Can I Change My Weight Loss Medication?
Is your weight loss treatment the right one for you? If you're not sure, you may want to know how to switch treatments safely and effectively.
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This content was reviewed and approved for its accuracy on 10/03/2021 by Professor Frank Joseph

Photograph of Professor Frank Joseph, weight loss expert for myBMI

Can I Change My Weight Loss Medication? Switching Weight Management Treatments

 

Finding the right weight-loss treatment for you can be more difficult than you first realise.

 

Even if you’re prescribed one weight loss medication, you may find that the treatment just isn’t quite right and that’s okay!

 

There are a lot of medications out there and what works for you may not work for someone else and vice versa.

 

So don’t feel trapped with a medication that isn’t right for you, let us explain why you might want to make the switch from one treatment to another and how to do it safely and responsibly.

 

I don’t think my weight loss medication is right for me — what should I do?


If you’ve been taking your weight loss medication for a few weeks and aren’t seeing any changes or aren’t feeling well you should speak to your prescriber right away.

 

The best thing you can do is raise your concerns with your healthcare team so they can assess your progress, set your mind at ease, and make changes to your treatment, if necessary.

 

They’ll be able to help you decide what you would want to do next, which may mean switching to a different weight loss medication, stopping altogether, or reducing your dose for a while.

 

You shouldn’t attempt to make changes like these without the help of your prescriber, as you may be exposing yourself to risks you don’t know about.

 

Your prescriber will be able to assess any potential risks surrounding your treatment, discuss these with you, and help you to make a decision that is both effective and safe.

 

Why would I need to change my weight management treatment?


There are a few reasons why you may need to change your weight-loss treatment to something else.

 

The first you would be most likely to notice would be the side effects of your medication.

 

Most weight loss medications cause side effects of some kind, but these will often fade as you continue your treatment.

 

However, if your side effects are severe (like an allergic reaction), are causing you a lot of discomfort, or are causing a risk of other health issues, you may need to end the treatment you’re on.

 

Another common reason that people change weight loss medications is that their treatment just isn’t working.

 

If you have increased your dose to the highest possible and have been taking this for a while but haven’t lost any weight, the treatment probably isn’t right for you.

 

This doesn’t mean that all weight loss medications aren’t for you, but the one you’re taking just isn’t giving the expected results for one reason or another.

 

Another reason why you may switch your medications is if you’re struggling to take them on time or administer them properly.

 

No matter what the reason you want to change is, the first thing you should do is speak to your prescriber and do some troubleshooting with their help.

 

Can I switch from Saxenda or Wegovy to Mysimba?


Saxenda, Wegovy, and Mysimba are all weight loss medications, but Saxenda and Wegovy work in a different way than Mysimba.

 

As Saxenda and Wegovy are injectable medicines where Mysimba comes in tablets, some patients who struggle with needles may want to switch treatments.

 

You can do this, but you’ll need to end the treatment you’re on before you start your new medication.

 

The amount of time you will need to wait between your last injection and your first dose of Mysimba will differ depending on whether you’re taking Saxenda or Wegovy, as these medications have different half-lives.

 

Make sure to follow your prescriber’s instructions carefully if you’re making the switch to ensure you’re doing so as safely as possible.

 

Can I change from one GLP-1 receptor agonist to another?

 

Saxenda and Wegovy use active ingredients from the same group of medications, known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. This means that they work in a very similar way to help you reach your weight loss goals.

 

The biggest difference between Saxenda and Wegovy is how often you inject your medication, with Saxenda needing a daily injection while Wegovy is only injected once a week.

 

Studies have also shown that Wegovy can be more effective than Saxenda, so it’s no surprise that some Saxenda patients are keeping an eye on Wegovy as their treatment continues.

 

You can switch from Saxenda to Wegovy or vice versa, but again, this should only be done if advised by a medical professional.

 

If you’re switching to Saxenda from Wegovy, you’ll need to wait longer between your old and new injections than you would when switching to Wegovy from Saxenda.

 

This is because Wegovy has a longer half-life than Saxenda, meaning that it takes longer to leave your body entirely.

 

As these medications work in a similar way it’s essential that you end one treatment properly before starting the other, so make sure to follow your prescriber’s instructions carefully to avoid accidentally overdosing on GLP-1 agonists.

 

Will I need to start my new medication from the lowest dose?


When you start your new weight loss medication after finishing an old one you may need to start from the lowest dose before gradually increasing to the highest.

 

We understand that this can feel a little like you’re starting from the beginning all over again, but it’s actually an essential part of weight loss treatment.

 

Saxenda, Wegovy, and Mysimba all need gradual dosage increases (otherwise known as titration) to help prevent side effects as your body gets used to the treatment.

 

Increasing your dose too quickly could make you feel very unwell, so it’s always wise to follow the titration schedule laid out by your prescriber carefully.

 

Trust us, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

 

 

If you’re thinking of changing your weight loss medication we hope you’ve learned some invaluable information that will help you do so safely and happily.

 

Remember, the best thing to do in this situation will always be to speak to your prescriber for advice.

 

They’re the experts, after all, and they’ll help you get the treatment you need at a pace that’s right for you.

 

Want to learn more?

 

Here are a few of our other articles that could help you along on your weight loss journey.

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