Saxenda (Liraglutide)

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What Is Saxenda?

Saxenda (liraglutide) is a prescription-only, once daily weight loss injection, licensed to treat those with obesity (BMI of above 30) or who are overweight (BMI of above 27 with additional weight related comorbidities). It contains the medicine liraglutide. It should be used alongside a healthy and balanced diet and exercise to help aid weight loss.

How Does Saxenda Work?

The active ingredient in Saxenda is Liraglutide, a medication which is similar to a naturally occurring hormone in your body which is called GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1). This is an appetite hormone that helps regulate hunger and is released by the intestines after a meal. Liraglutide helps to reduce your appetite and makes you feel fuller, which may lead to you consuming fewer calories and therefore losing weight. When paired with a low-calorie diet and regular exercise, this treatment can help you to lose weight and keep it off.

How Long Does Each Saxenda Pen Last?

We recommend following the manufacturers guidelines when starting Saxenda. Each pen contains 18mg and can be dialled to deliver the following doses: 0.6mg, 1.2mg, 1.8mg, 2.4mg and 3.0mg.

The following dosing schedule should be followed:

  • Week 1 – 0.6mg each day
  • Week 2 – 1.2mg each day
  • Week 3 – 1.8mg each day
  • Week 4 – 2.4mg each day
  • Week 5 and onwards – 3mg each day

If you are taking Saxenda for the first time, then you will require 3 pens for the first month, and that is when you are likely to see any benefit.

After that, and once you have reached the 3.0mg dose, each pen will last for 6 days. At this point you will need a box of 5 pens every 30 days.

You Sexenda dosing schedule


How Is Saxenda Taken?

Saxenda is a once-daily injection. It can be injected into your stomach area, upper leg or upper arm. Never inject into a vein or muscle. It can be administered at any time of day, independent of meal times.

The following are the 6 easy steps to administer your Saxenda pen:

  • Check your medication Check the name and coloured label of your pen to make sure that it contains Saxenda® Pull off the pen cap. Look through the pen window to check that the solution is clear and colourless. If the solution looks cloudy, do not use the pen.
  • Attach a new needle Pull off the paper tab from a new needle. Screw the needle straight and tightly onto your Saxenda® pen. Pull off both needle caps – keep the outer needle cap for later.
  • Check the flow with each new pen Check the flow before the first injection with each new Saxenda® pen or if the pen is dropped. Hold the pen with the needle pointing up. Turn the dose selector until the ‘flow check’ symbol lines up with the pointer. Press the dose button until 0 mg lines up with the pointer. A drop of Saxenda® should appear at the needle tip.
  • Select your dose Turn the dose selector to select the dose you need (0.6 mg, 1.2 mg, 1.8 mg, 2.4 mg, or 3.0 mg). If you select a wrong dose by mistake, turn the dose selector backwards or forwards to select the right dose.
  • Inject your dose Press your Saxenda pen onto your skin. Press the dose button until 0 mg lines up with the pointer. Keep the dose button pressed down and leave the needle under the skin for at least 6 seconds. This is to ensure that the full dose has been injected.
  • Remove needle after your injection Guide the needle into the outer needle cap. When the needle is covered, carefully push the outer needle cap completely on. Unscrew the needle and dispose of it carefully. Put the pen cap back on.
    You can read the Patient Information Leaflet which has more detail on how to use your Saxenda® pen, including advice on how to care for pens.

Who Can And Cannot Use Saxenda?

Saxenda is suitable for those with a BMI above 30 (or 27 with a weight related co-morbidity). After you complete youronline consultation you will be assess by the prescriber who will take into account factors such as you BMI, your medical history, current medication etc.

Semaglutide will not be suitable and will not be prescribed if you fall into one of the categories below:

  •  Under 18 or above 75 years of age
  •  If you are breastfeeding, pregnant or actively trying to get pregnant.
  •  Anyone who has had pancreatitis
  •  Anyone with or a family history of thyroid tumours or thyroid cancer
  •  Type 1 diabetics or patients taking certain diabetic medication

More information:

Before taking any medication, it is important to read the Patient Information Leaflet. You can also contact us for additional information and advice.


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