight. And this is the same while you’re using Saxenda.
Exercise can help burn off calories that you cannot lose through reducing calories alone. So by reducing calories, exercising more and using Saxenda, you’ll be improving your chances of losing weight – tackling it from three angles.
Are there any side effects when taking liraglutide?
You should consider potential side effects from taking Saxenda. Most of the side effects tend to be mild, and will pass as your body gets used to the treatment. But some people do experience things like nausea, vomiting, digestive issues (diarrhoea or constipation) and headaches.
Can I take other weight loss treatments at the same time as Saxenda?
Where should I store my Saxenda pens?
All unused Saxenda pens should be kept in the fridge. After the first use, pens can either kept in the fridge or at room temperature.
Open pens should be thrown away after 30 days, not matter if they have any Saxenda left in them or not.
How do I throw away my Saxenda pens?
Used pens should be thrown in a sharps bin – you should get given one of these when you start using the treatment.
Your provider/clinician will let you know how to dispose of the sharps bin and its contents.