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by James Thomas, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 | Categories: Weight Loss

Saxenda: The UK’s New Weight Loss Injection

In January of this year, a new weight loss treatment was quietly approved for use in the UK. Branded under the name Saxenda, this treatment contains the active ingredient liraglutide, and works by making you feel full and satisfied, thereby curbing food cravings.

Previously, liraglutide was only licensed for use as a diabetes treatment. Under the brand name Victoza (and in lower doses) it can be prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes to help them maintain a healthy blood sugar level. When it was discovered that patients were losing weight as a result of taking Victoza, researchers began to explore the potential of liraglutide as a safe weight loss treatment.

Since Saxenda was officially approved for this use in the UK, the treatment has steadily grown in popularity. In August, the Daily Mail published a profile on a UK businesswoman called Caroline Balazs. As explained in the article, Balazs, an aesthetic specialist, has found success with using liraglutide for weight loss and is one of a handful of practitioners in the UK making it available to her patients under the label SkinnyJab Clinics.

With many people likening the treatment to Botox, it’s expected that Saxenda will grow in popularity. But the question is: does it actually work?

How Saxenda Works

Saxenda works by mimicking a hormone made in the intestines called GLP-1 which helps you feel full after eating. In essence, it decreases your hunger and need to eat. This action assists in weight loss, particularly in conjunction with exercise and a healthy diet.

In one clinical trial, it was found that more than 60% of patients lost at least 5% of their weight while taking Saxenda; 31% lost more than 10%. Saxenda has also been shown to reduce blood pressure and lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Taking Saxenda Safely

Saxenda is designed for use by people with a BMI over 30, or over 27 if the patient also suffers from a weight-related issue such as high blood pressure. It should be administered once a day, starting with a low dose and building up to a higher dose each week. The treatment is designed to be injected subcutaneously (i.e. under the skin) and is normally administered in the abdomen, thighs or upper arm.

Common side effects of Saxenda include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation – although these usually go away within a few weeks. Some people also experience discomfort in their stomach, heartburn, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia and hypoglycaemia. When compared with other weight loss treatments, however, liraglutide tends to be easier to tolerate.

The main thing to bear in mind when taking Saxenda is that you should always obtain it from a licensed clinic or pharmacy, and you should always take it as directed. You should never use more than instructed, and you should never use it without telling your prescribing doctor if you are diabetic. If you have diabetes, you will likely need a different dose to prevent your blood sugar from getting too low. 

At The Online Clinic, we can safely prescribe Saxenda to suitable patients who have completed our online questionnaire. To find out more, click here.


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