Obesity has reached epic proportions in the United States and currently, almost 70% of American adults are overweight or obese. There are currently a few prescription drugs available that are used as a part of a medical weight loss program that can help individuals lose more weight than they would be able to with diet and exercise alone.
One of these medications is Saxenda® and while it can help with weight loss, like any medication, it comes with side effects. This article will discuss an overview of Saxenda, some benefits, and some side effects users should be aware of.
What Medication Is Saxenda®?
Saxenda is the prescription drug Liraglutide which is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1). Liraglutide has been used in the U.S. to treat type 2 diabetes under the brand name Victoza since 2010. It is approved in higher doses as Saxenda to treat obesity through a supervised medical weight loss program.
Do the Benefits Of Saxenda Outweigh The Risks?
Most often, when doctors prescribe medication for any illness, they do so based on the determination that the long-term benefits of the medication outweigh the associated risks.
It is well known that obesity contributes to many life-threatening diseases including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, asthma, sleep apnea, some types of cancer, and more. One benefit to losing weight is that it significantly lowers the risks of most serious illnesses.
Saxenda® Side Effects
Some of the most common side effects when beginning a medical weight loss program with Saxenda include:
- Injection site reaction;
- Low blood sugar;
- Stomach ache;
Most of these common Saxenda side effects go away as your body adjusts to the medication. Stopping Saxenda suddenly may cause a temporary recurrence of some of these side effects. Other more significant side effects, long-term effects of Saxenda, and drug interaction information can be found on the patient resource website.
Frequently Asked Questions About Saxenda Side Effects
1. Are There Any Withdrawal Symptoms From Saxenda?
Patients should not experience any significant Saxenda withdrawal symptoms as the medication is not classified as addictive.
2. What Happens After Stopping Saxenda?
If you desire to discontinue the use of Saxenda you should first consult with the doctor who is supervising your medical weight loss plan and providing your Saxenda prescription.
Certain patients may require a plan that gradually weans them off the medication to mitigate nausea or other common side effects.
Your doctor will evaluate certain factors and determine the best way to proceed. Some of these factors may include:
- The length of time you have been taking Saxenda;
- The daily dose you are currently taking;
- Side effects, if any that you are experiencing;
- If Saxenda appears to be effective for you;
- Whether you have lost enough weight and reached a healthy BMI.
After discontinuing Saxenda patients may experience weight regain. This can occur because Saxenda was helping to curb the secretion of the hormone that creates the feeling of being hungry.
When a patient feels hungry it is harder to watch how much or how often they are eating. The increase in calories causes weight gain because they have a difficult time continuing their routine and maintaining their weight without the medication.
Some patients will lose a significant amount of weight with Saxenda through behavior modification, and their bodies and mind will be retrained to continue these permanent lifestyle changes. These changes should include a consistent diet of low-calorie healthy foods and daily exercise.
3. How Long Can I Stay On Saxenda?
Diseases such as obesity can require a long-term plan of care. There is no set time limit for the use of Saxenda and it can be used long-term.
The doctor supervising your weight loss journey will tailor a plan for the usage of Saxenda. Depending on the circumstances, the doctor may recommend the continued use of Saxenda into a maintenance phase or may advise the discontinuation of the medication.
4. Can Saxenda Cause Depression?
Adult clinical trials showed that 0.3% of patients taking Saxenda reported thoughts of suicide while 0.1% of the patients taking the placebo reported the same.
Patients should be monitored when taking Saxenda for the onset of thoughts or behaviors indicative of suicide. The manufacturer recommends that patients with a history of suicidal thoughts or behaviors avoid Saxenda.
If you are interested in learning more about Saxenda or other medical weight loss medications, contact IBI Healthcare Institute. The highly-skilled and knowledgeable team at IBI Healthcare is here to help you successfully navigate through your entire weight loss journey from start to finish. Call us today or set up an online consultation. You and your health are worth it!