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Saxenda is a medication in form of a pre-filled injection pen which helps to support weight loss in patients suffering from obesity. In contrast to other medicines which work by reduction of appetite it also offers improved glycemic control. It is recommended for obese patients with a BMI of more than 30 or for patients with a BMI of 27 or more, if they already show at least one weight-related comorbid condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or dyslipidemia.
The medication should only be used in combination with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. If the patient has not lost at least 5% of their initial weight after 12 weeks of using the standard dose of 3 mg per day, the treatment should be discontinued and further options discussed with the doctor.
Saxenda contains the active ingredient liraglutide which is a so-called acylated human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. It is a synthetic version of the naturally produced GLP-1 in the human body and works by binding and activating the GLP-1 receptor. GLP-1 regulates appetite and calorie intake and receptors are found in various areas of the brain involved in appetite regulation.
Unlike natural GLP-1, liraglutide lasts longer in the body as it is more stable against metabolic degradation and delays absorption, which makes an administration once a day sufficient for treatment. Maximum concentrations of the agent are achieved around 11 hours after administration while it takes around 13 hours for the body to eliminate it.
The agent does not increase the energy used by the body, but instead helps lower the daily calorie intake. In contrast to other obesity treatments it can improve the control of blood glucose levels as it stimulates the secretion of insulin and reduces the secretion of glucagon.
The delivery of the agent liraglutide is applied 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 liraglutide is meant to be subcutaneous only and must not be done intravenously or intramuscularly.
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. The slow increase of dosage 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 necessity for dosage changes, but ideally the medication should be injected at around the same time every day.
The injection needle is discarded after every injection and the pen stored without a needle attached to prevent contamination, leakage and possible infections during usage.
The patient needs to be aware of special precautions for storage of the medication. Saxenda needs to be stored in the refrigerator (2Â°C - 8Â°C). However, the medication must not be frozen, so should not be stored near or in the freezer compartment. After first use Saxenda must be stored below 30Â°C and is then usable for a month. The shelf life on an unused Saxenda pen is 30 months.
After every use the cap should be placed back on the pen to protect the medicine from light. If the solution is not clear and colourless or almost colourless, it should no longer be used. If Saxenda has been frozen at any point it should also no longer be used. Unused medicine and waste material need to be disposed of responsibly and in accordance with local laws.
Like any medication Saxenda can cause unwanted side effects during treatment. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, headache and vomiting. Especially at the start of the treatment nausea is common, but usually decreases during continued treatment as the body adapts to the medication. Further common side effects are for example:
Due to the mode of application, there can be local adverse reactions at the point of the injection. This includes rash, erythema and pruritus.
During the treatment with Saxenda there is a heightened risk for some serious side effects including:
If any serious or long-lasting side effects occur while using Saxenda, please contact your doctor as soon as possible and discontinue the treatment. Saxenda should not be used for patients with a history of depression or suicidal ideation as it can increase the risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviour. Therefore patients should be monitored closely for any unusual mood or behavioural changes.
The treatment with Saxenda should always go hand in hand with a change of lifestyle, including healthy eating habits and sufficient physical exercise. The medication should never 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 stand-alone treatment for type-2 diabetes. It should also not be used together with other GLP-1 receptor agonists or insulin.
As Saxenda delays gastric processes it might 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:
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. The same applies to 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:
For these patients Saxenda is not recommended as treatment for weight loss.
With HealthExpress you can comfortably buy Saxenda online without having to wait at the doctor's office. Our registered doctors will check your medical condition through a free online consultation and issue a valid prescription if there are no health concerns. If everything is alright, the medicine is then sent out via express shipping and delivered on the following week day.
No. Since Saxenda is a prescription-only medication it is not possible to buy 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 right for you and won't cause you any harm.
Before you can finalise your order of Saxenda with us, you 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 for you. Should our doctors have any further questions, our customer service team will get in touch with you to confirm the information.
Our doctors are registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) and our pharmacy is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC). We fulfil all mandatory safety certifications including from the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). While you place your order, SSL encryption protects your data.