You may have heard of Saxenda, an injectable prescription medicine that may help some obese adults or overweight adults with weight-related medical problems to lose weight and keep the weight off.
The medicine has been approved by FDA, being the fourth approved weight loss medicine approved by FDA since 2012. It is said to have obvious effects on helping obese people lose weight.
Is it so useful? What makes it magical? What are the side effects? Let’s review its functions in here.
Know about Saxenda
The definition from Saxenda official website:
“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 weight (BMI≥27) who also have weight-related medical problems (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes), or obesity (BMI≥30), to lose weight and keep it off.“
It should be noted that Saxenda is not for treatment of type-2 diabetes, and should not be used together with insulin or other GLP-1 receptor agonist medicines. It’s unknown whether Saxenda changes the risk of heart problems or stroke, or death caused by them.
There are some conditions where the safety and effectiveness of Saxenda are unknown, including:
when used with other prescription, OTC, or herbal weight-loss products
when used by people who have had pancreatitis
when used by people under 18 years of age. Saxenda is not recommended for use in children.
In Postmarket Drug and Biologic Safety Evaluations Completed from January 2017 by FDA, the evaluation for Saxenda is:
Product Name: Trade (active ingredient)
with Dosage form NDA/BLA Number
("NME" indicates New Molecular Entity)
Summary of Findings from Evaluation
Actions taken and Ongoing Surveillance Activities
injection, for subcutaneous use
December 23, 2014
For use as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adult patients with an initial body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese) or 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition (e.g. hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia)
No new safety issues were identified.
No regulatory actions required at this time.
The form showed Saxenda’s general safety for most people.
How does Saxenda work?
Saxenda mimics a hormone made in the intestines called GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide), one role of which is to tell your brain that you’re full.
Does Saxenda work?
Saxenda was clinically tested and proven in a study of 3,731 patients. These are the results that Saxenda achieved:
In total, 85% reported weight loss after using Saxenda.
60% people achieved weight loss of 5% or more, with an average lost weight of 12 lb.
1/3 people achieved weight loss of 10% or more, with an average lost weight of 23 lb.
About 6% people achieved weight loss of 20% or more, with an average lost weight of 47 lb.
In a clinical study of people taking Saxenda for 3 years, 56% achieved significant weight loss at year 1, and about half of these patients maintained weight loss at 3 years with a reduced-calorie meal plan and increased physical activity.
How to use Saxenda Pen?
The pen contains five parts: pen cap, dose counter, dose pointer, dose selector, and dose button. The needle consists of outer needle cap, inner needle cap, needle and paper tab. See the picture from Saxenda official website.
Store unused Saxenda pens in the fridge between 36-46°F (2-8°C). After first use, store in a fridge or at room temperature between 59-86°F (15-30°C). You should not use the pen if it’s open for more than 30 days. Saxenda that has been frozen must not be used.
Prepare the pen. Check the liquid before using. It should be clear and colorless.
Attach a new needle. Twist to attach the needle firmly to the pen. Remember ALWAYS use a new needle. A used needle should not be thrown directly away to the dustbin. You can ask your doctor for help.
Check the flow with each new pen. See if the pen is dropped. You can see more detailed descriptions in the instructions.
Select your dose. Saxenda is a prescription medicine, so make sure you have consulted your health care provider and follow exactly as he or she says.
Inject the needle to your skin. You can use it on your upper arms, abdomen and thighs.
Count slowly for 6 seconds until the dose counter shows 0.
Remove the needle after your injection and put the pen cap back.