This content was reviewed and approved for its accuracy on 28/12/2021 by Professor Frank Joseph

Photograph of Professor Frank Joseph, weight loss expert for myBMI

How Effective is Saxenda?

If you’re considering medical options to help you along on your weight loss journey, you’ve probably heard about Saxenda.

Saxenda (which contains the active ingredient Liraglutide) was the first weight loss injection licensed in the UK and it’s proven to be a very effective treatment for those with a BMI of 30 and above.

So how effective is Saxenda really?

We’ll explain how much weight you could expect to lose while using this treatment and how quickly you could see results.


How effective is Saxenda for weight loss?


Saxenda has been clinically proven to help patients lose at least 5% of their starting body weight within 12 weeks of treatment at its highest dose.

This means that when you’ve titrated (gradually increased) your dose up to 3mg of Liraglutide every day, you should lose at least 5% of your starting weight in around 3 months.

If your prescriber has you following a standard dosage plan, you should have increased your daily dose from 0.6mg a day to 3mg a day after 4 weeks of treatment, and you will usually have started to lose weight within this time too.

Of course, the Saxenda dosage plan can differ from person to person and you may increase your dose more slowly if you’re suffering from side effects as your body gets used to the medication.

This is totally normal and your prescriber will help you through every step of the way so you’ll be sure that you’re always taking the right dose for you.


If you don’t lose the expected amount of weight within 12 weeks of taking the highest dose of Saxenda your prescriber may end your treatment, as this may not be the right medication for you.

How much weight should I expect to lose on Saxenda?


So we know that you’ll lose at least 5% of your starting weight within 12 weeks of taking the highest dose of Saxenda, but what does that mean in real terms?

Well, if you started your treatment weighing 240 pounds, you should lose at least 12 pounds within 12 weeks of taking 3mg Liraglutide injections every day.

If you prefer to measure in kilograms, if you begin your journey weighing 100kg, you should lose at least 5kg within this time.

Does Saxenda work immediately?


Saxenda does start to work immediately when you take your first injection.

However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll drop 10 pounds in a day!

Weight loss always takes time, and Saxenda is there to help you lose weight and develop habits that will help you maintain your weight loss after your treatment has ended.

If you want to lose weight you will need to eat at a calorie deficit and continue to do so over a long time, as eating at a deficit of 500 calories a day will lead to a sensible and sustainable loss of 1 – 2 pounds a week.

What is the best time of day to take Saxenda?


You can take Saxenda at any time of the day, so the best time to take it is whatever time works best for you.

You’ll need to take your injection at the same time every day, so you may find it easier to remember if you take it first thing in the morning, with a meal, or at the same time as any other medication you take.

If you find that Saxenda makes you feel nauseous, you may choose to take it before bed and sleep it off.

The time of your injection won’t make Saxenda more or less effective, so as long as you’re taking it at the same time every day, your schedule is completely up to you.

Which is more effective, Mysimba or Saxenda?


Mysimba is another weight loss medication that works differently from Saxenda.

Mysimba contains two active ingredients, Naltrexone Hydrochloride and Bupropion Hydrochloride, whereas Saxenda only contains Liraglutide.

When you’re taking Mysimba, you’re usually expected to lose at least 5% of your starting weight within 16 weeks of treatment.

So if you compare this to Saxenda, the rate of weight loss may be slower with Mysimba.

However, this doesn’t mean that Mysimba is less effective than Saxenda in every single case.

Some people may find that Mysimba is a better medication for them for other reasons.

For example, they may experience side effects while taking Saxenda that don’t happen with Mysimba, or they may be allergic to one of the ingredients in Saxenda.

Both medications are effective, so the important thing is finding out which one works best for you.

Now we have a much better idea about how much you can expect to lose when you start to take Saxenda and you can decide whether that would work for you.

Remember, everyone is different and your weight loss journey will never be the same as anyone else’s, so take your time, do what’s best for you, and always talk to your prescriber if you have any concerns.

Still hungry for Saxenda knowledge?

Here are some of our other articles about this medication that we think you’ll love.

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Can you really eat your favourite foods and still lose weight with Saxenda?


Our experts explain how Liraglutide affects your diet and which foods you may need to reconsider during your treatment.

Our team explain all you need to know about Liraglutide, which is the active ingredient in both Saxenda and Victoza.


Keep reading to find out what it does, who it’s for, if it’s safe, and how long you might take it for.

When it comes to medication, safety is our number one priority, so we want to make sure you feel confident with yours.


Our experts look at Saxenda in more detail and consider the risk factors you should look out for.

Some people notice the effects of Saxenda within the first few days but others don’t see any significant weight loss for a few weeks.


Our team explain when you can expect to see a difference.