Saxenda: The New Weight Loss Medication
More people are now troubled with weight gain and weight related medical conditions. Weight management usually includes exercise and reducing calorie intake. Meal replacements do not seem to work in the long run.
Medications for weight loss has been tried for several years and none of them seem to benefit people long term. Medications are also known to cause side effects. The key to effective weight management is to personalise weight management intervention for the individual after thorough assessment.
There is only one medication (Orlistat or Xenical), which is currently licenced in the UK for weight loss. Recently another injection, called Saxenda, has been licensed to be used for the management of obesity.
What is Saxenda?
Saxenda is an FDA-approved prescription injectable medicine that may help some adults who are
- Over weight (Body Mass Index ≥27) with weight-related medical problems
- Obese (Body Mass Index ≥30)
It is known to help only when used with a reduced calorie meal plan and increased physical activity. Saxenda works like a hormone the body produces naturally called Glucagon-Like-Peptide (GLP-1). This medication acts by activating areas of your brain that regulate appetite and also is know to have an affect on the gut motility, liver and pancreas.
Saxenda may make you feel less hungry or feel full sooner, which can lead to lower calorie intake and weight loss. The ingredient in the injection is Liraglutide, which has been used for several years in the management of Type 2 diabetes.
Research has shown that patients having Saxenda along with life style changes lost a mean of 8 Kg weight in the 56-week study.
When should Saxenda not be used?
Saxenda is not indicated for treatment of type 2 diabetes and should not be used in combination with any other GLP-1 receptor agonist or insulin.
This medication will not be recommended if you have severe stomach or gut problem, which results in delayed stomach emptying, or inflammatory bowel disease. If you have thyroid disease including thyroid nodules and enlargement of the thyroid gland, you should consult your doctor.
What are the side effects?
All medications come with potential side effects and it is important to consider them all. Some of the side effects of Saxenda are mentioned below:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hypoglycaemia or very low blood glucose
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)
- Painful or swollen abdomen
- Abdominal discomfort
Some of the uncommon side effects include pancreatitis and thyroid conditions like nodules, goitre and increased calcitonin.
It is important to discuss with a specialist before starting with Saxenda. You should be monitored closely whilst taking the injections. Patients will benefit from this medication only if combined with life style changes and close monitoring.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and our specialists will be happy to discuss further. If you are interested in using Saxenda for weight loss then please have a look at our Weight Loss Medications Programme.