The information on this page is medically approved by
Drs. Nicolette Lammers

What is Saxenda

Saxenda (substance name Liraglutide) is an injectable medicine used to help obese adults lose and maintain their weight. Saxenda was developed by the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk and is available by prescription only.

Where can I buy Saxenda?

Saxenda is only available with a doctor’s prescription. In our treatment Medical weight loss with injections, the drug Saxenda is prescribed in combination with a nutrition and exercise plan from a nutrition coach.

How does Saxenda work?

The drug is similar to the natural GLP-1 hormone. It regulates appetite by decreasing the feeling of hunger and increasing the feeling of satiety. As a result, you will eat less and therefore lose weight. The injections are only available with a prescription. You can administer the injections yourself

Indication Saxenda: when is Saxenda prescribed

The indication means that you are eligible to use Saxenda. Saxenda can only be obtained by prescription from a doctor. Saxenda is prescribed as an adjunct to a low-calorie diet and increased physical activity for weight management in adult patients with an initial Body Mass Index (BMI) of:

  • ≥ 30 BMI (obese), or
  • ≥ 27 BMI to < 30 BMI (overweight) who have at least one weight-related comorbidity, such as dysglycemia (prediabetes or diabetes mellitus type 2), hypertension, dyslipidemia or obstructive sleep apnea.

* Treatment with Saxenda® should be discontinued if
the patient has not lost at least 5% of his initial body weight after 12 weeks of using the 3.0 mg daily dose.

Reimbursement by insurer in The Netherlands

The medicine liraglutide (Saxenda®) can be reimbursed from the basic package for the treatment of a small group of people who are seriously overweight. The reimbursement only applies to people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or higher who already participate in the combined lifestyle intervention (GLI). People with a BMI between 35 and 40 must also have 1 of 3 additional diseases.

The most common side effects of Saxenda

Like all medications, Saxenda® can cause side effects, although not everyone will experience them. The most common side effects of Saxenda® are headache, nausea, diarrhea, constipation and vomiting. These side effects usually disappear after a few days or weeks.

A full list of side effects can be found in the package insert that comes with your Saxenda® pen. If you have any questions about side effects or if you notice any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. You can also report side effects directly via the Netherlands Side Effects Center Lareb, website By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

How to use the Saxenda® pen

Dosage schedule for use in adults
Always use this medicine as your doctor has told you. Below is a simple dosing schedule that will help you build up the dose from the starting dose of 0.6 mg to the maximum dose of 3.0 mg.

  • Week 1 – 0.6 mg – once daily
  • Week 2 -1.2 mg – once daily
  • Week 3 – 1.8 mg – once daily
  • Week 4 – 2.4 mg – once daily
  • Week 5 – 3.0 mg – once daily (maintenance dose)

A dose higher than 3.0 mg per day is not recommended.

The dosing schedule is designed to minimize the risk of nausea when starting Saxenda®. As you slowly increase the dose, your body can adjust to the medication and the nausea will usually subside. Your doctor may adjust the dosing schedule if you cannot tolerate the side effects.

Where do you inject Saxenda®?

  • Saxenda® is given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous injection). Do not inject it into a vein or muscle.
  • The best places to inject are on the front of your thighs, the front of your waist (abdomen) or your upper arm.
  • Before using the pen for the first time, your doctor or nurse will show you how to use the pen.

Storage advice

Before use:
Before first use, store Saxenda® in the refrigerator at a temperature of 2°C to 8°C. Do not store in the freezer or near the freezer compartment. When Saxenda® has been frozen, it loses its effect.

During use:
After first opening, Saxenda® can be stored below 30°C or in a refrigerator (2°C – 8°C) for one month. Keep the cap on the pen in order to protect from light.

Do not use this medicine after the expiry date.
Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the pen label and carton after EXP. There is a month and a year. The expiry date is the last day of that month.

Have you forgotten to use Saxenda®?
If you miss a dose and remember within 12 hours of the usual time of taking it, inject the medicine as soon as you remember. If it is later than 12 hours ago you should have taken Saxenda®, skip the missed dose and inject the next dose the next day at the usual time. Do not take a double dose the next day to make up for the forgotten dose. Also, you should not increase the dose the next day to make up for a forgotten dose.

Needles for your Saxenda® pen
The pen is designed for use with NovoFine® single-use needles between 4 and 8 mm in length and 3032G in thickness. A new needle should be used for each injection. The pen and needles should never be shared with others.

Are you going on a trip?
Are you going on a trip soon? Then good preparation is of great importance. In addition to the normal storage conditions, extra measures must sometimes be taken on holiday to protect Saxenda® against freezing or to prevent Saxenda® from rising above 30°C, for example:

  • store in a cool box.
  • keep in cool bag.

In addition, the following should be noted: you may not use Saxenda®:

  • place in direct sunlight.
  • keep in a car parked in the sun.
  • place directly against the cooling element in a cool box or cool bag due to freezing.
  • store in a car that is in the freezing cold (for example during winter sports).
  • take with you in the baggage hold of an aircraft in connection with freezing.

Make an appointment

For a treatment or a free and non-committal consultation you can contact us at our central telephone number or fill in the contact form on our appointments page.

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