Saxenda is a revolutionary weight-loss drug, available through Novo Nordisk. Saxenda uses liraglutide as its active ingredient. Originally designed to help treat Type 2 diabetes, liraglutide is a GLP-1 receptor antagonist. It binds to the same receptors as the “hunger hormone”, meaning that you can trick your body into feeling full, even as you eat less.

This allows patients to control your blood sugar effectively, and has a second benefit; it lets you eat less, while still feeling full. This makes it an ideal weight loss treatment.

Clinical trials have shown that, in combination with a reduced calorie diet and increased exercise, Saxenda can have a great effect on weight loss. In one study, over 60% of people lost at least 5% of their body weight using Saxenda, in combination with a reduced calorie diet and more exercise.

Rather than taking Saxenda as a pill, you simply inject it once per day. Normally, you would inject this drug subcutaneously – into the layer of fat that lies under your skin, without penetrating the muscle. The easiest places to do your daily injection are your belly, upper arm or thigh. Each of these spots have a thicker layer of fat surrounding the muscle, which ensures you will not inject too deep.

If you find that you experience an injection site reaction, such as swelling or pain, you may try one of the other injection sites. If you experience the same reaction at each site, stop using this product and speak to your doctor or pharmacist about alternatives.

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Saxenda’s liraglutide injection

Saxenda’s liraglutide injections come in prefilled pens; as you don’t need to measure anything out, there is much less room for error. The pen also uses a much shallower needle, which prevents you from overshooting and accidentally injecting the treatment intramuscularly. Saxenda pens must be stored in the fridge, as the medicine is temperature-sensitive.

Please note, Saxenda injections are not available as prescriptions over the counter. You may qualify to receive Saxenda on the NHS, if your BMI is greater than 30, or if it is greater than 27 and you have a weight-related medical condition.

Saxenda is most effective in conjunction with diet and exercise; if that is not possible for you, other prescription weight loss medications may be more suitable.

Novo Nordisk has also produced Wegovy, a new weight loss treatment that works on the same principle as Saxenda. Rather than using liraglutide, Wegovy uses semaglutide. Semaglutide is also a GLP-1 receptor antagonist, meaning it makes you feel full while you eat less. Rather than a daily injection, semaglutide only needs to be injected once a week.

Clinical trials show that, in combination with diet and exercise, over 80% of people lost at least 5% of their body weight over the course of 48 weeks. This would make it more effective than Saxenda.

Wegovy is expected to launch by the end of 2022 – sign up to receive emails once Wegovy is available in the UK, and we are able to start taking orders.

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