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Unlike other prescription medical treatments for obesity, Saxenda is not in a pill form. Instead of an oral medication, this prescription drug is injected into your body to help control appetite. More specifically, Saxenda is an FDA-approved, prescription injectable medicine.
The active drug in Saxenda is liraglutide. This medication works by mimicking GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide). This is a natural hormone created in the intestines. It works by controlling your appetite.
Saxenda is meant to be used in combination with a low-calorie meal plan and increased physical activity. In addition to treating obesity, it may also be beneficial for some adults with excess weight who also have weight-related medical problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
Although liraglutide helps to control appetite, it does not function like an appetite suppressant. Instead, it functions in various ways, such as by helping beta cells normalize blood sugar and by telling your brain that you are full. Beta cells produce and release insulin when the body’s blood sugar is high. Therefore, it can aid individuals with type-2 diabetes maintain a normal blood sugar level. That being said, you should know that Saxenda is not a type-2 diabetes treatment.
Common side effects associated with Saxenda include: low blood sugar, nausea, vomiting, headache, constipation, fatigue, dizziness, and decreased appetite. More serious side effects associated with this prescription diet drug include: inflammation of the pancreas, gallbladder problems, low blood sugar in people who also take type-2 diabetes medications, kidney problems, increased heart rate and serious allergic reaction. In the event of a serious allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention.
In addition to these severe adverse effects, be advised that Saxenda may also cause mental and mood changes and may also cause depression or even thoughts of suicide. If any of the more common side effects persist or worsen, inform your doctor. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the more serious and/or mental side effects of this drug.
Saxenda is not ideal for everyone. Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or nursing or have an existing medical condition. You should also inform your doctor if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medications or any herbal supplements prior to taking Saxenda.
Typically, Saxenda is taken once per day via injection. The medication comes in a prefilled pen injector. Individuals who are prescribed this medication will be taught how to administer this medication by their healthcare provider and should take Saxenda exactly as it has been prescribed.