Please note that Saxenda is supplied with needles and a sharps box.
What is Saxenda?
Saxenda is an injectable prescription-only medication for the treatment of obesity that works by improving blood glucose control. It should help decrease body weight by 5% within 12 weeks to continue treatment. In addition to suppressing appetite it also offers improved glycemic control. Saxenda is recommended for patients with a BMI greater than 30 or for patients with a BMI of 27 or more who have a coexisting weight-related comorbid condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or dyslipidemia.
Whilst on this medication a reduced calorie diet and a regimen of increased physical exercise should be adhered to. The standard dose of 3mg per day should induce at least 5% reduction in weight and after 12 weeks of using this standard dose. If this reduction is not achieved within 12 weeks then the treatment should be discontinued and further advice sought from a doctor.
How does Saxenda work?
The active ingredient in Saxenda is liraglutide, which is a so-called acylated human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. It is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring hormone GLP-1 which is produced in the body. Saxenda works by mimicking GLP-1 and binding to its receptor thereby activating it. GLP-1 itself works by regulating appetite and calorie intake and receptors are located in various areas of the brain involved in appetite regulation. Natural occurring GLP-1 is degraded in the body by an enzyme known as DPP4 however Saxenda or liraglutide is stable against this metabolic degradation and delays absorption, which makes an administration once a day possible for this treatment. It takes about 11 hours for the maximum concentrations of the Saxenda to be achieved while it takes around 13 hours for the body to eliminate it.
Liraglutide or Saxenda does not work by increasing the energy used by the body, but rather works by helping to lower the daily calorie intake. In contrast to other obesity treatments it has the ability to improve the control of blood glucose levels by stimulating the release of insulin and reducing the secretion of glucagon.
How is Saxenda used?
The dose of Saxenda is delivered via a multi-dose injection pen which can be used on the abdomen, thigh or upper arm. The pen can deliver doses of 0.6 mg, 1.2 mg, 1.8 mg, 2.4 mg or 3 mg. The administration of Saxenda is by subcutaneous injection only. It must not be administered intravenously or intramuscularly.
This medication is a subcutaneous injectable. Please click on the following link to watch a video:
The initial dosage in the first week is 0.6 mg which is then increased by 0.6 mg every following week until the recommended dosage of 3 mg is reached. This slow increase of dosing reduces the likelihood and severity of side effects like gastrointestinal problems.
Saxenda is used once daily, independent of meals. The time and location of injection can be adjusted without changing the dosing, however it is recommended to inject at around the same time every day.
The injection needle tip should be discarded after every injection and the pen stored without a needle attached to prevent contamination, leakage and possible infections during usage.
Storage of Saxenda
Saxenda needs to be stored in the refrigerator (2°C - 8°C). Care should be taken to make sure that Saxenda is not stored close to the freezer compartment since Saxenda must not be frozen. After first use Saxenda must be stored below 30°C and is then usable for a month. The standard shelf life on an unused Saxenda pen is 30 months.
To protect Saxenda from the effects of light the cap should be placed back on the pen after every use. The solution is clear and colourless and if this is not the case the medication should not be used. Similarly if Saxenda has been frozen at any point it should also no longer be used. Unused medicine and waste material should be disposed of responsibly by returning to any pharmacy.
What are the side effects of Saxenda?
Like any medication Saxenda has the potential to cause unwanted side effects during treatment. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, headache and vomiting. Nausea is especially common at the start of the treatment, but usually decreases during continued treatment as the body adapts to the medication. Further common side effects are for example:
low blood sugar (known as hypoglycaemia)
upset stomach, stomach pain
changed enzyme (lipase) levels
Other common side effects can be due to the mode of application causing local adverse reactions such as rash, redness or itching at the point of the injection.
During the treatment with Saxenda there is a heightened risk for some serious side effects including:
increased heart rate
acute gallbladder disease
If any serious or long-lasting side effects occur while using Saxenda, discontinue the treatment and contact your doctor immediately. Saxenda should not be used for patients with a history of depression or suicidal ideation since it can increase the risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviour. Therefore patients should be monitored closely for any unusual mood or behavioural changes.
What are the precautions/interactions of Saxenda?
Saxenda should always be used in conjunction with a reduced calorie intake and increased physical activity, however it should not be used in conjunction with other weight loss medicines.
Although Saxenda allows a control of the blood glucose levels it should not be used as a stand-alone treatment for type 2 diabetes. It should also not be used in conjunction with other GLP-1 receptor agonists or insulin.
Since Saxenda delays gastric processes it may affect the absorption and effect of orally administered medications. Clinical trials could not detect significant changes to medication absorption, but patients should be aware of the potential for delayed effects of concomitantly administered oral medications.
Known contra-indications for Saxenda are:
hypersensitivity to liraglutide or any of the product components
personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2)
Saxenda is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women and should not be used for children under 18 years of age. It should also not be used by patients with a BMI below 30 or below 27 when suffering from weight-related diseases.
Due to insufficient study data Saxenda is not recommended for patients with congestive heart failure, inflammatory bowel disease and mild to moderate hepatic impairment. Similarly, the safety and efficacy of the medication have not been established for patients older than 75 years of age or with the following health problems:
obesity caused by eating disorders, endocrinological problems or as a side effect of medications
severe renal impairment
severe hepatic impairment
For these patients Saxenda is not recommended as a treatment for weight loss.
How can I buy Saxenda online?
Courier Pharmacy allows you to purchase Saxenda without the hassle of waiting all day in a doctor's surgery. After completing the online health consultation our registered doctors will check your medical condition through a free online consultation and issue a valid prescription if there are no health concerns. Once the prescription has been issued, the medicine is then sent out via express shipping and delivered on the following week day.
Is it possible to buy Saxenda without a prescription?
No. Since Saxenda is a prescription-only medication or POM and hence it is not possible or legal to purchase it without approval by a doctor. This applies to your local pharmacy as well as buying online. Saxenda can cause potentially dangerous side effects, which is why a doctor needs to make sure that the medication is suitable for you and won't cause you any ill effects.
Is it safe to buy Saxenda online?
Before you can complete your order of Saxenda with Courier Pharmacy, you will have to fill out a medical questionnaire which is then checked by one of our doctors. This ensures that you receive the medication that is right and safe for you. Should our doctors have any further questions, our customer service team will get in touch with you to confirm the information.