Which weight loss medication to choose? Why Saxenda?
Are the injections more effective and safe than a weight loss pill?
Well, let’s see…
What is Saxenda
First, this weight loss drug is not a dietary supplement, so it is logic that it belongs to the group of synthetic drugs.
These usually provide powerful and purposeful effects.
When it comes to treating obesity, most users are focused on getting a medication, which ensures a fast weight loss.
Saxenda is one of such drugs, which, by the way, is a hormonal medication, designed to treat obesity and overweight.
Composition and dosage form of Saxenda
The drug Saxenda is a hypoglycemic agent, intended for the treatment of obesity in patients with a body mass index above 27 units.
Additional indications for use are:
- type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent),
- impaired lipoprotein metabolism,
- higher blood cholesterol levels.
This medication has been on the market since 2015, when the Danish company Novo Nordisk launched it for sale.
It comes in solution (3 mg) for subcutaneous injection, which is supplied in a syringe pen.
The graduation intervals on the syringe pen allow accurate Saxenda dosing and dividing the amount of medication into several dosages.
One pack contains 5 syringes.
The main component of this pharmaceutical product is Liraglutide.
It is a synthetic analogue of the hormone GLP-1 or glucagon-like peptide-1 (coincides with the natural prototype by 97%), which is produced by the intestines, and provides an effect on the pancreas, stimulating the insulin secretion.
Auxiliary ingredients are:
- dihydratesodium phosphate ;
- sodium hydroxide;
- propylene glycol;
- water for injections.
Mechanism of action
GLP-1 is a physiological regulator of appetite and food consumption.
Its synthetic analogue Liraglutid was repeatedly researched during studies in animals, when its effect on the hypothalamus was revealed.
It was there that the substance amplified the signals of saturation and weakened the signals of hunger.
As for the weight loss, Liraglutide, and, of course, Saxenda solution itself, acts primarily by reducing the adipose tissue, which is possible through a reduction in the amount of food consumed.
Since the body is incapable of distinguishing between the natural and artificial hormones, loss of appetite and normalization of the digestive processes are guaranteed during Saxenda weight loss course.
In contrast to dietary supplements, which contain ingredients, sometimes unfamiliar to man and science, drugs with Liraglutide have proved their absolute effectiveness regarding their impact over the weight loss process, and namely:
- normalize sugar levels;
- restore the functioning of the pancreas;
- help the body to saturate quickly, while completely assimilating nutrients from food.
Positive Saxenda results confirm its effectiveness.
You see, about 80% of users, who are seriously focused at losing weight, do manage to lower their weight when using this slimming medication.
And yet, the drug itself does not provide as powerful effect, as we all would prefer.
Experts recommend to any Saxenda user to complement their weight loss program with proper nutrition and higher physical activity.
The great news is that this drug makes dietary restrictions painless, so your weight loss stops being a torture and constantly nerve-wrecking experience.
Saxenda trial results
Before it was released to the pharmaceutical market, the drug passed a series of clinical trials.
In 3 out of 4 studies, the control group used the drug for 56 weeks, in another – a little over 2 months.
All test participants had a common problem – overweight.
Some subjects, who used Saxenda, achieved greater success in losing weight, than those who were using placebo.
In addition to weight loss, scientists also noted an improvement in blood glucose and cholesterol level, as well as stabilization of blood pressure.
Advantages and disadvantages of Saxenda use
Despite the fact that Saxenda has proven its effectiveness, this medicine requires a responsible attitude to itself.
So, before you start taking it to lose weight, better weigh the pros and cons.
The benefits of using a Liraglutide-containing drug product are:
- effectiveness, proven by science (some manage to lose up to 30 kg per month of therapy);
- absence of unknown components;
- possibility of eliminating diseases, associated with excess body weight.
The list of disadvantages goes as follows:
- high cost of medication;
- unpleasant side effects;
- impressive list of contraindications;
- lack of use for “passive” weight loss.
The last might become the main reason for some people to refuse even trying this medication.
However, it is important to understand that not a single weight loss drug is capable of providing any impressive weight loss results without proper efforts from the part of those using it.
This means that no matter which medication or supplement you choose, you still need to exercise and keep to a diet.
You will not run from food restrictions and introduction of a new lifestyle habits.
Besides, even if you do manage to lose weight while using the drug only, you increase your risk of re-gaining every single kilogram that you manage to lose once you discontinue the drug.
It will not remain in your system permanently, and your before and after Saxenda results will melt even faster than the fat deposits did during the course.
How to use Saxenda
To guarantee a successful weight loss with this medication, you have to make sure that you are using it exactly as indicated in its instructions for use.
Rules and dosage
Liraglutide solution is administered once a day subcutaneously in the shoulder, hip or abdomen, preferably at the same time.
VERY IMPORTANT!!! It is forbidden to administer this medication via any other route, including intramuscularly and intravenously!
Make sure that the solution temperature reaches room temperature before injecting it.
The optimal dosing regimen involves the use of 0.6 mg of solution per day during the first week.
Further on, you should increase the dose by 0.6 mg every week.
The highest single dose is 3 mg, which is equivalent to one Saxenda syringe.
The course duration should be set on an individual basis by your doctor.
By the way, it is best if you are observed by a doctor, who is responsible for the decision on further use or discontinuation of the drug when you reach the results required.
The shortest course duration is 4 months, and the longest is 1 year.
But there’s a catch!
You will have to discontinue Saxenda treatment, IF you lose less than 5% of the initial body weight within 12 weeks of the drug use.
What if I missed a Saxenda dose?
You don’t need to worry, really!
Liraglutide is absorbed in a gradual manner.
The peak concentration in the body is observed after 8-12 hours.
So, if you miss the injection, you can administer it within 12 hours.
With a longer break, you will have to wait for the next injection.
Otherwise, you risk overdosing, if you introduce the missed dose and then your usual dose at the usual time.
Overdose with this medication is dangerous.
How to handle a Saxenda pen correctly
First, it is important to store the pens in the fridge at 2°C.
IMPORTANT! Freezing is strictly prohibited, as well as expose to sunlight.
Ok, we don’t get to use lots of medications with such interesting drug delivery devices, so we truly do need to learn handling them correctly.
First, of course, in comes the preparation, and it goes as follows:
- check the expiration date of the drug, its name and barcode;
- remove the cap;
- check the solution itself (it should be colorless and transparent, and you should NEVER use the liquid if it is cloudy);
- remove the protective sticker from the needle;
- place the needle on the syringe (ensure a tight fit);
- remove the outer cap;
- remove the inner cap;
- check the solution flow: while holding the syringe in a vertical position, press the start button, and watch a drop of liquid appearing at the tip of the needle, if you do not see a drop, press again;if nothing happens again, the syringe should be disposed of, since it is considered unsuitable for use.
Never do the injection, if the needle is twisted or damaged.
The needles are disposable, so make sure to use a new one for each injection.
Otherwise, you risk getting a skin infection.
And here comes the second phase.
You need to set Saxenda dose to be injected.
To do this, turn the selector to the desired mark.
Before each injection, check the dispenser for the amount of the solution collected.
Then, the actual solution introduction should take place.
At this point, you can not touch the dispenser with your fingers.
Otherwise, the injection may be interrupted.
Better choose the place for the drug injection with your doctor.
Either way, it is worthwhile to change it from time to time.
And don’t forget to cleanse the injection site with an alcohol wipe before you make the injection.
Wipe the skin, wait for it to dry, then make a fold at the site of the intended injection (you can release the fold only after you have inserted the needle).
Next, you need to hold the “start” button until the counter shows 0.
Count to 6 and then remove the needle.
If you see blood coming out at the injection site, cover it with a cotton pad without massaging the area.
To avoid any possible unpleasant consequences, protect the pen from the ingress of dust and liquid, avoid dropping or throwing it.
Refilling the instrument is impossible, so it must be disposed after the final use.
Saxenda side effects
Once again, we remind you that the active substance of Saxenda interferes with the hormones and forces many organs to function somewhat differently.
Therefore, even if you observe the dosing regimen to a T, you are unlikely to avoid possible side effects, such as:
- allergic reaction;
- fatigue, decreased performance, lethargy and depressed state;
- respiratory failure and respiratory infection;
- loss of appetite;
- gastrointestinal disorders (most frequent are nausea, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia, pain, vomiting, severe belching,gastroesophageal reflux).
As a rule, side effects are diagnosed within the first few weeks of Saxenda use.
Further on, such reactions to Liraglutide administration gradually diminish.
In as little as four weeks, your condition should get back to normal.
If the symptoms persist, better consult a doctor immediately.
Rarely, but still possible, weight loss with Saxenda causes dehydration, pancreatitis, cholecystitis, and impaired kidney function.
Use of this weight loss medication is prohibited to people under the age of 18 those older than 70.
The list of other absolute contraindications for the drug use includes:
- pregnancy and lactation;
- inflammatory processes of the gastrointestinal tract;
- individual intolerance to the components;
- endocrine neoplasia;
- liver disease;
- renal pathology;
- psycho-emotional disorders (suicidal thoughts, depressive states);
- eating disorders;
- thyroid pathology;
- heart failure.
Contraindications, which require careful doctor assessment and dose adjustment are as follows:
- taking insulin or other medicines that contain GLP-1;
- taking other slimming products, including dietary supplements;
In addition to serious doctor’s consideration before the beginning of Saxenda course, you will also need to regularly visit the clinic to avoid complications.
Overdose with Saxenda
According to clinical studies and post-registration use of Liraglutide, overdose cases were reported (a dose of 72 mg was injected, which is 24 times higher than the recommended dose for body mass correction).
One case was also recorded when a sixfold dose was administered (18 mg per day) for 7 months.
Patients reported that these overdose cases were accompanied by severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, yet the patients’ condition improved without complications in each of these cases.
No case of severe hypoglycemia was reported.
In case of overdose, appropriate symptomatic therapy is required.
Where you can buy Saxenda
You can buy Saxenda in a local pharmacy or make an order in an online pharmacy.
Make sure that you consult with a doctor before you buy it and begin injecting the medication to avoid any possible complications.
Besides, you will need to know how long you are allowed to use the medication to calculate the required amount of injections.
As a rule, you can save some money, if you buy several packages of medicine at once.
Needles for syringes are also available for sale at the points of the product sale.
Saxenda is not the only medications, which contains the active substance, Liraglutide, which people use to fight their food cravings and lose weight.
It also makes part of the drug Victoza, which is produced by the same company.
It has been on the market since 2009.
The release form is a syringe pen, which contains 3 ml of Liraglutide solution.
Carton packaging has 2 syringes.
Many slimming wonder, which to use Viktoza or Saxenda?
Specialists unambiguously advocate the second option, pointing out the main difference between the drugs: Saxenda is a medicine of a new generation, which means it is more advanced.
In the fight against obesity, it is much more effective than Viktoza, which, above all, was developed as a remedy for the treatment of diabetes.
In addition, Saxenda syringe handle is works for more uses, and the number of possible side effects and contraindications for therapy is lower.
Not every person can afford buying Liraglutid-based solutions.
Many people who are losing weight are interested in Saxenda alternatives, which would work just as effectively.
Pharmacies are ready to offer substitutes that demonstrate a similar therapeutic effect:
- Phentermine (Duromine, Adipex, Ionamin, Qsymia) is an anorexic medication, which helps fight obesity buy inhibiting hunger and making your body burn more fat than it usually does.
- Belviq is pills for controlling appetite, activating the brain receptors responsible for saturation.
- Byetta is an amino acid amidopeptide that helps slow gastric emptying and thereby reduces appetite. Available in the form of a solution placed in a syringe pen.
- Reduxin is a medicine for the treatment of obesity, which contains Sibutramine. Available in capsule form.
- Orsotenis a drug product in the form of orlistat- based capsules. Intended for reducing the absorption of fat in the intestinal tract.
- Lyxumia is a medicinal product for lowering hypoglycemia. Works regardless of the meal. Available in the form of a solution placed in a syringe pen.
- Forxiga – hypoglycemic medicine in the form of tablets.
- NovoNormis an oral medication. Weight stabilization is a secondary effect.