£75 off your first month

How does Saxenda work?

Medically reviewed by


Saxenda can help with weight loss and diabetes management by reducing high blood sugar levels and aiding with weight management, as well as potentially increasing metabolic rate and fat-burning potential.

Saxenda works by imitating the hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) to suppress appetite, leading to feelings of fullness without being excessively hungry or deprived of much-needed nutrients.

Saxenda is an innovative weight loss injection that helps to address one of the body’s natural responses to weight loss: suppressing appetite. The hormone responsible for this response, known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), prompts your body to produce satiety hormones that regulate hunger and generally keep you full. This can help to reduce the number of calories ingested and result in a gradual, healthy weight loss journey over time.

Saxenda works by imitating GLP-1 to suppress appetite. With a regular maintenance dose, it functions similarly to GLP-1, informing your body when it is time to stop eating. As Saxenda takes effect, users experience a more balanced appetite, resulting in feelings of fullness without being excessively hungry or deprived of much-needed nutrients and nourishment. Moreover, as you are consuming a low-calorie diet over an extended period than you would have been exposed to otherwise, gradual weight loss occurs naturally.

What is Saxenda

Saxenda (liraglutide) injection is a prescription medication used to manage weight in adults and children. It is approved for use by those with excess weight (BMI ≥27) who have obesity (BMI ≥30), children aged 12-17 years with a body weight above 60kg and obesity and individuals with weight-related medical problems such as high blood pressure. Saxenda should not be used together with other GLP-1 receptor agonist medicines, such as Victoza, which has the same active ingredient, liraglutide. Saxenda should be used alongside a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity to help people lose weight and keep it off.

How to use a Saxenda injection pen

When you first start taking Saxenda, you will need to gradually increase your initial dose by 0.6mg increments each week until you reach your maximum dose of 3mg daily.

Week 10.6 mg
Week 21.2 mg
Week 31.8 mg
Week 42.4 mg
Week 5 onwards3.0 mg

You’re advised to inject your daily dose of Saxenda under the skin in either the abdomen, thigh or upper arm area as instructed by your healthcare provider. It is important not to inject into a vein or muscle as this could result in serious side effects. Additionally, it’s important to change your injection site frequently to reduce your risk of getting lumps under your skin.

Is Saxenda right for You?

You should avoid Saxenda if you are over the age of 75. If you are pregnant or have any of the following medical conditions: heart failure, or kidney problems (including dialysis) inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying) gallbladder disease or gallstones thyroid disease, including thyroid tumours, a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (a type of thyroid cancer)

What are the possible side effects of Saxenda?

Common Side effects can include nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, stomach pain, increased heart rate and increased risk of low blood sugar. As always, you should speak with your healthcare provider before starting any medication or supplement regimen to fully understand the potential risks and benefits of using Saxenda. The most serious side effect of Saxenda includes inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), which can be indicated by severe pain in the stomach area (abdomen) that will not go away, with or without vomiting. Additionally, Saxenda has been known to cause gallbladder issues including gallstones and other complications. If you experience any allergic reactions, stop the medication right away and seek medical advice. 

Does Saxenda help with diabetes?

The active ingredient in Saxenda (liraglutide) works by reducing high blood sugar levels and by aiding with weight management, both important factors for diabetics to consider. Therefore, if you’re taking Saxenda or Victoza (Diabetes medication) for diabetes-related reasons, it’s a good idea to check with your prescriber to know which one you should be taking and why.

Does Saxenda affect metabolism?

Saxenda works by manipulating the body’s hormones, primarily leptin, and altering the way it processes food consumption and metabolism. By tricking the body into believing it doesn’t need as much food, Saxenda can cause an overall reduction in appetite which leads to weight loss. In addition to reducing appetite, this weight loss medication can also increase metabolic rate and fat-burning potential. This helps you improve your overall health, energy levels and physical performance while facilitating your weight loss goals.

What is the most important information I should know about Saxenda?

Saxenda is a prescription drug used to help people lose weight and keep it off. It is an injectable medication, typically taken once daily, that works by decreasing appetite and increasing the feeling of fullness to help support your weight loss journey. Saxenda is indicated for adults with a body mass index of 27 or higher and obese (BMI of 30 or higher).

While Saxenda may present potential benefits, it is important to be aware of serious side effects that may occur in people who take the medication. you should contact your health care professional immediately if they experience any lumps or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath as these could be symptoms of thyroid cancer. In animal studies with rats and mice, Saxenda caused Thyroid Tumors which were sometimes malignant including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). The potential risks of this medication in humans have yet to be determined although people should discuss potential side effects with their doctor before starting treatment with Saxenda.

Further reading about Saxenda