Who Is Saxenda For?

Saxenda is a medication for chronic weight management. It is for people with overweight and weight-related complications or obesity. It is meant to be used together with a lifestyle therapy regimen involving a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity.

How Does Saxenda Work?

Saxenda works in the brain as an appetite suppressant.

Who Should Not Use Saxenda?

  • Women who are pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant
  • People who have been diagnosed with medullary thyroid carcinoma or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 or have a close family member with those diseases

How Is Saxenda Dosed?

Saxenda is an injectable medication you take once a day. You may inject it at the most convenient time for you (e.g., before breakfast, lunch, dinner, or bedtime), but it should be taken at approximately the same time each day.

Saxenda comes in a prefilled multidose pen, and the dose is usually increased according to the following schedule. However, if you have side effects, your doctor may slow down the dose increases to give your body time to get used to the medication.

Week 1 – 0.6 mg
Week 2 – 1.2 mg
Week 3 – 1.8 mg
Week 4 – 2.4 mg
Week 5 and afterward – 3.0 mg

Is Saxenda a Controlled Substance?

No, Saxenda is not a controlled substance.

Which Medications Should Not Be Used with Saxenda?

Mediations used to treat type 2 diabetes called GLP1 receptor agonists or DPP4 inhibitors work similarly to Saxenda and should not be used together with Saxenda.

What Are the Common Side Effects of Saxenda?

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation

Note: Nausea is most common when first starting Saxenda, but it tends to decrease over time as the body gets used to the medication.

What Are the Possible Serious Side Effects of Saxenda?

Possible Thyroid Tumors, Including Cancer

Tell your doctor if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer. In studies with rats and mice, Saxenda and medicines that work like Saxenda caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. It is not known if Saxenda will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in people.

Gallbladder Problems

Saxenda may cause gallbladder problems including gallstones. Some gallbladder problems need surgery. Call your doctor if you develop pain in your upper abdomen, yellowing of your skin or eyes, fever, or clay-colored stools.

Pancreatitis (Inflammation of the Pancreas)

Some people who have used Saxenda have developed inflammation of the pancreas. If you develop new stomach pain or back pain while using the medication, stop the medication and call your doctor.

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

Saxenda can cause low blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes who also take medicines used to treat type 2 diabetes (such as sulfonylureas or insulin). In some people, the blood sugar may get so low that they need another person to help them. If you take a sulfonylurea or insulin, the dose may need to be lowered while you use Saxenda. People taking these medications should check their blood sugars regularly during Saxenda treatment.

Kidney Problems (Kidney Failure)

Saxenda may cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, leading to loss of fluids (dehydration). Dehydration may cause kidney failure. Drinking plenty of fluids may reduce your chance of dehydration. Stop Saxenda and call your doctor right away if you have nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that does not go away, or if you cannot drink liquids by mouth.

Serious Allergic Reactions

Serious allergic reactions can happen with Saxenda. Stop using it and get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, such as swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; problems breathing; trouble swallowing; fainting; dizziness; severe rash; itching; or very rapid heartbeat.

Depression or Thoughts of Suicide

You should pay attention to any mental changes, especially sudden changes, in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. Call your doctor right away if you have any mental changes that are new, worse, or worry you.

Increased Heart Rate

Saxenda can increase your heart rate while you are at rest.

This is not intended to be a complete list. For additional information please see the manufacturer’s website