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by James Thomas, Tuesday, October 10, 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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by Robert MacKay, Saturday, January 24, 2015 | Categories: Weight Loss

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency has recommended Saxenda (Liraglutide) for approval throughout the EU for the treatment of obese and overweight patients.

Saxenda works by activating the GLP-1 receptors in the body and causing us to feel full. Saxenda works as an appetite suppressant and it has proven enormously successful in clinical trials. Many patients have lost significant weight and blood pressure has been brought back under control.

The Online Clinic has been prescribing Liraglutide off-label for a few years as the clinical evidence of weight loss is significant and the side effects are limited. Liraglutide appears to be a very safe medication and the side effects that are common in the beginning (such as nausea) usually disappear with continued use. Using a low dose of the medication for a couple of weeks normally eliminates any incidence of side effects.

The company behind Saxenda will apply for this medication to be prescribed on the NHS but this may not be recommended for approval because of the cost.

Liraglutide is available through The Online Clinic for next day delivery so long as you meet our prescribing criteria. You can register by clicking on the button below.

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by Robert MacKay, Wednesday, August 28, 2013 | Categories: Weight Loss

We have just become aware of a new weight loss medication that is currently in development. The new molecule is known as Beloranib and works in a unique way so, if approved it would be first in class.  Beloranib works by inhibiting a key enzyme known as methionine aminopeptidase 2 (MetAP2). Through targeting this enzyme, Beloranib can reduce the production of fat and enhance the metabolism of fat. This results in a positive metabolic cascade that enables people to lose weight. The 12 week trial on a small patient group led to an average weight loss of 22 pounds. This weight reduction is significantly in excess of the weight loss produced by either Qsymia or Belviq (both of which are now approved in the US). Reductions in body fat and improved cardiovascular risk factors were also observed. The additional benefit over these other medications was that there was a greater degree of tolerability because it appeared to producing nothing in the way of adverse events.

We really need to emphasise that the results we are reporting are from a phase 1b trial and there were very few participants. We have seen this before with other new molecules that go on to produce serious side effects in later trials. We do not want to be in any way dismissive as we have seen nothing but positive data. It is important to remember that this medication is a long way off being licensed. Our estimate would be another 5 years from now before a licensee is issued and assuming all subsequent trials go well.

The downside for patients may be that Beloranib can only be injected. This is likely to be a subcutaneous injection in the same way that Victoza (Liraglutide) is administered. Unlike Beloranib, Victoza is available to prescribe today and many patients are using it with excellent results. To get a prescription for Victoza, please click on the free consultation button below.

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by Marijana Domazet, Wednesday, July 24, 2013 | Categories: Weight Loss

Most of us are used to hearing about unconventional weight loss plans, from various diets to boot camps and unexpected exercise classes. The most recent health scheme attempting to aid individuals in their weight-loss comes from Dubai, where participants are told they will be receiving one gram of gold for each pound that they shed.

The scheme is called Your Weight in Gold, and the participants have been named the “golden losers”. In order to get the payouts, the participants have to take part in a 30-day scheme that coincides with Ramadan, and lose at least 2 pounds in weight. The three individuals who lose the most weight will be considered as finalists competing to win a cold coin, which is worth $5400.

Although it is an interesting idea, we would still be wary of the methods individuals would use to quickly lose weight that may be harmful. Most people do not become obese in 30 days, so their problem will not be solved in 30 days either. While it is encouraging to see that obesity is addressed as an issue across the globe, we also feel that it should not be trivialised through competitions. Having said that, there is evidence that financial incentives work: Here is a link to a study in the US a few years ago that demonstrates positive results.

by Robert MacKay, Tuesday, July 16, 2013 | Categories: Weight Loss

A research team at Imperial College, London, has come up with a novel way of delivering naturally occurring hormones that play a part in the regulation of appetite. Having studied the outcome of patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, researchers have discerned that the reduction in appetite and eating pattern observed is likely to be due to a change in the hormone production following surgery. The reduced appetite is not a direct result of the reduced size of the stomach but of the levels of satiety hormones released by the body.

The research team has found a way of mimicking the effects of gastric bypass surgery by introducing the satiety hormones artificially. The hormone would only need to be injected once a week to provide the optimal effect according to initial studies.

If the safety and efficacy of this weekly injection can be established in wider population trials, this could revolutionise the way that we treat obese patients. Gastric bypass surgery is highly effective but it is simply not a practicable solution for everyone who is overweight or obese. This weekly injection may provide the solution but it is many years away from being an approved treatment.

At the current time we have a daily injection called Victoza that can be prescribed off-label for weight loss patients. Victoza contains one of the synthetic hormones contained in the weekly injection about to be trialled by the researchers at Imperial College. To check if you are eligible to be prescribed Victoza, please feel free to take a free consultation.

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