compare wegovy and saxenda

Wegovy vs Saxenda: What Drug Works Better?

By 
, reviewed by
 β€“ Updated January 12, 2023
By 
, reviewed by
Linley-Boulden
 β€“ Updated January 12, 2023
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Table of Contents
In this article, we will compare two popular weight loss medications: Wegovy and Saxenda. Both of these drugs are agonists of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). It is a hormone that stimulates insulin production in the body, suppresses appetite and prolongs the feeling of satiety. These effects lead to weight loss.

Is Saxenda the same as Wegovy?

No. The answer to the question “is Wegovy the same as Saxenda” is negative. These are chemically different drugs. The active ingredient of Saxenda is Liraglutide. And the active ingredient used in the production of Wegovy is Semaglutide.

The frequency of medication use is different. Saxenda injections must be done daily, while Wegovy ones – only once a week.

Both drugs are available in injecting pens. However, Wegovy pens are designed for only one injection, while Saxenda injectors are for several. Saxenda kit comes with a pen and needles that are attached to the injector before each use. They should be discarded after the injection. Every injection needs a new needle.

The dosage of the drugs also varies greatly. The initial dose of Wegovy is 0.25 mg. It must be taken within 4 weeks. Then, it increases every 28 days: 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 1.7 mg, and reaches a maximum dose of 2.4 mg. The initial dose of Saxenda is 0.6 mg once a day. It is gradually increased every week until a 3 mg dose is reached once a day.

Saxenda vs Wegovy: which is better for weight loss?

Since these two drugs are the most popular in the world, before starting treatment for excess weight, each person has a question: Wegovy or Saxenda.

A randomized clinical study published in January 2022 with 338 participants compared Wegovy vs Saxenda effectiveness.

Its results:

Β WegovySaxenda

Research term

68 weeks

Average weight loss from the initial level

-15,8%

-6,4%

Β 

We can compare the results of two more studies that compare Wegovy and Saxenda. The first studied Semaglutide, and the second studied Liraglutide.

Β SemaglutideLiraglutide
Number of participants19613731
Average weight loss from the initial levelAbout 15%About 8%

Β 

In both cases, the results show statistically significant differences and that Saxenda versus Wegovy is less effective.

Saxenda vs Wegovy: side effects

Wegovy has a higher percentage of side effects at higher efficiency than Saxenda.

The most widely spread side effects common to both drugs are stomach and digestive tract lesions. It happens because both Wegovy and Saxenda slow down the release of processed food from the stomach. Therefore, a slow dose increase is practiced for both drugs so that the body can get used to such influence, which reduces the risk of adverse effects.

Both drugs are subject to a thyroid tumor alert.

Side effect

Wegovy

Saxenda

Nausea

44%

39%

Diarrhoea

30%

21%

Constipation

24%

19%

Vomiting

24%

16%

Abdominal pain

20%

5%

Headache

14%

14%

Weakness, fatigue

11%

8%

Stomach upset

9%

10%

Β 

Can you take Wegovy and Saxenda together?

Saxenda and Wegovy are not recommended to take simultaneously. Both drugs are agonists of the GLP-1 receptor, and their effects may increase up to a cumulative effect. Which, in turn, can cause serious side effects. Moreover, both drugs have not been tested for safety and efficacy when used together with other drugs or herbal supplements to treat obesity.

Transition from Saxenda to Wegovy: acceptable or not?

Switching from wegovy to saxenda (or in the opposite direction) is possible if your attending physician considers this transition safe. However, Saxenda to Wegovy conversion must be under medical control. In a study published in 2020, it is said that the transition between GLP-1 receptor agonists is a very promising yet under-researched topic.

FAQ

The difference between Saxenda and Wegovy:

  • Active ingredient Saxenda – Liraglutide, Wegovy – Semaglutide;
  • Saxenda is taken daily, Wegovy – once a week;
  • The dosage of Saxenda is from 0.6 mg per day to 3 mg per day. Wegovy – from 0.25 mg per week to 2.4 mg per week;
  • Saxenda injection pens are designed for several doses, Wegovy – only for one.

This is technically possible with Saxenda on Wegovy and the reverse. However, the attending physician must decide to switch from Saxenda to Wegovy. He will make a transition scheme, taking into account at what stage of treatment with Saxenda or Wegovy drugs you were β€” and also considering the person’s general physical condition.

Switching from Saxenda to Wegovy is possible. Both drugs are agonists of the GLP-1 receptor and act approximately the same way. However, such a transition must be made following the recommendations and under the doctor’s supervision.

Moreover, the 2020 study mentioned earlier suggests that physicians are increasingly choosing longer-term GLP-1 agonists over short-acting ones. That is, this statement indirectly supports the transition from Saxenda to Wegovy.

Conclusion

Both of these drugs are analogues of the natural hormone GLP-1. Therefore, switching from Saxenda to Wegovy or back in the treatment process is possible. However, this should be done only under the guidance and supervision of the attending physician.

The above studies show that weight loss efficiency is higher in Wegovy. However, this medication has higher rates of side effects frequency.

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