Patient Info

Everything You Need to Know About Saxenda

Key Takeaways

If you're exploring Saxenda as a potential treatment option, you probably have questions about the medication and our program and how it works. We've got you covered with the details you need to know.

What is Saxenda?

Saxenda is the brand name for the medication liraglutide used for long-term weight management. 

In clinical trials, participants experienced an average weight loss of 5-10% of their initial body weight over a span of several months. It’s important to note that Saxenda works best when paired with sustainable lifestyle changes in diet and 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 Does Saxenda Work?

Liraglutide, the medication in Saxenda, is what’s known as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. All those scientific words mean it mimics the hormones we already have that control our insulin and glucagon levels.

When you take this medication, it helps decrease your appetite, slows down the emptying of your stomach, and decreases the intensity of your cravings. As a result, many people feel full faster, eat less at meals, and feel full longer. 

By decreasing the intensity of your cravings, it helps with your food choices and eating behaviours. These are the main ways that liraglutide helps you to tackle the biology of weight management.


In studies, those who took the medication and made lifestyle changes lost almost 5-10% of their body weight, on average, compared to the placebo group.

Generally, it takes a few weeks, and sometimes a few months, to start seeing the effects of weight loss from Saxenda. You may notice the effects on your hunger and cravings before you notice changes in your body size. This is normal and expected as most people won’t see any kind of changes, until they get to the higher doses of their treatment.

How Do I Start Taking Saxenda?

The starting dose of Saxenda is 0.6 mg per day for 1 week. Typically patients increase the dose by 0.6 mg each week depending on your body's response and side effects. 

Your healthcare practitioner's aim is to find a steady state dose for you — the lowest effective dose, up to a maximum of 3 mg.

During weeks 3 to 4, you will receive an email for a virtual checkup to review your body's response, any side effects and renew your prescription. 

Most common side-effects

Some of the common side effects from taking Saxenda include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion/acid reflux
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Saxenda’s Intended Effects

The intended effects of Saxenda that patients often experience before noticing actual body changes include:

  • Decreased hunger
  • Feeling full sooner
  • Decreased cravings for food
  • Decreased thoughts about food

Novo Nordisk’s Saxenda Care Program

The Novo Nordisk Saxenda Care program offers assistance for patients that are making their first purchase of Saxenda. This is up to a maximum of 50% coverage assistance ($225) when the first prescription is filled.

To begin, you’ll just need to complete a short form, and agree to the program's terms and conditions. Once that’s done, they’ll send you a one-time discount code that you can upload into your insurance file with Felix. Please reach out to if you need any help uploading your discount code. 

They also offer Reimbursement Navigation appointments, where a specialist can help you navigate your insurance coverage details, as well as weight management support, and guidance on how to safely and effectively use Saxenda injectors.

Renewing your prescription

Your first prescription is written for 4 weeks to monitor results & side effects, and adjust dosage if needed. 

You can renew your prescription with your healthcare practitioner after completing a virtual checkup. 

Approximately 3 weeks after your initial treatment approval, you'll receive an email inviting you to a virtual checkup for your upcoming prescription. Once approved, your prescription will be renewed and your next box of pens will be shipped. 

Explore the collection of blogs below for all the info you need

Saxenda essentials

Introduction to Saxenda: what you need to know about this medication and how it differs from Ozempic

Saxenda: Where is the Best Place to Inject: how and where to inject Saxenda

Our program

Our Weight Loss Program Pricing: how it works and what you need to know about costs

Insurance Coverage for Saxenda: options and information about coverage

Getting started

Dosing Schedule for Saxenda: how dosing gradually increases during the first 4 weeks.

How Long Does It Take for Saxenda to Work: how will you know it is working and when can you expect to see results

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Saxenda: everything you need to know about drinking alcohol, while taking Saxenda.

Still have questions we didn’t cover? Our healthcare practitioners are here to help. Just complete a short online assessment, and we can help you take the first crucial steps on the path to improved weight management, and overall better health.

Medically reviewed by


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An introduction to Saxenda

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