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  • Generic Name: (liraglutide (rDNA origin))
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 01/2015
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Saxenda is a medicine used along with diet and exercise for long-term weight management in people who are obese or who are overweight and have weight-related medical problems. Saxenda is administered subcutaneously (just below the skin).

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Saxenda is thought to work by reducing appetite, thereby decreasing food consumption and leading to weight loss.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: In studies, more people treated with Saxenda achieved weight loss than those who did not take Saxenda.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's instructions. It is important that you use Saxenda exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may start to notice a reduction in your weight. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions from time to time to assess how well your medicine is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Saxenda has been shown to cause tumors of the thyroid gland, some of which were cancers, in animal studies. It is not known if Saxenda will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer in people. Before you start using Saxenda, tell your healthcare provider if you or any of your family members have had thyroid cancer, especially medullary thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (a disease where people have tumors in more than one gland in their body). Also, while you are using Saxenda, tell your healthcare provider if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer.

      More common side effects may include: nausea, low blood sugar, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, headache, decreased appetite, indigestion, tiredness, dizziness, abdominal (stomach area) pain, increased lipase.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), with symptoms such as pain in your abdomen that is severe and will not go away. You may feel the pain going from your abdomen through to your back and may experience vomiting.

      Gallbladder problems, with symptoms such as pain in your upper stomach, fever, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, or clay-colored stools.

      Kidney problems, with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

      Serious allergic reactions, with symptoms such as swelling of your lips, tongue, or mouth.

      Depression or thoughts of suicide, with symptoms such as changes in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings.

      Saxenda may also increase your heart rate.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not use Saxenda if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not use Saxenda if you or any of your family members have a history of medullary thyroid cancer, or if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2.

      Do not use Saxenda if you are pregnant.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Saxenda. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney or liver problems, severe problems with your stomach (such as slowed emptying of your stomach or problems with digesting food), have or have had depression or suicidal thoughts, pancreatitis, stones in your gallbladder, a history of alcoholism, high blood triglyceride levels, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: The recommended dose is 3 milligrams once a day. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

      If you are also taking another diabetes medicine called a sulfonylurea (such as glimepiride, glipizide, or glyburide), your healthcare provider may adjust the dose of these medicines.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Use Saxenda exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not use it more often or stop using it without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Use Saxenda at any time of the day, with or without food.

      Saxenda can be injected into the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm.

      Your healthcare provider will teach you how to inject Saxenda before you use it for the first time.

      If you do not experience weight loss after 16 weeks of treatment, notify your healthcare provider immediately.

      Please review the instructions that came with your prescription on how to properly use Saxenda.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not become dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids while you are using Saxenda.

      Do not share Saxenda pen with another person, even if the needle is changed.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      No significant interactions have been reported with Saxenda at this time. However, always tell your healthcare provider about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Do not use Saxenda if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Saxenda, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use two doses at once.

      If you miss more than 3 days, notify your healthcare provider.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store in the refrigerator before using.

      After using, the pen may be stored at room temperature for 30 days or in the refrigerator. Protect from excessive heat and sunlight.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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