Saxenda weight loss injection pen
Also known as Saxenda, a prescription only medicine manufactured by Novo Nordisk.
It is a medicine that has been approved by the FDA in America and by the MHRA in the UK, to help reduce weight alongside a calorie-controlled diet. The active ingredient of Saxenda, liraglutide, has been previously used in a lower dose to treat diabetes under the brand name Victoza. Victoza has also been prescribed outside of its license to promote weight loss in people without diabetes.
Saxenda is now licensed in the UK to promote weight loss as a daily injection.
The effectiveness of Saxenda to promote weight loss has been proven in clinical trials in thousands of patients. Reducing your waistline isn’t the only impact of weight loss. Losing weight and keeping it off may help improve conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
Saxenda acts in the same way as a substance that our body produces does. This substance GLP-1, is a hormone released after the ingestion of food and helps to regulate blood sugar. Saxenda also works to decrease the production of glucagon, which is a hormone that opposes insulin, slows down the emptying of the stomach and lowers hunger and increases the feeling of fullness.
Saxenda is administered as a once daily injection pen device. The dose is adjusted using a dial on the pen. This will be explained to you and we can also email a video to you demonstrating the injection technique. The injection can be administered into the abdomen, thighs or upper arms.
The length of time each pen will last is dose dependant. At the full dose a box of 5 pens will last a month. However you have to titrate the dose upwards, so the first box can last up to 6 weeks depending on what maintenance dose is best for you.
A full medical consultation must be taken to see if you are a suitable patient. You may not be able to take it if you have other medical conditions. These will be discussed by the prescriber, some examples include:
- Should not be used in combination with any other GLP-1 receptor agonist
- Should not be used with insulin
- The use of Saxenda will not be recommended if you have severe kidney disease or you are on dialysis.
- There is little experience with this medicine in patients with liver problems. It will not be recommended if you have liver disease.
- There is little to no experience with this medicine in patients with heart failure. It will not be recommended if you have severe heart failure.
- This medicine will not be recommended if you have a severe stomach or gut problem which results in delayed stomach emptying (called gastroparesis), or inflammatory bowel disease.
- If you have thyroid disease including thyroid nodules and enlargement of the thyroid gland this product will not be suitable for you.
When initiating treatment with Saxenda, the main side effects you may experience are:
- Nausea (feeling sick). This usually goes away over time.
- This usually goes away over time.
There are other less common side effects associated with Saxenda, these will be discussed with you during your consultation
The first consultation takes up to 45minutes. During the consultation, the prescriber will take a full family and medical history. They will also weigh you, calculate your BMI, take your blood pressure and measure your blood sugar. They will also demonstrate how to use the pen and discuss your weight loss goals. You will then be given support materials for your weight loss journey. Further consultations may take up to 15 minutes.
The charge is £200 for the initial consultation. This includes 2 pens, a box of needles, and a sharps bin. Subsequent pens will cost £100 per pen. Extra support is always available as you can ring the prescribing pharmacist whenever you need to.