Selected Important Safety Information
What is the most important information I should know about Saxenda®?
Serious side effects may happen in people who take Saxenda®, including:
Possible thyroid tumors, including cancer. Tell your health care professional if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer. In studies with rats and mice, Saxenda® and medicines that work like Saxenda® caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. It is not known if Saxenda® will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in people.
Do not use Saxenda® if you or any of your family have ever had MTC, or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). See below for full Important Safety Information.
Saxenda® is an FDA-approved prescription injectable medicine that may help some adults with excess weight (body mass index [BMI] ≥27) who also have weight-related medical problems or obesity (BMI ≥30), lose weight and keep it off. Saxenda® should be used with a reduced-calorie meal plan and increased physical activity. Click here for full Indications and Usage.
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 provider 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 provider.
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 the full indication.
a Body mass index (BMI) ≥27.
b BMI ≥30.
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?
Saxenda® addresses one of your body's natural responses to weight loss.
- Your body naturally produces an appetite hormone known as glucagon-like-peptide (GLP-1) that helps to regulate your hunger
- Saxenda® works like GLP-1 by regulating your appetite, which can lead to eating fewer calories and losing weight
- Saxenda® is not a stimulant
What is my BMI?
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 provider 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 provider if you feel your heart racing or pounding in your chest and it lasts for several minutes while taking Saxenda®.
How long will I stay on Saxenda®?
Chronic diseases like obesity usually require long-term treatment. Your health care provider will create a plan tailored to your weight-management goals. You'll need to visit your health care provider 4 months after you begin taking Saxenda® to review your progress and renew your prescription.
Using the Saxenda® Pen
Does my health care provider need to do the injections?
Saxenda® is a once-daily, self-injectable medicine that comes in a prefilled pen. Your health care provider 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 provider 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 provider. Do not inject into a vein or muscle.
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.
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.
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. If you do experience nausea, here are some things that may help:
- Eat bland, low-fat foods, like crackers, toast, and rice
- Eat foods that contain water, like soups and gelatin
- Don't lie down after you eat
- Go outside to get some fresh air
The dosing schedule is designed to reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal symptoms. Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. Learn more about Saxenda®, including possible side effects, in the Medication Guide.
Information and Support
Will I have to watch what I eat and increase my physical activity?
You'll work with your health care provider to 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 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 provider 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 provider 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 provider, nurse, or dietitian about your current plan. They will be able to help you make changes that may help you work toward your goals.