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Our bodies produce a hormone called GLP-1 which helps regulate blood sugar levels following any food we eat.  Saxenda works in a similar way to GLP-1.  It also works by reducing the amount of Glucagon your body produces.  Glucagon is a hormone which works by inhibiting the action of insulin.  As a result, it makes you feel less hungry, slows down the emptying of your stomach and makes you feel ‘fuller’ for longer.

3ml pre-filled pen (solution for injection).  The pen contains a clear solution which is colourless (sometimes almost colourless).

All pens are supplied with the appropriate quantity of needles required for injecting.

Saxenda Pen

Liraglutide 6mg/ml (18mg in each pre-filled pen)

Saxenda has been studied extensively in multiple clinical trials to establish its clinical benefits (4 x phase 3 trials – SCALE Obesity & Pre-Diabetes, SCALE Diabetes, SCALE Sleep Apnoea and SCALE Maintenance).

These trials included a total of 5,358 participants and the trials ran between 56 weeks and 160 weeks.

The SCALE Obesity & Pre-Diabetes trial showed a 9.2% weight loss in participants who were taking Liraglutide in combination with diet and exercise, compared to 3.2% weight loss in those taking a placebo.

These results are mirrored in all four clinical trials and therefore conclusively show that you are more likely to achieve a significant weight loss profile whilst taking Liraglutide compared to diet and exercise alone if you are overweight or obese.

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Who can use Saxenda?

Where weight management has not succeeded using a calorie controlled diet and an increased level of physical activity, Saxenda can be used as an adjunct to therapy.

Indicated for those individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of –

>30kg/m2 (obese)

>27kg/m2 but <30kg/m2 (overweight) – must be accompanied by at least one other risk factor such as unregulated blood glucose levels (pre-diabetes, Type II Diabetes), high blood pressure (hypertension), dyslipidaemia and obstructive sleep apnoea.

BMI = Weight (kg) / (Height (m) x Height (m))

Patients can expect to lose a minimum of 5% of their initial body weight after completing 12 weeks of treatment at 3.0mg Liraglutide daily.  If this has not occurred then treatment should be discontinued at this stage.

What is the Dosage of Liraglutide to be used?

The initial dose is 0.6mg Liraglutide daily and should be increased at intervals of 0.6mg as follows –

  • Week 1 – 0.6mg daily
  • Week 2 – 1.2mg daily
  • Week 3 – 1.8mg daily
  • Week 4 – 2.4mg daily
  • Week 5 onwards – maintenance dose of 3.0mg daily


Dosage is increased slowly to minimise any unwanted effects on the gastro-intestinal tract.  If an increase to a higher dose cannot be tolerated following 2 continuous weeks, then consider discontinuing drug treatment.  The maximum recommended daily dosage of Liraglutide is 3.0mg.

Always use Saxenda exactly how your prescriber has told you.  Check with your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you are unsure.

Saxenda can be used at any time of the day

Saxenda can be used in the presence or absence of food and drinks

Saxenda should be taken at the same time each day - you should pick a time that works best for you.

Saxenda is a subcutaneous injection and should therefore be injected under the skin.  The best sites for injection are the front of the waist (abdomen), the front of your thigh or the upper arm.  Take extra care not to inject into a vein or muscle.

Detailed instructions on injection techniques are included within the patient information leaflet which is provided with the product.  Patients are advised to follow these instructions carefully.

For a detailed guide, including a video demonstration, on how to use Saxenda please visit 

All patients using (or planning to use) Saxenda are encouraged to register with 

This site has been developed by Novo Nordisk (the manufacturer's of Saxenda) and contains a wealth of information.  Patients are strongly advised to complete the 4 modules contained within the site after registration as these have been designed to complement therapy and answer most questions patients may have in relation to their weight loss journey.

(Last 6 digits of Bar Code - 530006 - required for registration)

Special Considerations and Patients Who Cannot Use Saxenda

Elderly (>65 years old) – no dose adjustment is required for this age group however results can be limited in those over the age of 75

Renal Impairment – No dose adjustment is needed for those with mild to moderate renal impairment (CrCl >30ml/min).  For severe or end stage renal impairment (CrCl <30ml/min) Saxenda is not recommended.

Hepatic Impairment – Although no dose adjustment is needed, Saxenda should be used with caution in those with mild to moderate hepatic impairment.  Use of Saxenda is not recommended in those severe hepatic impairment.

There is no clinical data for use in children and therefore is not recommended for administration to a paediatric population.

Diabetics – concurrent use in diabetics already taking medication should be avoided due to the risk of hypoglycaemia.  Patients taking insulin or drugs which regulate insulin may need their doses adjusted if Liraglutide is administered at the same time. 

Treatment with Saxenda should be avoided if there are any known sensitivity reactions to Liraglutide or any of the excipients. 

There has been little or no studies done in patients who are suffering from heart failure.  Due to this lack of data it is therefore not recommended for use in this group of patients.

Saxenda is not recommended if you suffer from severe gastro-intestinal issues such inflammatory bowel disease or gastroparesis.

A doctor should be consulted before starting treatment if you suffer from any form of a thyroid disorder.

What are the Side Effects Associated with Saxenda?

As with all medication Saxenda can be associated with unwanted side effects.  Although generally mild in nature some of these can be more severe which can result in the treatment being discontinued. 

When treatments is initially started, some individuals may result in a loss of bodily fluids.  This can be a result of gastro disturbances such as vomiting or diarrhoea.  It is important to ensure you drink plenty of fluids and keep yourself well hydrated whilst taking Saxenda.  Most mild side effects will settle once your body gets accustomed to the new medication.  However, as always, if any side effects persists then treatment should be discontinued and your doctor should be consulted.

 Side effects can include (but are not limited to) –


  • Nausea & vomiting (settles after your body adjusts to treatment)
  • Diarrhoea (settles after your body adjusts to treatment)


  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) – signs of this may include tremor, feeling weak & hungry, sweating, cold or cool skin, feeling sleepy, difficulty in concentrating, confusion, headache, anxiety, feeling nervous, faster heart rate.
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Gastro-intestinal disturbances – Indigestion, reflux (GORD), inflammation, painful, swollen abdomen, excess wind, constipation.
  • Common cold sypmtoms – Tiredness (fatigue), Pyrexia (fever), dizziness.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Local reactions around the injection site – rash, itch, pain, bruising, swelling



  • Thyroid reactions such as goiters, nodules.
  • Pancreatitis


  • Angioedema

List compiled from data taken from – Please visit their website for a more complete and comprehensive list. is a stand alone entity and is in no way associated with this site.

The information we provide to our patients is based on the information provided by the manufacturer of the medication. You can access this either here or here for a more in-depth summary . This information is based on the latest and best, current evidence.