Saxenda is an FDA-approved medication for weight loss. Unlike other weight loss medications, Saxenda is not an oral drug taken in the form of a pill. It is an injectable prescription medication that may help some obese or overweight adults lose weight and maintain weight loss. It is used together with exercise and a calorie-controlled diet and is usually prescribed as a weight loss aid for obese and overweight adults who also have weight-related medical problems or are at a risk of developing these issues, such as high blood pressure.
Saxenda contains the drug liraglutide, which mimics a hormone known as GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide), which is created in the intestines. This medicine works in different ways. One role is it tells your brain that you are full. It can also help beta cells normalize blood sugars. These cells create and release insulin when the body’s blood sugar is high and can help those with type 2 diabetes maintain a normal blood sugar level. That being said, Saxenda is not an appetite suppressant, nor is it a treatment for type-2 diabetes.
You should use Saxenda exactly as it has been prescribed. Typically users are required to inject the drug once per day. The medication comes in a prefilled pen and you will be taught how to use it by your healthcare provider. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and follow your doctor’s advice.
While some people can take Saxenda without complications, others may experience unpleasant side effects. The most common include nausea, diarrhea, low blood sugar, constipation, headache, vomiting, decreased appetite, dizziness and fatigue.
Saxenda may also cause serious side effects, such as inflammation of the pancreas, gallbladder problems, low blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes who also take medications to treat type 2 diabetes, increased heart rate, kidney problems, and serious allergic reaction. This medication may also cause mental and mood changes and could cause depression or thoughts of suicide.
It is also important to note that during the drug testing process, liraglutide caused rats and mice to develop thyroid tumors and some of these tumors were cancers. It is unknown if this same effect could occur in humans.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms that are bothersome or worsen and stop using Saxenda and seek medical attention if severe allergic reaction occurs.
This medication is not safe for everyone to take. It should be avoided by individuals who are taking GLP-1 receptor antagonists, if you have problems digesting food, if you have kidney or liver problems or if you have had depression or suicidal thoughts. This product should also be avoided by pregnant and nursing women.
Tell your doctor of any medical conditions (past or present) you may have and inform him or her of any drugs (prescription or non-prescription) and supplements that you may be taking.
On a final note, clinical trials of Saxenda revealed that this medication resulted in very little weight loss in participants. In trials that lasted for about a year, more than 60% of the 4,800 participants who participated in the trial, and who were taking a daily 3mg injection, lost at least 5% of their weight and 31% lost more than 10%. This isn’t all that impressive, especially considering the number of serious side effects linked to this drug.