Saxenda weight loss

Saxenda: All You Should Know Before Taking The Drug

Jodie Theia

Jodie Theia

ANutr, GDipNut, BSc, BA, Nutrition

The moto of my first and most beloved university summarizes beautifully my philosophy of education: ‘Ancora Imparo’ (I am always learning). I do my best to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings within the constantly evolving health and wellness industry, as well as emerging nutrition science. Still, I am just a human being and a new mum with new responsibilities, so am limited by time and resources… but I always remain humble with my level of knowledge and embrace the opportunity to learn together.
By 
, reviewed by
– Updated August 5, 2022
Written by April Galt, BSc, MBA on August 5, 2022 — Qualified nutritionist reviewed by Jodie Theia ANutr, GDipNut, BSc, BA, Nutrition

BRAND INFORMATION

Brand name: Saxenda [‘sʌkse:ndə]
Active ingredient
: Liraglutide
Schedule
: S4
Class
: GLP-1 agonist
Manufacturer
: Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Pty

Consumer medicine information (CMI) leaflet

Please read this leaflet carefully before you start using Saxenda.

Do not share your Saxenda® pen with others even if the needle has been changed. You may give other people a serious infection or get a serious infection from them.

Contents

What Saxenda® is and what it is used for

Saxenda® is a weight loss medicine that contains the active ingredient liraglutide.

Saxenda® includes liraglutide. It’s comparable to the intestine-released hormone GLP-1. Saxenda® is injected once a day.

Saxenda® is used in persons 18 and older who have:

a BMI above 30 (obese);
BMI between 27 and 30 (overweight);

weight-related health concerns (diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipids, sleep apnea).

After 12 weeks on 3.0 mg/day of Saxenda, you should have dropped at least 5% of your starting body weight. For long-term treatment, it’s needed to consult a doctor. Saxenda® should be taken alongside a low-calorie diet and exercise.

BMI Calculator

cm
kg
Instructions

BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared.

Enter your measurements and click ‘calculate’ for your body mass index.

If your BMI is above or below the normal range but you consider yourself to be of normal and healthy weight for your height, chat with your doctor about any potential health concerns.

This calculator has been reviewed by NeverGiveUpTeam experts and is based on reputable sources of medical research. It is not a diagnostic tool and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional medical or other professional health advice.

BMI measures weight in proportion to height. It’s calculated by dividing weight by height squared.

Saxenda® acts on brain receptors that affect hunger, making you feel fuller. This way, you may eat less and lose weight.

Also, Saxenda® helps you maintain your new weight and avoid weight gain.

Before you start to use it

Children and teens under 18 should not take Saxenda®. Because the drug’s effects on this age range are unknown.
Saxenda® is not addictive.

Saxenda® is available only with a doctor’s prescription.

During Saxenda® therapy, tell your doctor if you have:

diabetes (Saxenda® shouldn’t replace insulin; Saxenda® and insulin are incompatible);
cardiac failure (If you have severe heart failure, don’t use Saxenda®);
prescription for any weight loss meds, OTC, or natural weight-loss drugs;
Crohn’s disease;
gastroparesis;
thyroid disease, including nodules and enlargement.
renal disease/dialysis;
liver issues;
pancreatitis;
depression, suicidal thoughts, or another mental disorder;
gained weight due to medical issues or medications.

Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration before starting Saxenda®. Dehydration causes renal issues requiring dialysis. If you have questions, see your doctor.

Stop taking Saxenda® and visit a physician if you have severe upper abdominal discomfort, especially on the right side. Back or right shoulder discomfort may occur. When you lose weight, you can get gallstones and gallbladder inflammation.

Saxenda® isn’t well-studied in patients around  75 y.o. Over 75s should avoid it.

Tell your doctor if you’re allergic to other drugs, foods, preservatives, or dyes.

If pregnant or planning pregnancy

In case of pregnancy or planning pregnancy, inform your attending physician. The drug’s effect hasn’t been researched during pregnancy. Pregnancy is a contraindication for Saxenda®. Saxenda® may damage a fetus.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed? Tell your doctor. Saxenda® breast milk pass-through is unknown. Breastfeeding women shouldn’t take Saxenda®.

Before using Saxenda, notify your doctor about anything mentioned above.

Precautions

Before using liraglutide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Before surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription, nonprescription, and herbal products).

If you have diabetes, this product may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of low blood sugar (see Side Effects section). Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication(s), exercise program, or diet.

This medication must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Consult your pharmacist or physician.

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all your products (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include diabetes medications (such as insulin, sulfonylureas including glyburide).

Do not use this drug with any other product that contains liraglutide or other medications which are similar to this medication but used for diabetes (such as exenatide, dulaglutide).

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket, naturopath or health food shop.

In particular, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are using medicines:

for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, such as a sulfonylurea (including glimepiride or glibenclamide). You may get low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) when you use these medicines with Saxenda®. Your doctor may adjust the dose of your diabetes medicine to prevent you from getting low blood sugar.
to thin your blood (anticoagulants), such as warfarin or other types of medicines called ‘coumarin derivatives’. Your doctor may need to monitor you more closely.

for high blood pressure, such as amlodipine, atenolol or bisoprolol or for heart disease, such as digoxin.

for HIV, such as atazanavir or ritonavir.

Tell your doctor about any other medicines that you are taking. This is very important. Your doctor will advise you if it is alright to keep taking them or if you should stop taking them.

Do not use Saxenda® if

How to use Saxenda®

Your doctor or pharmacist will have given you advice on how to use your medicine. Carefully follow all the directions. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.

If you do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for help.

Your doctor will start you on a diet and exercise programme. Stay on this programme while you are using Saxenda®.

Saxenda® is supplied as a pre-filled pen containing liraglutide. The Saxenda® pen can give doses of 0.6 mg, 1.2 mg, 1.8 mg, 2.4 mg or 3.0 mg.

How much to use

Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine you need to use each day.

The usual starting dose is 0.6 mg once a day.
Your doctor will tell you how long to keep taking this dose. It will be for at least one week.

Your dose may then be increased by 0.6 mg each week until you reach the recommended dose of 3.0 mg once a day.

Your doctor will tell you how much Saxenda® to use each week. Usually, you will be told to follow the table below:

WeekDose to inject
10,6 mg once a day
21,2 mg once a day
31,8 mg once a day
42,4 mg once a day
5 onwards3,0 mg once a day

Once you reach the recommended dose of 3.0 mg in week 5 of treatment, keep using this dose until your treatment period ends. Do not increase your dose further.

Visit your doctor regularly to assess your need for continued treatment with Saxenda®.

Do not change your dose unless your doctor has told you to.

When to use it

You can use Saxenda® at any time of day, with or without food and drinks. It is preferable to use Saxenda® at about the same time each day, at a time that is most convenient for you.

If you use too much (overdose)

If you use more Saxenda® than you should, talk to your doctor or go to a hospital immediately. Take the medicine pack with you. You may need medical treatment. Using too much Saxenda® may cause nausea (feeling sick), vomiting (being sick), or low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). see below for the early warning signs of hypos.

While you are using Saxenda®

Must-dos

Tell your doctor if you have diabetes. Your physician may change your diabetic medication to avoid ‘hypos’ (low blood sugar levels).

Travelling? Tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Request a letter outlining why you’re bringing injectables. You should carry several copies of this letter to each state you visit.

Your destination country may not have Saxenda®. A doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can give you helpful tips.

Things you must not do

Things to be careful of

Drive carefully until you know how Saxenda® affects you. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.

If you forget to use it

 If you forget a dose and remember it within 12 hours from when you usually take the dose, inject Saxenda® as soon as you remember.

However, if more than 12 hours have passed since you should have used Saxenda®, skip the missed dose and inject your next dose the following day at the usual time.

Do not use an extra dose or increase the dose on the following day to make up for the missed dose.

If you are unsure what to do, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Side effects

Immediately tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if Saxenda® makes you sick. Every drug has adverse effects. They’re sometimes serious, but usually not. However, side effects may need medical attention.

Don’t be concerned by these adverse effects. None of these may happen. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need to clarify anything.

Saxenda® often causes:

These are mild side effects that lessen with regular drug usage.

If any of the following concerns you, see your doctor:

These symptoms might occur in the first 3 months of therapy.
This list contains typical pharmaceutical side effects – mild and temporary.

Less common side effects:

This may be caused by vomiting, nausea, and diarrhoea at the beginning of therapy. 

Hypos are more common in diabetics receiving sulfonylurea. Hypo may strike abruptly. Hyposymptoms include:

Your doctor can tell you how to manage low blood sugar and what to do if you have these symptoms. If you’re taking sulfonylurea when you start Saxenda®, your doctor may cut the dosage.

Tell your doctor immediately if you:

Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.

Inform your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:

This list includes serious side effects that could be signs of a severe allergic reaction. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are rare.

Other adverse effects not listed above may also occur in some people.

Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to answer any questions you have.

To better understand the common side effects of Saxenda, check out a poll’s results below:

Side effects of Saxenda

Product description

What it looks like

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

Saxenda® is available in packs containing 1, 3 or 5 pens. Not all pack sizes may be marketed.

This medicine is a colorless, clear, injection

Needles are not included.

Saxenda 6 mg/mL
Color: colourless solution
Saxenda injections

Supplier/Sponsor

LocationAustraliaNew
Zealand
CompanyNovo Nordisk
Pharmaceu
ticals Pty. Ltd.
Novo
Nordisk
Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
AddressLevel 10 118
Mount Street
North Sydney
NSW 2160
58 Richard Pearse
Drive
Airport
Oaks
Mangere
Australian Registration Number: AUST R 225804
Saxenda®, NovoFine® and NovoCare® are trademarks owned by Novo Nordisk A/S.
© 2021
Novo Nordisk A/S

Further information

The Australian ‘Product Information’ document is available from the following websites:
www.novonordisk.com.au

https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/

For further information call the NovoCare® Customer Care Centre on 1800 668 626 or 0800 733 737 (NZ).
www.novonordisk.com.au

www.novonordisk.co.nz

further dietary advice, refer to the dietary guidelines on the NH&MRC website at www.nhmrc.gov.au (Australia), or the current food and nutrition guidelines on the Ministry of Health website at www.health.govt.nz (New Zealand).

References

  1. Saxenda. Available from: [URL Link]
  2. Saxenda Subcutaneous: uses, side effects, and more. Available from: [URL Link]
  3. Saxenda – NPS Medicinewise. Available from: [URL Link]
  4. Saxenda (liraglutide) injection 3 mg savings card, Novocare.  Available from: [URL Link]
  5.  Using the Saxenda® Pen. Available from: [URL Link]
  6. Saxenda (liraglutide) injection 3 mg. Official physician site. Available from: [URL Link]
  7. Saxenda: uses, dosage, and side effects. Available from: [URL Link]
  8. Saxenda 6 mg/mL solution for injection in pre-filled pen. Available from: [URL Link]
  9. Saxenda (liraglutide): basics, side effects &reviews. Available from: [URL Link]
  10. Saxenda. European Medicines Agency. Available from: [URL Link]
  11. Saxenda. Healthdirect. Available from: [URL Link]
Disclaimer

NeverGiveUpTeam is not for emergency usage. Call triple zero (000) if you have an acute sickness, overdose, or emergency.

When created, correct information was provided. This material shouldn’t be used to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please see our terms and conditions.

FAQ

Weight loss normally starts within 2 weeks of starting Saxenda (liraglutide).

Upon stopping Saxenda (liraglutide), people are likely to regain the weight lost. This is why it’s important to work with your provider to learn how to use diet and exercise to maintain your weight.

It is not a type of insulin, but it can impact the amount of insulin your body releases. This medication is also available as Victoza (liraglutide) for diabetes.

You may inject it at the most convenient time for you (such as before breakfast, lunch, dinner, or bedtime), but it should be injected at approximately the same time each day.

The majority of the side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medication.

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