Apart from healthy lifestyle changes, prescribed medication can also help us with weight management. One such example is Saxenda, which is a daily injectable medication. Saxenda can be prescribed by a doctor, if they assess your suitability for it, during your consultation.
Here is what you need to know about Saxenda.
How does Saxenda work?
Saxenda is a weight loss medication that is administered by an injection pen.
Saxenda contains the drug liraglutide, which is a GLP-1 agonist. GLP-1 is a hormone in our body that helps to regulate your blood sugar levels and your appetite. Saxenda mimics the action of GLP-1 so that you feel full for longer while also feeling less hungry. This helps you to eat fewer calories, supporting your weight loss journey.
As effective as Saxenda is, it’s not a magic drug.
Your doctor will also craft a weight management plan, that includes exercise and diet control, for you, to complement the medication. You’ll need to continue following this, in addition to taking Saxenda, to see effective results.
Who is Saxenda suitable for?
Saxenda is suitable for individuals who are struggling with their weight and may also be at risk of chronic conditions. As obesity is a risk factor for more serious conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol or hypertension, weight management is key in making sure we stay healthy and well.
Before starting Saxenda, you’ll need to go for a consultation. Your doctor will determine your suitability for treatment before issuing a prescription. Typically, Saxenda can be prescribed to:
- Adults with a BMI of ≥ 30 (obese); or
- Individuals with a BMI of 27-30 who also have one weight-related comorbidity
Depending on their lifestyle and health conditions, Saxenda may also be prescribed to children, aged 12 and above, who need support with weight management.
What can I expect during my doctor’s consultation?
Your doctor will take your height and weight to measure your BMI. They will also ask you some questions about your lifestyle and daily habits, to better understand if Saxenda is the most suitable treatment for you.
As there are other types of medication that could interfere with Saxenda, you’ll also need to share your medical history and current medications with your doctor.
How do I administer Saxenda?
Saxenda is administered via self-injection, which has to be done daily. Your doctor will teach you proper injection techniques, and how to store the drug safely at home. You should follow your doctor’s dose recommendations strictly, to reduce any negative side effects on your body.
Unfortunately, Saxenda is not available in a pill or tablet form; as your digestive system would break down the drug before it can take effect if you consume it orally.
What are the possible side effects?
The most common side effect is nausea. This typically improves as your body gets used to the medication. In the meantime, you can reduce its effects by:
- Staying hydrated and choosing more watery and low-fat food (such as porridge and soups)
- Avoiding lying down after you have had a meal
- Going outdoors for fresh air
Other side effects include: vomiting or diarrhoea, increased heart rate, dizziness or drowsiness. If these side effects persist for a long time, do let your doctor know and they’ll see how to adjust the dosage accordingly to help you.
How effective is Saxenda?
It may take a few months before you see an improvement in your weight. For most patients, you can expect to lose a minimum of 5% of your starting weight after 12 weeks of medication.
This has been shown in controlled studies as well. In a clinical trial, 63.2% of patients on liraglutide (vs 27.1% in the placebo group) and 33.1% (vs 10.6% in the placebo group), lost ≥5% and ≥10% of their body weight after 56 weeks respectively.
How do I get started?
You’ll first need to make an appointment for a doctor’s consultation. Book your slot at either our DA Clinic @ Anson or DA Clinic @ Yishun to speak to our doctors.
After the first consultation, you can renew your prescription over video-call on the DA app. Your medication will then be delivered to your home, within 3 hours of your consultation.
Our doctors are ready to help you get started on your weight loss journey. Make an appointment now.