Saxenda, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, aids weight management by curbing appetite and enhancing insulin sensitivity.
Saxenda is similar to other GLP-1 receptor agonists (like Ozempic, also known as semaglutide) but is specifically formulated for weight loss.
We’re using Saxenda more because of a national shortage of Ozempic. Saxenda may be slightly less effective than Ozempic.
Saxenda is a daily injectable medication.
Saxenda is more expensive than Ozempic, as it costs ~$520 per month and is typically not covered by insurance.
Many weight loss medications have been getting a lot of attention lately — but have you heard about Saxenda? Dive in to find out more about this lesser-known (for now) weight loss treatment, including how it works, what’s different about it, and how much it costs.
Either read on or watch this video, where we explain the essentials about Saxenda and its differences from Ozempic.
What is Saxenda?
Saxenda, also known by its generic name liraglutide, is a prescription medication designed to aid in weight management. It belongs to a class of drugs known as GLP-1 receptor agonists, which mimic a naturally occurring hormone in the body that regulates appetite and helps control blood sugar levels.
How Saxenda works
Saxenda helps with weight management in two ways. Firstly, it acts on the brain's appetite control centres, reducing feelings of hunger and promoting a sense of fullness. This leads to decreased calorie intake, a cornerstone of effective weight loss. Secondly, Saxenda enhances insulin sensitivity, promoting stable blood sugar levels and potentially aiding in the prevention of diabetes.
People who have incorporated Saxenda into their weight loss journey often report significant results. Clinical trials resulted in participants experiencing an average weight loss of 5-10% of their initial body weight over a span of several months.
It’s important to note Saxenda works best when paired with a balanced diet and regular physical activity.
Saxenda vs. Ozempic: What’s the difference?
Saxenda and Ozempic belong to the same class of medications (GLP-1 receptor agonists). Saxenda is specifically formulated for weight management – and Health Canada approved for this – whereas Ozempic is primarily intended for managing type 2 diabetes and is used off-label for weight management.
Unlike Ozempic’s weekly injections, Saxenda is administered as a daily injection, where the dose is gradually increased over a period of four weeks.
Saxenda comes in a pre-filled refrigerated pen that delivers a daily injection, typically administered under the skin of the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm in the same way we inject Ozempic. It's important to follow your healthcare practitioner’s instructions for dosing and injection.
Another difference is that Saxenda will be delivered to you refrigerated, and needs to be stored in the fridge.
Finally, if switching to Saxenda from Ozempic, you should wait one week after your last Ozempic dose to start your new daily Saxenda dose.
How much does Saxenda cost — and is it covered by insurance?
Without insurance, Saxenda costs approximately $520 per month, depending on the daily dose.
Patients with private drug plans may be eligible for coverage of Saxenda, depending on the insurance provider and specific plan. However, in our experience most weight loss drugs are not covered by private insurance.
To determine your coverage, contact your benefits administrator with your details and the Drug Identification Number (DIN) 02437899 and your drug name. In some cases, you will also need to meet specific medical criteria or provide documentation from your healthcare practitioner to be eligible for coverage.
How do I use Saxenda?
Saxenda comes in a pre-filled pen that delivers a daily injection, typically injected into the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. It's important to follow your healthcare practitioner’s instructions for dosing and injection.
Saxenda is often prescribed at a low dose initially and gradually increased to minimize potential side effects.
What about Saxenda side effects?
Like any medication, Saxenda can have side effects. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation, especially during the initial weeks of treatment. These effects often subside as your body adjusts. There's a potential for more serious side effects as well, so it's crucial to discuss any side effects you experience with your practitioner.
Start an assessment with Felix to discuss your potential weight management options and to see if Saxenda might be right for you.