SAXENDA (Liraglutide)

SAXENDA (Liraglutide)

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Shipped from Canada.

prescription refrigerated

What is this medication?

Liraglutide, Saxenda
Antidiabetic Agent, Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) Receptor Agonist

Officially indicated for chronic weight management as and an adjunct to a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity.

“ALERT: US Boxed Warning

Thyroid C-cell tumor risk:
Liraglutide causes dose-dependent and treatment duration–dependent thyroid C-cell tumors at clinically relevant exposures in both genders of rats and mice. It is unknown whether liraglutide causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans, because the human relevance of liraglutide-induced rodent thyroid C-cell tumors has not been determined.

Liraglutide is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of MTC and in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). Counsel patients regarding the potential risk for MTC with the use of liraglutide and inform them of symptoms of thyroid tumors (eg, a mass in the neck, dysphagia, dyspnea, persistent hoarseness). Routine monitoring of serum calcitonin or using thyroid ultrasound is of uncertain value for early detection of MTC in patients treated with liraglutide.”

How does this medication work? 

Liraglutide is a long-acting analog of human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) (an incretin hormone).  Liraglutide works in multiple ways to lower blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C.  Liraglutide stimulates the beta cells of the pancreas to release insulin when blood glucose levels are high.  Liraglutide slow down gastric emptying and the rate at which glucose enters the blood after meals.  Liraglutide also helps lower hepatic glucose output by suppressing pancreatic glucagon secretion.

How should I take this medication? 

Weight Management

How Do You Use Liraglutide, Saxenda:  Inject 0.6mg subcutaneously once daily for 1 week; increase the dose by 0.6mg at weekly intervals to a target dose of 3mg once daily.  If you cannot tolerate an increase in dose, consider either delaying the dose escalation for another week.  Some individuals may use a tolerated dose of less then 3mg daily if weight loss goal is being achieved.  Make sure to inject subcutaneously in the upper arm, thigh, or abdomen.  Administer without regard to meals or time of day.  Make sure to change the pen needle with each use.  Always inspect the pen to make sure the solution is clear and free of particulate matter.  Never share your pen with another person or inject in the same exact body region as insulin.  In the case that you miss a dose, you can resume your daily injection on the next scheduled dose (never attempt to increase the dose).  If you miss more than 3 days, reinitiate scheduled therapy at 0.6mg daily to avoid gastrointestinal symptoms and titrate accordingly.  

Is Liraglutide, Saxenda Safe to Use During Pregnancy:  Any medication used for weight loss is not recommended at conception and during pregnancy.  Hence, Saxenda/Liraglutide is contraindicated in pregnant women (lack of potential benefit and possible fetal harm).  

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Do not use in patients with prior serious hypersensitivity to liraglutide or any components of its formulation

Do not use in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome

Do not use during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Use with caution in patients with hepatic and renal impairment

Avoid using in patients with history of suicidal attempts or active suicidal ideation

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss your daily dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then, take your next daily dose as usual on the following day. Do not take an extra dose or increase your dose on the following day to make up for your missed dose. If you miss your dose for 3 days or more, call your health care provider to talk about how to restart your treatment.

How should I store this medication?

Store new, unused pens in the refrigerator between 36°F and 46°F (2°C to 8°C). After first use, store in a refrigerator or at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C to 30°C). Pens in use should be thrown away after 30 days even if they still have Saxenda left in them. Don’t freeze, Saxenda that has been frozen must not be used.

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. 

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Well tolerated, most side effects are transient and mild to moderate in nature.  The most common side effects include:


Cardiovascular: Increased heart rate (>10 bpm from baseline: 34%; >20 bpm from baseline: 5%)

Central Nervous System: Headache (14%)

Endocrine and Metabolic: Hypoglycemia (obesity patients with type 2 diabetics: combination therapy with sulfonylurea: 44%; monotherapy: 16%; nondiabetic patients: 2% to 3%)

Gastrointestinal: Nausea (39%), diarrhea (21%), constipation (19%), vomiting (16%)

Local: Injection site reaction (3% to 14%)