Are you obese? Have you been battling with different types of weight loss techniques with no visible results? Here is Saxenda – an approved weight loss injection you need to know about.
Saxenda – What it is
Saxenda weight loss injection is a medication used to complement dieting and exercise for weight loss management. This injection targets specific receptors in the several areas of the brain that regulate human appetite.
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. Needles are not included.
How does Saxenda work?
The product contains an active component called liraglutide which is similar to a naturally occurring hormone called GLP-1 that is released from the intestine after a meal. When this drug reaches activated neurons in brain regions, it regulates the appetite and calorie intake.
Saxenda works by acting on receptors in the brain that control your appetite, causing you to feel fuller and less hungry. This may help you eat less food and reduce your body weight.
Weight loss normally starts within 2 weeks and continues for 9 to 12 months on Saxenda treatment. Saxenda weight loss injections will then help you to maintain this new lower weight and help to prevent weight being regained.
It also contains the following inactive ingredients: dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, propylene glycol, phenol, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide and water for injections.
Will Saxenda for You?
Basically, it is used for weight loss but in addition to diet and exercise. Effective results have been seen in adults aged 18 years and above who have:
- a BMI greater than or equal to 30 (obese), or
- a BMI greater than or equal to 27 and less than 30 (overweight) and weight related health problems (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal levels of fats in the blood or breathing problems during sleep, called ‘obstructive sleep apnoea’).
Note: BMI (Body Mass Index) is a simple measure of your weight in relation to your height. It is calculated by dividing your weight in kg by your height in metres squared.
Ready To Use Saxenda?
Remember that you must have been on a diet and exercise programme. Stay on this programme while you are using Saxenda. You can use it 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.
How to use it
If this product was given to you in a clinic as part of your weight loss treatment, your doctor will show you how to use the pen before you use the it for the first time,.
- Saxenda pre-filled pen is designed to be used with NovoFine® needles, up to a length of 8 mm.
- Ask your doctor or nurse which needle width (gauge) and length is best for you.
- Use a new needle for each injection and dispose of it after use.
- It is given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous injection) as shown to you by your doctor. Never inject into a vein or muscle.
- It may be injected into the front of your waist (abdomen), the front of your thigh, or your upper arm.
Examine your product carefully
Checking your pen:
It is supplied as a pre-filled pen containing liraglutide. The pen can give doses of 0.6 mg, 1.2 mg, 1.8 mg, 2.4 mg or 3.0 mg.
Do not use this medicine if it is thickened, coloured, or has solid bits in it.
How much to use
- 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.
- A quick summary of the dosage is in the table below:
|1||0.6 mg once daily|
|2||1.2 mg once daily|
|3||1.8 mg once daily|
|4||2.4 mg once daily|
|5 and above||3.0mg once daily|
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.
It might be necessary to visit your doctor on a regular basis to assess your need for continued treatment. Only continue using Saxenda if you have lost at least 5% of your initial body weight after 12 weeks on the 3.0 mg/day dose (Consult your doctor before you continue)
What if you overdose mistakenly?
If you use more Saxenda than you should, talk to your doctor or go to a hospital straight away. 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).
If you skip a dose
If you forget a dose and remember it within 12 hours from when you usually take the dose, inject it 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 not sure what to do, call your doctor or a professional.
Don’t forget these precautions while you using Saxenda
Tell your doctor if you have diabetes. You may need an adjustment for the dose of your diabetes medicine to prevent you getting hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels).
Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you are travelling. Ask them for a letter explaining why you are taking injecting devices with you. Each country you visit will need to see this letter, so you should take several copies.
Do not forget that you may not be able to get Saxenda in the country you are visiting, so plan ahead.
- Do not mix Saxenda weight loss injection with other medicines that you inject (e.g. insulins).
- Do not use it in combination with other medicines that contain GLP-1 receptor agonists (e.g. exenatide or lixisenatide).
- Do not stop using your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
- Do not use this medicine if you think it has been frozen or exposed to excessive heat. It should be colourless, do not use if it is thickened, coloured, or has solid bits in it.
- Do not use this medicine to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
- Do not give your medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
- Do not share needles or pens.
Side effects of Saxenda weight loss injection
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects. Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.
The most common side effects when using Saxenda are:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- being sick (vomiting)
These side effects are usually mild and normally decrease with continued use.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- changed sense of taste
- indigestion (dyspepsia)
- feeling bloated, burping, wind (flatulence), or dry mouth
- painful or swollen abdomen
- low blood sugar (a ‘hypo’)
- injection site reactions (such as bruising, pain, irritation, itching and rash)
- fast heartbeat
- feeling weak or tired
- difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
This usually occurs during the first 3 months of treatment
- increase of pancreatic enzymes (such as lipase and amylase).
The above list includes the more common side effects of your medicine. They are usually mild and short-lived. Other, less common side effects include:
- feeling generally unwell.
- urticaria (a type of skin rash).
- loss of fluids (dehydration). This is more likely to occur at the start of treatment and may be due to you being sick (vomiting), feeling sick (nausea), and diarrhoea.
Hypos are more likely to occur if you have diabetes and are also taking a sulfonylurea. A hypo may come on suddenly. The warning signs of a hypo can include:
- cold sweat, cool pale skin
- fast heartbeat
- feeling sick
- feeling very hungry
- changes in vision
- feeling sleepy
- feeling weak, nervous, anxious, or confused
- difficulty concentrating
- shaking (tremor)
Your doctor can provide you with further information about how to treat low blood sugar levels and what to do if you notice these warning signs. If you are already taking a sulfonylurea when you start using Saxenda your doctor may tell you to reduce the dose of the sulfonylurea.
Tell your doctor immediately if you:
- Experience severe and persistent pain in the abdomen (stomach area) which might reach through to your back, as well as nausea and vomiting. This could be a sign of an inflamed pancreas (pancreatitis). Pancreatitis is a serious, potentially life-threatening medical condition. Stop taking Saxenda if you experience this.
- get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath.
- experience the signs of reduced kidney function, which may include reduction in urine volume, a metallic taste in your mouth and bruising easily.
- experience upper right side abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin and eyes or clay coloured stools, which may be signs of gallbladder problems.
- experience depression or have any mental changes (especially sudden changes in mood, behaviours, thoughts or feelings) that are new, worse or worry you.
Inform your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
- skin rashes over a large part of the body
- shortness of breath, wheezing
- swelling of the face, lips or tongue
- fast heartbeat
After Usage Care
Store Saxenda pens that are not being used between 2°C and 8°C in a refrigerator (not in or too near the freezer section or cooling element). Do not freeze. When Saxenda® is being used, you can keep the pen for 1 month either at room temperature (below 30˚C) or in a refrigerator (2˚C to 8˚C), away from the cooling element. Store the pen without a needle attached.It must not be frozen, or exposed to heat or direct sunlight.
Discard after 1 month even if there is still some medicine left in it.
When you are not using the pen, keep the pen cap on in order to protect it from light and do not use after the expiry date.
Wish you success on your weight loss goals.