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General Practice 2023

Saxenda: what é, what it is for and how to use it

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Saxenda: what é, what it is for and how to use it
Saxenda: what é, what it is for and how to use it

Saxenda is an injectable medicine used for weight loss in people who suffer from obesity or overweight, as it helps to reduce appetite and control body weight, and can cause a reduction of up to 10% of the total weight, when associated with a he althy diet and regular physical exercise.

This remedy contains liraglutide in its composition that acts on the regions of the brain that regulate appetite, making you feel less hungry and, therefore, weight loss happens by reducing the number of calories consumed throughout the day.

Saxenda can be found in pharmacies or drugstores, in the form of a pen for application under the skin, containing 3 ml of liraglutide injectable solution, sold with a doctor's prescription. This medicine should be used in doses and for the duration of treatment recommended by the doctor.


What is it for

Saxenda is indicated for use in adults for the treatment of:

  • Obesity with BMI greater than 30 kg/m2;
  • Overweight with a BMI greater than 27 kg/m2, associated with diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia or high cholesterol.

The classification of the body mass index (BMI) helps to calculate and indicate what the ideal weight should be, and can assist in diet planning and weight loss. Find out your BMI using our online calculator:

How to use

Saxenda should be used as directed by the doctor, and the recommended dose is one application per day subcutaneously, that is, under the skin of the abdomen, thigh or arm, at any time, regardless of meal times.

The Saxenda pen contains 3 mL of ready-to-use solution, containing 6 mg of liraglutide for every 1 mL of solution, always being careful to mark the correct dose on the pen, according to the week of treatment and medical advice.

Doses of Saxenda depend on the week of treatment and include:

Treatment week

Dose per day in mg

Amount in mL used per dose

1st week

0, 6 mg 0, 1 mL

2nd week

1, 2 mg 0, 2 mL

3rd week

1, 8 mg 0, 3 mL

4th week

2, 4 mg 0, 4 mL

5th week and beyond

3, 0 mg 0.5 mL

The maximum dose of 3 mg per day should not be exceeded. It is important to remember that the treatment plan indicated by the doctor must be followed, and the doses and duration of treatment must be respected and carried out according to medical advice.

If you forget to take a dose at the correct time, take it as soon as you remember. However, if you have missed more than 12 hours, skip the missed dose and apply the next dose at the normal time. Do not double doses to make up for a missed dose.

During treatment with Saxenda, you should follow a food plan with a balanced diet, preferably associated with regular physical exercise recommended by your doctor. Check out he althy weight loss tips and how to make a food program.

How to inject

To properly apply Saxenda to the skin, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the pen cap;
  2. Put a new needle into the tip of the pen, screwing it in until tight;
  3. Remove the outer and inner shield from the needle, throwing away the inner shield;
  4. Turn the top of the pen to select the dose indicated by the doctor;
  5. Insert the needle into the skin, making a 90º angle;
  6. Press the pen button until the dose counter displays the number 0;
  7. Slowly count to 6 with the button pressed and only then remove the needle from the skin;
  8. Put on the outer needle cap and remove the needle, throwing it in the trash;
  9. Attach the pen cap.

If you have any doubts about how to use the pen, it is important to consult a he althcare professional for the most correct instructions.

How long does 1 Saxenda pen last?

The duration of the Saxenda pen depends on the week of treatment being performed, and the pen has a scale that shows how many mg remains to be applied.

In general, each box of Saxenda contains 3 pens which are enough for 3 months of treatment when used at the minimum recommended dose and stored correctly.

Saxenda should be stored in the refrigerator, at temperatures between 2º and 8ºC, being advised not to store it in the door, to avoid temperature variations. In addition, after starting to use the pen, Saxenda is valid for 1 month when stored in a refrigerator or at room temperature, below 30ºC. After this period, any unused amount must be discarded.

Possible side effects

The most common side effects that may occur during treatment with Saxenda include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, headache, dizziness, tiredness, or loss of appetite.

Although it is rarer, indigestion, gastritis, gastric discomfort, upper stomach pain, heartburn, feeling of bloating, increased belching and intestinal gas, dry mouth, weakness or tiredness, taste changes, gallstones, injection site reactions.

In addition, Saxenda can cause hypoglycemia, which is a decrease in the amount of sugar in the blood, which can be perceived through symptoms such as increased hunger, excessive sweating, irritability, dizziness, racing heart, feeling of anxiety or tremors. It is important to tell the doctor when the person has these symptoms so that an assessment of the dose of Saxenda can be made.

Saxenda can also cause severe allergic reactions that require immediate medical attention. Therefore, you should stop treatment and seek the nearest emergency department if you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing or swallowing, heart palpitations, dizziness, feeling of a closed throat, swelling in the mouth, tongue or face, or intense itching. Know how to identify the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.

Who should not use

Saxenda should not be used by children and adolescents under the age of 18, pregnant or breastfeeding women, or by people who are allergic to liraglutide or any of the other ingredients in the medicine.

In addition, Saxenda should not be used by people who have or have had a thyroid tumor, or who use other GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs, such as Victoza, for example.

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