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Saxenda vs Wegovy

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Saxenda and Wegovy, developed by Novo Nordisk, are medications for chronic weight management. They’re prescribed alongside healthy habits for obesity (BMI 30+) or overweight (BMI 27+) individuals with weight-related health issues like type 2 diabetes or hypertension.

Saxenda contains liraglutide, while Wegovy contains semaglutide. Wegovy is specifically marketed for weight loss, unlike ‘Ozempic,’ which is for managing blood sugar levels. In a trial, Wegovy users lost nearly 16% of body weight on average, compared to over 6% with Saxenda. Understanding these differences is crucial when choosing a treatment, so consulting a healthcare provider is important.

Saxenda and Wegovy, both developed by Novo Nordisk, are GLP-1 receptor agonist medications recommended for individuals struggling with chronic weight management. They are typically prescribed in conjunction with healthy dietary habits and physical activity measures to individuals dealing with obesity (BMI of 30 or higher) as well as those who are overweight (BMI of 27 or higher) and are contending with weight-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or elevated cholesterol levels.

Wegovy and Saxenda are two separate weight-loss medications with distinct active ingredients. While Saxenda contains liraglutide, Wegovy contains semaglutide. The use, maximum dose, and potential weight loss results can all be different between the two drugs. There has been a great deal of media attention surrounding a drug called ‘Ozempic’ which is also known to contain semaglutide and which is approved for managing blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes; however, Wegovy will be the first injection specifically marketed as a weight loss solution. In a comparative clinical trial between liraglutide and semaglutide, individuals using Wegovy experienced an average weight loss of nearly 16%, whereas those using Saxenda achieved a loss of over 6% body weight.

A difference between Wegovy and Saxenda is that Saxenda is a daily injection, while Wegovy lasts longer in the body and is given as a weekly injection. Another difference between Wegovy and Saxenda could confuse those considering either injection for weight loss purposes. It’s important to understand the differences between both active ingredients before committing to any type of drug regimen so that you can ensure the best possible result from your chosen treatment. Additionally, it is important to consult with your primary healthcare provider before selecting traditional or alternative treatments for any medical condition.


Side Effects 

While Wegovy and Saxenda may come from the same family of medications and have similar common side effects, it is important to note that individual reactions can vary. Most of these side effects are related to the gastrointestinal system, such as nausea and vomiting, which often improve over time as the body adjusts to the medication.

It is common for individuals to experience nausea and vomiting when starting GLP-1 agonists like Wegovy and Saxenda, but these symptoms should not be ignored if they become severe or unbearable. Your healthcare provider may be able to offer solutions or adjustments to help manage these side effects more effectively. Communicating openly with your healthcare team about any side effects you are experiencing is key in ensuring that you are receiving the best possible care and support throughout your weight loss journey


 Most common

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Dyspepsia, abdominal distension, eructation
  • Hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes
  • Flatulence, gastroenteritis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease

More serious

  • Thyroid C-cell tumors
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Acute gallbladder disease
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Diabetic retinopathy complications in patients with Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart rate increase
  • Suicidal behavior and ideation


 Most common

  • Nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Fast heart rate
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches and dizziness

More serious

  • Increased heart rate
  • Suicidal thoughts or sudden changes in behaviour and mood
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea that will not stop
  • Hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar levels) – feeling very weak, shaking, confused, sweating, fainting, or seizures
  • Pain or difficulty urinating, swelling in ankles or feet, tiredness, and difficulty breathing
  • Trouble swallowing, lump, or swollen neck
  • Jaundice – yellowing of eyes or skin, darker stools, upper stomach pain spreading to the back

Further reading about Wegovy