Frequently Asked Questions

As you decide on how to work toward your weight-management goals, you may have questions. The following are a few frequently asked questions about how to take Saxenda® and the support available if you and your health care professional decide Saxenda® is right for you. If you have immediate questions or experience side effects while on Saxenda®, please reach out to your health care professional. 

Saxenda® is an FDA-approved, prescription injectable medicine that, when used with a low-calorie meal plan and increased physical activity, may help some adults with excess weighta who also have weight-related medical problems (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes), or obesity,b to lose weight and keep it off.

Saxenda® is not for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and should not be used with Victoza® or any other GLP-1 receptor agonist or insulin. It is not known if Saxenda® is safe and effective when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight-loss products. Click here for additional Limitations of Use.

a Body mass index (BMI) ≥27.
b BMI ≥30.

About Saxenda®

What is Saxenda®?

Saxenda® (liraglutide) injection 3 mg is an injectable prescription medicine that may help some adults with excess weight (BMI ≥27) who also have weight-related medical problems or obesity (BMI ≥30) lose weight and keep the weight off. Saxenda® should be used with a reduced-calorie meal plan and increased physical activity.

  • Saxenda® is not for the treatment of type 2 diabetes
  • Saxenda® and Victoza® have the same active ingredient, liraglutide, and should not be used together
  • Saxenda® should not be used with other GLP-1 receptor agonist medicines
  • Saxenda® and insulin should not be used together
  • It is not known if Saxenda® is safe and effective when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight-loss products
  • It is not known if Saxenda® changes your risk of heart problems or stroke or of death due to heart problems or stroke
  • It is not known if Saxenda® can be used safely in people who have had pancreatitis
  • It is not known if Saxenda® is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age. Saxenda® is not recommended for use in children

How does Saxenda® work?

Your body naturally produces glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which helps regulate your appetite. Saxenda® works like GLP-1. GLP-1 is thought to regulate one’s appetite. Calorie intake is a behavior that may be impacted by appetite.

Who should consider Saxenda®?

Before you discuss Saxenda® with your health care professional, take a moment to find out if it might be right for you. To be considered for Saxenda® (which is used with a low-calorie meal plan and increased physical activity), you must be an adult with: 

  • Excess weight (body mass index [BMI] ≥27) who also has weight-related medical problems (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes), or
  • Obesity (BMI ≥30)

Saxenda® is not for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and should not be used with Victoza® or any other GLP-1 receptor agonist or insulin. It is not known if Saxenda® is safe and effective when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight-loss products. Click here for additional Limitations of Use.

If you’re not sure what your body mass index (BMI) is, you can quickly determine it here.

What if I have weight-related conditions?

Reducing your waistline isn’t the only impact of weight loss. Taking off weight and keeping it off may help improve conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Ask your health care professional about Saxenda®.

Saxenda® is not indicated for the treatment of high blood pressure or high cholesterol. It is not known if Saxenda® changes your risk of heart problems or stroke or of death due to heart problems or stroke.

While you are at rest, Saxenda® can increase your heart rate. Tell your health care professional if you feel your heart racing or pounding in your chest and it lasts for several minutes while taking Saxenda®.

 

Using the Saxenda® Pen

Does my health care professional need to do the injections?

Saxenda® is a once-daily, self-injectable medicine that comes in a prefilled pen. Your health care professional must teach you how to inject Saxenda® before you use it for the first time. If you have questions or do not understand the instructions, talk to your health care professional or pharmacist. See the full Patient Instructions for Use that come with the Medication Guide for detailed information about the right way to use your Saxenda® pen. 

Where on my body do I inject?

Inject your dose under the skin (this is called a subcutaneous injection) in your stomach area (abdomen), upper leg (thigh), or upper arm as instructed by your health care professional. Do not inject into a vein or muscle.

Saxenda® is self-injectable in the upper arm, abdomen, or thigh

What is the dosing schedule?

The starting dosage is 0.6 mg per day for 1 week. You should increase the dose each week until the dose of 3 mg is reached, as prescribed. The dosing schedule is designed to help minimize gastrointestinal side effects. If you start with a sample pen, you will need a prescription in order to complete the dose escalation.

 

Saxenda® dosing schedule

What time should Saxenda® be dosed?

Saxenda® can be taken at any time, independent of meals. Once on Saxenda®, if you find a time that is convenient for you, try to take Saxenda® at that time every day.

How do I handle and dispose of needles?

After your injection is complete, carefully remove the needle from the pen. To avoid needlesticks, do not put the needle cap back on the needle. Immediately place the needle in a sharps container to reduce the risk of needlesticks. Put the pen cap back on your pen after each use to protect Saxenda® from light. Do not throw away used needles in household trash or recycling bins.

How long does the pen last?

Once you are taking the 3-mg dose, each pen will last 6 days.

How is Saxenda® stored?

Store new, unused Saxenda® pens in the refrigerator between 36°F and 46°F (2°C to 8°C). After first use, store in a refrigerator or at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C to 30°C). Pens in use should be thrown away after 30 days even if they still have Saxenda® left in them. Don’t freeze Saxenda®. Saxenda® that has been frozen must not be used.

What kind of needles should be used?

The Saxenda® pen should be used with Novo Nordisk disposable needles. Needles are sold separately and may require a prescription in some states. Novo Nordisk cannot guarantee that needles from other manufacturers will fit the pen because Novo Nordisk has only studied Novo Nordisk needles with the pen.


Side Effects

Will I experience nausea?

Nausea is the most common side effect when first starting Saxenda®, but decreases over time in most people as their body gets used to the medicine. For additional side effects, please refer to the Medication Guide.


Savings

Is there a savings card?

Click here to print or activate a Saxenda® Savings Card.

Our Co-pay Calculator can help you see how much your Saxenda® will cost. Calculate your co-pay.


Information and Support 

Will I have to watch what I eat and increase my physical activity?

Follow a low-calorie meal plan and increase your physical activity while taking Saxenda® for weight management.

Can I take Saxenda® with other weight-loss products?

Saxenda® has not been evaluated in combination with other prescription weight-loss medicines, diet programs, or weight-loss supplements. Saxenda® has the potential to change how other medicines are absorbed. Use caution when taking Saxenda® with oral medicines. Tell your health care professional about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

What support is available?

Whether you are prescribed Saxenda® or still considering treatment, support is available. Support communications are customized based on your preferences. The support program uses a personalized approach that focuses on small changes to build skills. These skills help you manage your weight.

Where can I find information about low-calorie meal plans and physical activity?

For those prescribed Saxenda®, SaxendaCare® offers support to help you make healthy food choices and be physically active. SaxendaCare® helps you focus on making small changes. We’ll help you understand how your environment and triggers can affect your eating and activity habits, how to use the plate method for balanced meals, how to overcome barriers to staying active, and much more. Visit SaxendaCare® today to get started, and talk to your health care professional before beginning any low-calorie meal plan or activity plan. You can also find resources on the Obesity Action Coalition’s website.

I am having a hard time staying on track with my low-calorie meal plan and physical activity when taking Saxenda®. What can I do?

Talk to your health care professional, nurse, or dietitian about your current plan. They will be able to help you make changes that may help you work toward your goals.