Saxenda

Jul 30, 2022

Generic name:  liraglutide  [ LIR-a-GLOO-tide ]
Brand names: Saxenda,  Victoza
Drug class:  Incretin mimetics

What is Saxenda?

Saxenda is  similar to a hormone  that occurs naturally in the body and helps control blood sugar, insulin levels, and digestion.

Saxenda is an injectable prescription medicine that may help some  obese  adults or overweight adults who also have weight-related medical problems, and children aged 12 to 17 years with a body weight above 132 pounds (60 kg) and obesity, to lose weight and keep the weight off. It is used together with diet and exercise.

Saxenda is not for treating type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Saxenda is not a weight-loss medicine or appetite suppressant.

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.

Warnings

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.

Saxenda is not FDA-approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I use Saxenda?

Saxenda is usually given once per day. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not use Saxenda and Victoza together. These two brands contain the same active ingredient but they should not be used together.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Saxenda is injected under the skin at any time of the day, with or without a meal. You will be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

Saxenda comes in a prefilled injection pen. Ask your pharmacist which type of needles are best to use with your pen.

Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject Saxenda. Use a different place each time you give an injection. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

Do not use Saxenda if it has changed colors or if it has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Also watch for signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) such as increased thirst or urination, blurred vision, headache, and tiredness.

Blood sugar levels can be affected by stress, illness, surgery, exercise, alcohol use, or skipping meals. Ask your doctor before changing your dose or medication schedule.

Use a disposable needle only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof “sharps” disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

Saxenda is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, regular blood sugar testing, and special medical care. Follow your doctor’s instructions very closely.

Storing unopened injection pens: Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze Saxenda, and throw away the medication if it has become frozen. Do not use an unopened injection pen if the expiration date on the label has passed.

Storing after your first use: You may keep “in-use” injection pens in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Protect the pens from moisture, heat, and sunlight. Use within 30 days. Remove the needle before storing an injection pen, and keep the cap on the pen when not in use.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Weight Loss:

Dose escalation should be followed to reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal symptoms; dose escalation may be delayed by 1 additional week if necessary:
Week 1: Inject 0.6 mg subcutaneously once a day
Week 2: Inject 1.2 mg subcutaneously once a day
Week 3: Inject 1.8 mg subcutaneously once a day
Week 4: Inject 2.4 mg subcutaneously once a day
Week 5: Inject 3 mg subcutaneously once a day

MAINTENANCE dose: 3 mg subcutaneously once a day
-If maintenance dose is not tolerated, discontinuation is recommended; efficacy for chronic weight management has not been established at lower doses.

Comments:
-Saxenda should not be used in combination with any other GLP-1 receptor agonist.
-The safety and effectiveness of Saxenda in combination with other products intended for weight loss, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal preparations, have not been established.
-Evaluate weight loss at 16 weeks; if 4% or more of body weight has not been lost, it is unlikely the patient will achieve and sustain clinically meaningful weight loss with continued treatment.

Use: As an adjunct to a reduced-caloried diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adult patients with an initial BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese) or an initial BMI of 27 kg/m2 (overweight) or greater in the presence of at least 1 weight-related comorbid condition (e.g., hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia).

BMI=Body Mass Index is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. Charts are available for determining BMI based on height and weight, including a chart in Saxenda product labeling.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Weight Loss:

12 years and older:
Dose escalation should be followed to reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal symptoms; dose escalation may be delayed if necessary based on tolerability; dose escalation may take up to 8 weeks:
Week 1: Inject 0.6 mg subcutaneously once a day
Week 2: Inject 1.2 mg subcutaneously once a day
Week 3: Inject 1.8 mg subcutaneously once a day
Week 4: Inject 2.4 mg subcutaneously once a day
Week 5: Inject 3 mg subcutaneously once a day

MAINTENANCE dose: 2.4 or 3 mg subcutaneously once a day
-If maintenance dose is not tolerated, discontinuation is recommended; efficacy for chronic weight management has not been established at lower doses.

Comments:
-Saxenda should not be used in combination with any other GLP-1 receptor agonist.
-The safety and effectiveness of Saxenda in combination with other products intended for weight loss, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal preparations, have not been established.
-Evaluate weight loss at 12 weeks on the maintenance dose; if 1% or more of body weight has not been lost, it is unlikely the patient will achieve and sustain clinically meaningful weight loss with continued treatment and this drug should be discontinued.

Use: As an adjunct to a reduced-caloried diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in pediatric patients with a body weight above 60 kg and an initial BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater.

BMI=Body Mass Index is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. Charts are available for determining BMI based on height and weight, including a chart in Saxenda product labeling.

Detailed Saxenda dosage information

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you miss your daily dose of Saxenda, use the dose as soon as you remember. Then take your next daily dose as usual on the following day. Do not take an extra dose of Saxenda or increase your dose on the following day to make up for your missed dose.

If you miss your dose of Saxenda for 3 days or more, call your healthcare provider to talk about how to restart your treatment.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using Saxenda?

Never share an injection pen, cartridge, or syringe with another person, even if the needle has been changed. Sharing these devices can allow infections or disease to pass from one person to another.

Do not use Saxenda together with other weight loss products, diet pills, or appetite suppressants.

Saxenda side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Saxenda: hives; fast heartbeats; dizziness; trouble breathing or swallowing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • racing or pounding heartbeats;
  • sudden changes in mood or behavior, suicidal thoughts;
  • severe ongoing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
  • signs of a thyroid tumor – swelling or a lump in your neck, trouble swallowing, a hoarse voice, feeling short of breath;
  • gallbladder problems – fever, upper stomach pain, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes);
  • symptoms of pancreatitis – severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea with or without vomiting, fast heart rate;
  • severely low blood sugar – extreme weakness, confusion, tremors, sweating, fast heart rate, trouble speaking, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, fainting, and seizure (convulsions); or
  • kidney problems – little or no urination; painful or difficult urination; swelling in your feet or ankles; feeling tired or short of breath.

Common Saxenda side effects may include:

  • nausea (especially when you start using Saxenda), vomiting, stomach pain;
  • increased heart rate;
  • diarrhea, constipation;
  • headache, dizziness; or
  • feeling tired.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Saxenda side effects  (more detail)

What other drugs will affect Saxenda?

Saxenda can slow your digestion, and it may take longer for your body to absorb any medicines you take by mouth.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • insulin; or
  • oral diabetes medicine – Glucotrol, Metaglip, Amaryl, Avandaryl, Duetact, DiaBeta, Micronase, Glucovance, and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with liraglutide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Saxenda drug interactions  (more detail)

Popular FAQ

Does Saxenda need to be refrigerated?

Store unopened Saxenda pens in the refrigerator between 36℉ to 46℉. Do not freeze. After the first injection, Saxenda may be refrigerated or stored at controlled room temperature (59℉ to 86℉) for 30 days. Keep the pen out of direct heat and sunlight.

How long does a Saxenda pen last?

A Saxenda pen may be used for 30 days. After 30 days, the medication expires and must be thrown away even if there is still medicine left in it. How long each pen lasts depends on the dose you take. There is a scale on the pen that shows you about how much Saxenda is left inside.

What is the average weight loss with Saxenda?

In clinical studies, a greater number of people who took Saxenda for 56 weeks lost 5 to 10% of their body weight, compared with people who took a placebo. (A placebo is a substance that has no effect and is used as a control when testing medications). This means participants lost 12 to 23 pounds. People in the studies were overweight (BMI 27-29.9 kg/m2) or obese (BMI greater than or equal to 30 kg/m2) before taking Saxenda.

How does Saxenda work?

Saxenda works for weight loss by regulating your hunger and calorie intake. As a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, it lowers hunger stimulation in several areas of the brain, which reduces your food intake.

Saxenda also helps your stomach digest food more slowly, which causes feelings of fullness. However, this can affect certain medicines you take, so it’s important to discuss all of your medications with your health care provider.

It also increases insulin secretion, which helps cells absorb glucose that is used for energy. And, it decreases glucagon secretion in the body. Glucagon is a hormone that tells your liver to release stored glucose when blood sugar is too low. These two effects lead to decreased blood glucose levels.

Can you drink alcohol with Saxenda?

There is no specific warning about drinking alcohol with Saxenda. Keep in mind that alcohol can lower blood sugar. If you are taking other drugs for diabetes, drinking alcohol increases your risk of hypoglycemia. In addition, many alcoholic drinks contain high levels of carbohydrates and sugar. If you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to avoid alcohol.

How long does it take for Saxenda to work?

Saxenda reaches its maximum concentration in the body 11 hours after injection. It’s recommended to follow up with your doctor 2 to 8 weeks after starting Saxenda to see if it’s working.

  • If you have not lost 4% of your body weight after 16 weeks, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it.
  • In children ages 12 and up, Saxenda may be stopped after 12 weeks on the maintenance dose if BMI has not decreased by 1%.

source :: https://www.drugs.com/saxenda.html