Many people around the country struggle with weight loss. In fact, 1 in every 3 Americans is considered overweight. The challenge with weight loss is not only burning calories, but also remaining in shape after you slim down to your desired size. There are numerous weight loss options out there. You may have tried diets, exercise, surgery, and other methods being advertised without any reasonable success
Saxenda is an FDA-approved medication for achieving weight loss and keeping the weight off. It is an injectable medicine that helps people achieve weight loss by regulating appetite. When injected, Saxenda works like a hormone in your body and it sends signals to your brain to control when you feel hungry. Manufacturers of Saxenda state that the medication is useful in helping people with a BMI of 27 and above to achieve weight loss. The medication is also stated to help people with weight related medical conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
A primary concern of people looking to lose weight is whether Saxenda is safe and effective to use. As an injectable medication, Saxenda needs to be carefully administered to the right patients in order to prevent harmful side effects. Therefore, the big questions that linger are how exactly does Saxenda work? And is it right for you?
What is Saxenda?
At its core, Saxenda is an injectable drug that is aimed at promoting weight loss. It works in collaboration with proper diet and physical activity to help people in losing weight and remaining in shape after the weight is lost. Because Saxenda promotes both loss of weight and a controlled appetite, persons suffering from weight related disorders can typically benefit when using Saxenda.
For example, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes (type 2) are worsened by excessive weight gain. Because Saxenda controls one’s appetite, you may experience relief from such diseases over time. It’s important to note that Saxenda is not a direct treatment for Diabetes or high blood pressure. Rather, the medication helps people with these conditions by promoting weight loss.
When you take Saxenda, it works similar to the hormone GLP-1 (Glucagon-like-peptide 1). This hormone is responsible for regulating your appetite by activating several areas in the brain to determine when you feel hungry. Saxenda replicates the functions of GLP-1 to limit how often you actually feel hungry.
The effectiveness of Saxenda is based on the relationship between calorie intake and appetite. If feeling hungry often causes you to eat more, then Saxenda can promote weight loss by controlling your appetite.
Understanding the Active Ingredient in Saxenda
When you take Saxenda (and any other medication for that matter), it works through a specific active ingredient. It is this active ingredient that interacts with your body and determines the effectiveness of the drug (as well as its side effects).
In the case of Saxenda, the active ingredient is Liraglutide. Liraglutide is a molecule that belongs to the family of Glucagon-like peptides. These molecules are involved in the mechanism that determines when and how often you may feel hungry. In fact, Liraglutide is often administered to patients with weight complications as part of a long-term body weight management plan. It has been used in the past to help patients with a high BMI to achieve weight loss and to manage other weight-related complications.
Liraglutide works in several ways to control weight loss. Most importantly, it affects the sensation of hunger and it can consequentially reduce your appetite (the mechanism of this process was explained above). In addition, Liraglutide can slow down the passage of food from your stomach to your small intestine. By having slower digestion, you will feel full more often and thus become inclined to eat less. This mechanism of slower digestion is achieved by controlling signals sent to the brain. Because Liraglutide works similarly to GLP-1, it can effectively control many different aspects of metabolism in the body.
Another interesting manner through which Liraglutide works is by decreasing how much glucose is present in the blood. This is possible because the molecule controls your rate of digestion. By having an effect on blood glucose, Saxenda also has an effect on how much insulin is produced by the body.
Important note: Just because Saxenda has an effect on blood sugar levels doesn’t mean it can be used to treat Diabetes. In fact, many drug liability suits surrounding Saxenda have been related to its ability/inability to treat Diabetes. Saxenda is not a prescribed medication for directly treating Diabetes.
The active ingredient Liraglutide is used in multiple brands other than Saxenda. You should be aware that not all weight loss drugs that use this active ingredient are the same. In fact, some brands only address specific conditions that are different from others (even if both brands use Liraglutide as an active ingredient).
The mechanism through which Saxenda works appears to be effective when used by the right patients. Saxenda is administered as a prescribed medication via injections. You may receive the injections from a physician or do them yourself at home. For each 1ml of Saxenda, the mixture contains 6mg of Liraglutide. Other components of the mixture include propylene glycol, phenol, phosphate dehydrate, and water.
For most adults, the recommended dosage is 0.6mg of Liraglutide administered under the skin. The recommended injection area is near your stomach, under the upper arm, or near the upper thigh. Ultimately, your doctor will determine the injection location and exact dosage. Saxenda is often taken in increased dosages. While you may begin with 0.6mg of Liraglutide in the first week, the active ingredient is slowly increased in concentration to 3mg daily.
After the first few injections, you may be shown how to do it yourself while at home. However, patients shouldn’t attempt to inject themselves if they’re unsure of how the process is done.
Saxenda comes in a self-injectable and pre-filled pen to make it easier for patients to take the drug. Your doctor will guide you through attaching a new needle to the pen, ensuring the medication s flowing into your body, and selecting the right dosage. You can also take it at any time of the day, and it doesn’t need to be administered in conjunction with any meals.
An important thing that patients should check for is any discoloration in the liquid itself. Discoloration may point to a contaminated medicine. In such cases, consult your doctor to inspect the solution for purity.
What Results Can You Expect from Taking Saxenda?
Weight loss treatment remains one of the most hotly contested topics in America. With millions of people looking for a safe and effective way of losing weight, many different medications exist in the market. Most weight loss solutions produce mixed results, where they may work for some people and not for others. Other medications have been shown to be ineffective altogether.
Saxenda, as a proposed weight loss drug, falls within the same basket of debate. Many people wonder how effective this medication is, and what results they can expect for themselves.
Regardless of the weight lost method you’re considering, it’s important to note that results are never achieved overnight. Weight loss is most often a gradual process that takes time and requires lifestyle changes. Taking Saxenda is no different. But which results can you realistically expect?
Part of the effectiveness of Saxenda is how it controls calorie intake by limiting one’s appetite. While results often vary from one person to another, clinical trials showed that 60% of patients without diabetes lost 5% or more of their body weight after 12 weeks of treatment. 49% of patients taking the medication (with Diabetes) lost 5% or more of their weight in 12 months.
According to the makers of Saxenda, 3 out of 5 study participants lost 5% or more of their weight after 56 weeks of treatment, while 1 out of 3 patients lost 10% or more.
Saxenda also showed effective results in retaining weight loss over time. Patients taking the medication were able to lose and maintain at least a 5% loss in body weight after 3 years. This means that 8 out of 10 study participants were able to maintain their weight loss.
The effectiveness of taking Saxenda is also dependent on exercise and diet. Because the medication works mostly to control calorie intake, other aspects also come into play to help you lose weight. Patients who are able to support treatment with a proper diet and an active lifestyle are better able to enjoy reliable results.
Some weight loss specialists argue that better results should be expected from an injectable weight loss medication, especially when you consider the side effects to be explained below. Control trials also typically yield more impressive results than real world use.
However, the manner through which Saxenda works warrants other support activities for best results. A positive of taking this medication is that results are gradual and realistic, and no magical technique for weight loss is claimed.
Side Effects of Saxenda
Now we get to the section where everyone watches closely: side effects. Side effects are important to know for any medication you take, and they form a significant basis for compensation if the drug negatively affects your health.
The side effects of Saxenda can be extensive. From simple side effects such as dry mouth and fatigue to more serious ones such as kidney problems and low blood sugar, Saxenda affects the body in many different ways. That is why it’s important to understand how this medication works and how it’s likely to function inside your body.
- Common side effects
The following side effects are likely to occur in patients taking Saxenda, depending on their current state of health.
- Dry mouth
- Decreased appetite
- More serious side effects
Some patients who take Saxenda experience more serious side effects such as:
- Low Blood sugar
As harmful as high blood sugar can be, very low blood sugar is also a concern for people taking Saxenda. Saxenda can lower your blood sugar levels by controlling the digestion of food from your stomach to your small intestine. If you’re also taking another medication for type 2 Diabetes, your blood sugar levels can stoop dangerously low. Symptoms of low blood sugar include drowsiness, hunger, dizziness, headache, and sweating. If you’re already taking another medication for type 2 Diabetes, have your doctor adjust the dosage while you use Saxenda.
- Pancreatic Inflammation
Saxenda can also cause inflammation in your pancreas. This is characterized by severe abdominal pain, sometimes extending towards your back.
- Increased Heart Rate
Saxenda can also increase the heart rate of some patients. A faster heart rate exerts pressure on your heart muscles and increases the risk of cardiac complications. Make sure your doctor closely monitors your heart rate when you take Saxenda.
- Kidney failure
Common Saxenda symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting may affect the health of your kidneys. This can eventually result in kidney failure or the need for dialysis. If you experience nausea, vomiting, dehydration or diarrhea, consult your doctor immediately.
- Gallbladder complications
Patients taking Saxenda may notice chronic pain in the upper stomach area followed by fever and jaundice. These are signs of gallbladder complications, a condition that can get worse and eventually require surgery.
- Low Blood sugar
As with most self-injection medications in the market, rigorous debate surrounds the safety of Saxenda. From the active ingredient Liraglutide to the serious side effects of kidney failure and increased heart rate, people ask themselves if Saxenda really safe to use.
The risks of Saxenda vary from patient to patient. The most important thing is to ensure that you’re in the right health to take this weight loss medication. You and your healthcare provider should closely gauge your health condition as well as the possible side effects of Saxenda.
Who’s an Ideal Candidate For Saxenda?
Saxenda works more effectively in some people than others. Pre-existing conditions, allergic reactions, and behavioral inclinations can all affect your health when you take Saxenda. You’re likely to enjoy the best results from taking this medication if you meet the following conditions.
You’re not allergic to any ingredients in Saxenda
As with any other medication, not being allergic is a big first step towards being the perfect candidate. Allergic reactions related to Saxenda include facial swelling, breathing complications, itching, and swelling of the throat. If you’re not allergic to Saxenda, you have better chances of enjoying effective results.
You’re not taking any other medications with the same active ingredient
If you’re currently taking any other medications that have Liraglutide as the active ingredient, you may experience complications when taking Saxenda. This is because both medications may target the GLP-1 receptors in your body and result in mixed signals to the brain. Saxenda should be the only drug you take that has Liraglutide.
You’re prepared to engage in diet and exercise
As previously mentioned, Saxenda works best when you combine proper diet and an active lifestyle. This is because the medication limits calorie intake and helps to maintain weight loss. If you supplement limited calories with a proper lifestyle, you’re likely to enjoy the best results.
You don’t have any heart complications
Patients with heart problems may be at increased risk of side effects when taking Saxenda. Similarly, if you have a history of pancreatic and kidney problems, Saxenda may cause harmful effects. Patients who don’t have a history of any such problems may be less likely to experience difficulty while taking Saxenda.
FDA Approval Information
Saxenda was approved by the FDA in December 2014. Upon approval, it was classified as a GLP-1 receptor antagonist. This means that the medication targets GLP- receptors and controls signals related to hunger and appetite.
When the FDA approved this weight loss medication in December 2014, the information was based on clinical trials that compared Saxenda with a placebo drug (which is basically a neutral drug with no medical effects). In a 56-week study that used patients with BMIs of over 27 and at least one weight-related condition (such as hypertension or diabetes), Saxenda achieved a 5% and 10% weight loss in patients who took the medication over those who took the placebo. In an additional study, patients who took Saxenda and lost 5% or more of their weight were able to retain their weight loss after a 3-year period.
These results show that when Saxenda is used in combination with proper diet and exercise, weight loss can be achieved and sustained over a prolonged period. The results of the study also formed the basis of Saxenda’s approval as a reduced calorie medication for chronic weight management in adults (with a BMI of over 27 and over 30). The ability of Saxenda to interact with GLP-1 receptors and to control hunger signals to and from the brain are what makes this medication truly effective at helping with weight loss.
For most medications, FDA approval is a stamp of authority to the drug manufacturer. However, there are many different dynamics that surround weight loss medication. FDA approval shouldn’t be the only factor that patients consider when taking Saxenda.
Product Liability Risks
As effective as Saxenda is with weight loss, the drug is still prone to liability risks. In fact, Saxenda’s expansive side effects make it particularly susceptible to drug complaints. Any time Saxenda is prescribed, patients should be made aware of all the side effects and possible complications of the drug. Indeed, patients who already have kidney, heart, and pancreatic problems may be unaware of Saxenda’s side effect and end up with worsened conditions. Such cases may form a compelling case for compensation.
More importantly, Saxenda has been linked to several forms of cancer. Thyroid and pancreatic cancer are the two most common conditions that are likely to occur after using Saxenda. Thyroid cancer (particularly Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma-TMC) occurs in the form of lumps or tumors around the neck area. These tumors cause swallowing challenges and shortness of breath. Current research doesn’t provide enough information on the relationship between Saxenda and TMC. Therefore, it’s not known how much risk you may be exposed to when using this medication.
There is also the link between Saxenda and pancreatic cancer. The active ingredient Liraglutide has been shown to cause malignancy in the pancreas when present in other medications. Saxenda contains almost twice as much Liraglutide as other medications such as Victoza.
With 3mg of Liraglutide being injected into your body with each dose, the true extent of effects on your pancreas remains largely unknown. There is also the concern that this risk is not expressly mentioned in product packaging. In fact, some lawsuits have been filed with regards to the lack of sufficient warning on Saxenda’s potential damage to the pancreas.
Filing a Saxenda Lawsuit Near Me
Saxenda is an innovative and useful weight loss medication. When used with diet and regular exercise, 3 out of 5 people can lose 5% or more of their weight. As a drug that controls calorie intake and the feeling of hunger, it can be used to limit how much you eat as well as how much sugar is in the blood. As a result, Saxenda can provide relief from weight-related disorders such as obesity, hypertension and Type-2 Diabetes (although it can’t be used as a direct treatment for these conditions).