How Saxenda Injections Work for Weight Loss

Saxenda® (liraglutide) injection 3 mg is an injectable prescription medicine.

This drug is used to help the following patients lose weight and keep extra weight off.
  • Adults with excess weight (BMI ≥ 27)
  • Adults who have weight-related medical problems or obesity (BMI ≥ 30)
  • Children aged 12-17 years with a bodyweight above 132 pounds (60 kg) and obesity

Saxenda® should be used in conjunction with a low-calorie diet and increased physical exercise.

How Saxenda® Works

Saxenda® targets one of your body's natural weight-loss responses.

Your body naturally produces the appetite hormone glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1). And this hormone aids in the regulation of your hunger.

Saxenda® works similarly to GLP-1 in that it regulates your appetite. The drug can lead to you eating fewer calories and, as a result, reducing weight.

To use Saxenda® all you need to do are the following:
  1. Consult a medical professional to ensure that you are healthy enough for it and not susceptible to side effects. Depending on your current health status, you may undergo some tests.
  2. Get your prescription from the doctor, including dosage and instructions.
  3. Return home and follow what your doctor told you about using Saxenda® properly.
    As directed by your health care practitioner, inject Saxenda® beneath the skin (subcutaneously) in your stomach area (abdomen), upper leg (thigh), or upper arm. Injecting into a vein or muscle is not recommended.

Coupled with a low-calorie diet and increased physical activity, Saxenda® can sustainably help overweight or obese patients lose weight and prevent themselves from gaining extra weight.

How fast are the effects?

You should feel the appetite-suppressing impact from the first day. So when you eat, you will feel less hungry and more content.

Weight loss starts typically at the 2nd week mark and you can see dramatic results come the 8th week, especially if you undergo a moderate to vigorous workout routine.

How Saxenda Injections Work for Weight Loss

What to Consider When Using Saxenda®

Saxenda® is a fairly new drug and must be taken with professional guidance. And there are things you have to consider in order for you to properly and safely use it.

One thing to have in mind is that because Saxenda® and Victoza® have the same active ingredient, liraglutide, they should not be taken together. Also, neither should they be taken together with any GLP-1 receptor agonist medications.

Another is that studies are still ongoing to discover whether Saxenda® is safe and effective when combined with other OTC drugs, prescription medicine, or herbal weight-loss supplements.

It is also still unknown whether Saxenda® is safe and effective in children under the age of 12. And studies are still ongoing to find out if it is safe and effective in children with type 2 diabetes aged 12 to 17 years.

So if you are considering Saxenda®, it would be best to consult a medical professional first.

How Saxenda Injections Work for Weight Loss

On the other hand, there are also conclusive studies confirming that there are conditions and situations in which you should not use Saxenda®.

Who isn't a good candidate for Saxenda®?

Saxenda® should not be used in any of the following conditions:
  • If you or any member of your family has ever had Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma (MTC) or if you have Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
  • If you are allergic to liraglutide or any of the other ingredients in Saxenda®. Consult your physician to learn if the medication is safe for you.
  • Suppose you are pregnant or intend to get pregnant. Saxenda® may be harmful to your unborn child.
And it is vital that before taking Saxenda®, you should inform your doctor about all of your medical conditions, especially including if you:
  • Are using a medication known as a GLP-1 receptor agonist.
  • Have severe stomach difficulties, such as sluggish stomach emptying (gastroparesis) or difficulty digesting food
  • Have or have had pancreatic, kidney, or liver problems
  • Have depression, suicide thoughts, or mental health concerns.
  • Are currently nursing an infant or intend to start breastfeeding a child. It is still unknown whether Saxenda® goes into breast milk, so you have to consult your physician.

Professional guidance is vital when considering to use Saxenda®.

Don't forget to inform your doctor about all of the medications you use. Tell your doctor about any prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements you use.

This is because Saxenda® delays stomach emptying. So it may interfere with medications that must move swiftly through the stomach.

Hence, some drugs you are taking may be affected by Saxenda®. So you have to Inform your doctor if you use diabetes medications, particularly insulin and sulfonylureas.

Your doctor should give you a safe solution and ensure that you won’t suffer severe side effects.

Saxenda® Side Effects

Here are the common side effects in adults.
  • Reactions in the injection site
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Stomach pain or discomfort
  • Changes in blood lipase levels
Fever and gastroenteritis are two more typical adverse effects in children.

Here are some of the more severe side effects.

Pancreatic Inflammation (Pancreatitis)
Stop using Saxenda® and contact your healthcare practitioner immediately if you get severe stomach discomfort (abdomen) that does not go away, with or without vomiting.

The pain may radiate from your stomach (abdomen) to your back.

Gallbladder Issues
Saxenda® has been linked to gallbladder issues, including gallstones. Some gallbladder issues necessitate surgery.

If you have any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor: pain in your upper stomach (abdomen), fever, yellowing of your skin or eyes (jaundice), or clay-coloured faeces.

Higher Risk of Hypoglycemia
Adults with type 2 diabetes who additionally use diabetes medications such as sulfonylureas or insulin are at higher risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) when taking Saxenda®.

This also applies to children aged 12 and older who do not have type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar
Shaking, sweating, headache, tiredness, weakness, disorientation, confusion, irritability, hunger, quick heartbeat, and feeling jittery are all signs and symptoms of low blood sugar.

So you should carefully monitor your blood sugar levels before and during treatment with Saxenda®.

Accelerated Heart Rate
While you are at rest, Saxenda® can raise your heart rate. So while using Saxenda®, your doctor should monitor your heart rate.

Inform your doctor if you feel your heart racing or beating in your chest for more than a few minutes.

Kidney Issues and Risk of Kidney Failure
Saxenda® can cause nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea. These, when severe, can result in dehydration and lead to renal failure, which may necessitate dialysis.

This is possible in persons who have never experienced kidney problems previously. So if you’re using Saxenda®, it would be best to drink plenty of water so you can avoid dehydration.

If you have persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea, or if you are unable to take liquids by mouth, contact your doctor immediately.

Severe Allergic Reaction
Stop using Saxenda® and seek medical attention immediately if you have any of the following symptoms of a significant allergic reaction:
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Fainting or feeling dizzy
  • Very rapid heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Severe rash or itching.

If you experience any new, worsening, or concerning mental changes when you take Saxenda®, contact your health care practitioner immediately.

Thyroid Tumors and Cancer
Inform your doctor if you develop a lump or swelling in your neck, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or shortness of breath. These could be signs of thyroid cancer.

Saxenda® and drugs that operate similarly to Saxenda® induced thyroid tumours, including thyroid cancer, in rats and mouse trials.

While it is unknown whether Saxenda® will result in thyroid tumours or a kind of thyroid cancer known as MTC in humans, you should still take utmost care before trying the treatment.

Consult a professional before using Saxenda®.

Saxenda® is a highly effective medication for helping anyone with weight and obesity problems. But like any other drug, it has to be taken with care so that you can lose weight safely.

Ensure to consult with registered medical professionals before going for any weight loss program, especially if it involves any medication like Saxenda®.

With medical help, you will get your proper dosage and ensure that you won’t suffer significant adverse side effects.