The more you read about possible side effects of Saxenda, the more you are confused about whether it is worth taking weight-loss drugs.
First and foremost, not all people experience side effects from Saxenda. If you don’t have any comorbidities, you may not experience them at all. After your doctor assesses your health and you decide to start your weight loss journey, there is no doubt that you can use the “helpers” like Saxenda. However, being on alert is always a good idea.
Let’s find all you need to know about the side effects of Saxenda injections.
Saxenda long-term side effects
We should mention that the same adverse reaction for one has a short-term effect, for another, a long-term one. So, if you experience any of the Saxenda long-term side effects, it doesn’t mean that it will last forever.
The Saxenda clinical trial program consists of 5 completed clinical trials involving about 5500 obese or overweight patients with at least one overweight associated comorbidity.
Below is a list of adverse reactions reported in clinical trials. Adverse reactions are grouped according to MedDRA organ systems and frequency.
|Digestive tract||Very often (1)|
|1 – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;|
2 – dry mouth, dyspepsia, gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux, pain in the upper abdomen, flatulence, belching, bloating;
3 – pancreatitis.
|General disorders and disorders at the injection site||Often (1)|
|1 – reactions at the injection site, asthenia, fatigue;|
2 – malaise.
|Metabolism and nutrition||Often||hypoglycemia; infrequently – dehydration.|
|The nervous system||Often||dizziness, dysgeusia.|
|Liver and biliary tract||Often (1)|
|1 – Cholelithiasis;|
2 – cholecystitis.
|Skin and subcutaneous tissues||Infrequently||urticaria.|
|The immune system||Rarely||anaphylactic reactions.|
|Kidneys and urinary tract||Rarely||acute renal failure, impaired renal function.|
We kindly ask you to read all the Saxenda contraindications before use:
- hypersensitivity to liraglutide or any of the auxiliary components of the drug;
- history of medullary thyroid cancer, including family history;
- multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2;
- severe depression, suicidal thoughts, or behavior, including history.
Use is contraindicated in the following patients groups and under the following conditions/diseases due to the lack of data on efficacy and safety:
- severe renal impairment;
- severe liver dysfunction;
- age up to 18 years;
- heart failure III-IV functional class;
- the simultaneous use of other drugs for bodyweight correction; simultaneous use with insulin;
- secondary obesity on the background of endocrinological diseases or eating disorders, or with the use of drugs that can lead to weight gain.
Data on the use of Saxenda in pregnant women are limited. Animal studies have demonstrated reproductive toxicity, but humans’ potential risk is unknown. Thus, the use of Saxenda during pregnancy is contraindicated.
It is not known whether liraglutide passes into human breast milk. So, due to the lack of experience, Saxenda is contraindicated during breastfeeding.
Saxenda drug interactions
A slight delay in gastric emptying when using Saxenda may affect the absorption of concomitantly used drugs for oral administration. Adverse reactions of Saxenda like diarrhea may interfere with the absorption of concomitant oral medications.
Let’s find out more about Saxenda drug interactions:
|Warfarin||After initiation of therapy with Saxenda in patients receiving warfarin or other coumarin derivatives, more frequent monitoring of The international normalized ratio (INR) is recommended.|
|Paracetamol (acetaminophen)||Liraglutide did not change the total exposure of paracetamol after a single dose of 1000 mg. Dose adjustment with concomitant use of paracetamol is not required.|
|Atorvastatin||Liraglutide did not change the overall exposure of atorvastatin after a single dose of atorvastatin 40 mg. Therefore, dose adjustment of atorvastatin when combined with liraglutide is not required.|
|Lisinopril||The use of a single dose of lisinopril 20 mg in combination with liraglutide resulted in a decrease in the AUC of lisinopril by 15%.|
|Oral hormonal contraceptives||There was no clinically significant effect on the systemic exposure of ethinylestradiol or levonorgestrel. Thus, no effect on the contraceptive effect is expected when used together with liraglutide.|
Medicinal substances added to the drug Saxenda can destroy liraglutide. Due to the lack of compatibility studies, this drug should not be mixed with other medications.
PLEASE NOTE: Each time you want to take any drug with Saxenda, you should ask your doctor.
Is Saxenda safe?
Each medication has a potential risk for your health. Saxenda is not an exclusion. But again, if you have no contraindications and you use the correct dose, there is nothing to worry about.
So is Saxenda safe? What do studies show?
The efficacy and safety of the use of Saxenda for long-term body weight correction in combination with a low-calorie diet and increased physical activity were studied in 4 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies.
Saxenda, compared with placebo, improved patient-defined scores for individual indicators. There was a significant improvement in the overall score of Impact of Weight on Quality of Life (IWQoL-Lite) and all scales of the SF-36 Quality of Life Questionnaire, indicating a positive impact on the physical and psychological components of quality of life.
Preclinical data based on pharmacological safety studies did not reveal any human hazard.
Side effects of stopping Saxenda
When you finish your treatment course, its work is stopped. So, you should not experience Saxenda withdrawal symptoms.
However, side effects of stopping Saxenda that some people experience include:
- gastrointestinal adverse reactions,
- uncontrolled blood glucose,
- and psychological dependence.
One more important thing you must know: you can achieve excellent results in combination with proper nutrition and physical activity. So, if you stop using weight loss drugs and start eating junk food, your weight will come back.
Saxenda injection site reaction
Saxenda injection site reaction, as a rule, is mild, transient and in most cases disappears with continued therapy. There is no need for Saxenda injection site reaction treatment.
If blood appears at the injection site, lightly press a cotton swab to the injection site. Do not massage.
Saxenda sulfur burps
Saxenda sulfur burps are a common adverse reaction of the drug. Sometimes it takes a few days for your body to get used to the medicine, and Saxenda burping goes away.
Does Saxenda cause sulfur burps?
Not all people experience sulfur burps, yet it happens often.
Here are some tips for coping with this adverse effect:
- drink plenty of water to stay hydrated,
- drink green tea 2-3 times a day.
If you still experience sulfur burps, ask your doctor for a medicine to treat digestive problems.
Does Saxenda cause nausea?
Saxenda nausea is one more common adverse effect of the drug.
As we mentioned above, sometimes, the use of liraglutide is associated with transient adverse reactions from the gastrointestinal tract, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Users also reported that some overdose cases were accompanied by severe Saxenda nausea and Saxenda vomiting, but in all cases, the condition of the users recovered without complications.
Does Saxenda cause bloating?
Abdominal bloating is also on the list of common adverse effects. More than 5% of users experience Saxenda bloating.
To deal with bloating feelings, we suggest:
- reducing carb intake, eating refined and processed carbs,
- eating food high in protein and fiber.
Does Saxenda cause stomach pain?
As you can see, gastrointestinal disturbances were the most commonly reported adverse effects during therapy with Saxenda.
Most gastrointestinal reactions like Saxenda stomach pain were mild or moderate, transient, and, in most cases, did not lead to discontinuation of therapy. Reactions usually occurred in the first weeks of treatment, and their manifestations gradually decreased over several days or weeks with continued therapy.
Does Saxenda cause constipation?
Saxenda constipation is a widespread adverse reaction. Especially for people over 65 years old.
To cope with constipation caused by weight-loss drugs, read other users’ experiences on the Forum.
Does Saxenda cause diarrhea?
Several people treated with liraglutide experienced at least one episode of severe Saxenda diarrhea. So, again, it’s common but very individual, as with nausea and vomiting.
Usually, this adverse reaction goes away in a few days or a week. If you feel uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor for help.
Does Saxenda cause heartburn?
You may hear from some users about Saxenda causing heartburn. It’s not a surprise because it’s also one of the common gastrointestinal adverse effects of this weight loss drug.
Here are some tips to get rid of heartburn:
- eat slowly,
- drink plenty of water,
- use chewing gum,
- eat more bananas, cucumbers, and melons.
- take medications to help neutralize stomach acid.
Saxenda and headaches
Saxenda and headaches go along often. Usually, the headache is mild. Just give your body some time to get used to the drug.
We would not recommend any Saxenda headache relief medicine as it’s very individual. If you experience severe headaches for more than a few days, ask your doctor to recommend a suitable product based on your medical conditions.
Does Saxenda cause kidney pain?
It is better not to use Saxenda if you have impaired kidney and liver function, pancreatitis, or cholelithiasis.
Call your doctor immediately or seek medical attention if you have signs of Saxenda kidney pain or other kidney problems, including not passing urine, changes in urine volume, blood in your urine, or rapid weight gain.
Saxenda’s side effects hair loss
Let’s review rare Saxenda side effects: hair loss.
How to understand that baldness is associated with taking the drug? Usually, the increase in shedding occurs between six weeks and three months after the start of the course of treatment. If hair loss starts right after taking Saxenda, within a few days or a week, the cause is often something else.
Firstly, this adverse effect may occur in a small percentage of people, and secondly, the Saxenda may have only a minor impact on hair loss.
One more important thing you must remember: eat healthily, including all the nutrients and vitamins your body needs for a healthy weight loss.
Saxenda and sleep
How are connected: Saxenda and sleep? It’s another full adverse effect of the drug.
First of all, to avoid such adverse reactions like sleeplessness, it would be better to inject at about the same time of day after choosing the most convenient time. After you find the best time for injections and your body gets used to Saxenda’s mechanism of action, it must disappear.
Does Saxenda cause insomnia?
The answer is “Yes.” You may experience it for a few days, a week, or even longer. According to studies, insomnia was mainly observed during the first three months of treatment.
Saxenda side effects: depression
If you experience or worsen behavioral or emotional problems, such as depression or suicidal thoughts, you should contact your doctor right away. Depression is a rare adverse effect of Saxenda; however, sometimes it happens.
And it is not recommended to use Saxenda if you have been diagnosed with depression before starting your treatment.
Does Saxenda make you tired?
Tiredness or weakness is not the most common adverse effect.
So, does Saxenda make you tired? If you feel tired only when using Saxenda, the answer is “yes” again.
Why does Saxenda make you tired?
Usually, it happens because your body starts to work differently. The drug controls your blood sugar levels. The lack of energy may last for 12 weeks.
Saxenda and PCOS
According to studies, with Saxenda, PCOS weight loss was rather effective. But it works better in combination with diet and physical activity. The adverse reactions can be the same as without PCOS.
Saxenda and hypothyroidism
Saxenda and hypothyroidism are incompatible. If you have any thyroid problems, you may experience severe adverse reactions. Please consult with your doctor before you start your Saxenda treatment.
Saxenda and diabetes
Some people use Saxenda for diabetes. There were trials on almost seven thousand people. The authors concluded that Saxenda causes the most significant weight loss and less often leads to a decrease in blood glucose to dangerous levels than other drugs for diabetes. It even reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and premature death from these causes.
Saxenda after gastric sleeve
Experts find Saxenda after gastric sleeve compelling, especially if you regained weight after the surgery. Ligratitude helps to maintain weight loss after gastric sleeve. The adverse reactions can be the same as without a gastric sleeve.
The Bottom Line
Each medication has its possible adverse reactions. And Saxenda is not an exclusion. If you have some special medical conditions, it would be better to consult with your doctor before starting the Saxenda course.
Most of the adverse effects come down after your body gets used to the drug. But the time is very individual. Some can experience it for a week, the others for 12 weeks. And it’s pretty standard.
If you experience severe adverse reactions, you should immediately seek medical help.