What is Saxenda?
Saxenda (liraglutide) is used for weight loss and to help keep weight off once weight has been lost, it is used for obese adults or overweight adults who also have weight-related medical problems. Saxenda can be used in children aged 12 to 17 years who with obesity and who have a bodyweight above 132 pounds (60 kg). Saxenda is used together with a healthy diet and exercise.
Saxenda is an injection given once a day under the skin (subcutaneous) from a multi-dose injection pen.
Saxenda contains the same active ingredient (liraglutide) as Victoza. The difference between Saxenda and Victoza is they are different strengths and they are FDA approved for different conditions.
Saxenda is not for treating type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It is not known if Saxenda is safe and effective in children under 12 years of age. It is not known if Saxenda is safe and effective in children aged 12 to 17 years with type 2 diabetes.
How does Saxenda work?
Saxenda works to help weight loss by lowering appetite, slowing gastric emptying which makes you feel full for longer and therefore you decrease your calorie intake. Saxenda is similar to a hormone that occurs naturally in the body and helps control blood sugar, insulin levels, and digestion. Saxenda belongs to a class of medicines called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists.
What is Saxenda used for?
Saxenda is FDA approved for weight loss and to help keep weight off once you have lost weight. It can be used for:
- obese adults (BMI 30 kg/m2 or greater)
- overweight adults (BMI 27 kg/m2 or greater) who also have weight-related medical problems e.g., hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia.
Pediatric patients aged 12 years and older:
- body weight above 60 kg and
- their initial BMI corresponding to 30 kg/m2 or greater for adults (obese) by international cut-offs (Cole Criteria)
The Victoza brand of liraglutide is used together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes. Do not use Saxenda and Victoza together.
You should not use Saxenda if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (tumors in your glands), a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, insulin-dependent diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis, or are pregnant.
In animal studies, liraglutide caused thyroid tumors or thyroid cancer. It is not known whether these effects would occur in people using regular doses.
Call your doctor at once if you have signs of a thyroid tumor, such as swelling or a lump in your neck, trouble swallowing, a hoarse voice, or shortness of breath.
Before using Saxenda
You should not use Saxenda if you are allergic to liraglutide, or if you have:
- multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (tumors in your glands);
- a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (a type of thyroid cancer); or
- diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment).
You should not use Saxenda if you also use insulin or other medicines like liraglutide (albiglutide, dulaglutide, exenatide, Byetta, Bydureon, Tanzeum, Trulicity).
To make sure Saxenda is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- stomach problems causing slow digestion;
- kidney or liver disease;
- high triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);
- heart problems;
- a history of problems with your pancreas or gallbladder; or
- a history of depression or suicidal thoughts.
In animal studies, liraglutide caused thyroid tumors or thyroid cancer. It is not known whether these effects would occur in people using regular doses. Ask your doctor about your risk.
It is not known whether Saxenda will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether liraglutide passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.