Liraglutide is currently only available for weight loss as a daily injection – Saxenda.
This means that you take Liraglutide via a daily subcutaneous injection.
The fact that Liraglutide comes as an injection may put some people off using it, but the needles that come with the pen are so small and fine that most people don’t even feel it when it’s inserted into the skin.
You should only ever start taking Saxenda once you’ve read the patient information leaflet thoroughly, as this gives detailed dosing instructions, including how to prime your pen for its first use, and how to use the needles.
How often should you use Saxenda?
Saxenda should be taken daily, at around the same time each day.
Liraglutide has a half-life of around 13 hours, so it’s important to make sure that you get into a routine with it to make sure that the dose is sustained between injections.
You shouldn’t use Saxenda more than once a day, as this can increase your risk of serious side effects.
However, if you miss a day, it shouldn’t have too much of a negative effect if you’ve been taking Saxenda for a few weeks.
We understand that it can be easy to forget to take new medications, so don’t beat yourself up if you do accidentally miss a dose.
If it’s less than 12 hours since you were supposed to take the injection, you can take it as soon as you remember.
However, if it’s been more than 12 hours since your dose was due, you should skip that day’s injection and carry on as normal the day after.
When do you take Saxenda?
Luckily, it doesn’t matter when you decide to inject Saxenda, as long as it’s taken at the same time each day.
If you already have a set medication routine, you might decide to inject yourself at the same time as you take your other treatments as it might be easier to remember.
If you don’t already have a medication routine, we would recommend thinking about something that you do every day – whether it’s brushing your teeth, making a cup of tea at a certain time, or having your breakfast.
As long as it’s something that you do at around the same time every day, it’s worth starting to take your medication during these activities, as you’ll start to associate it with having your injection.
Most people tend to take Saxenda in the morning when they wake up, but others find that taking it at this time of day doesn’t suit them.
If you find that injecting at a certain time doesn’t suit you, you might want to change the time of day that you inject.
Where do you inject Liraglutide?
Liraglutide is a subcutaneous injection, which means that it should be injected just under the skin.
It isn’t an intramuscular injection like you might have experienced with vaccines or other injections.
Because of this, it’s recommended to inject Liraglutide into a fleshy area.
Novo Nordisk recommends injecting in the lower abdomen, thighs, or upper arms.
These tend to be areas of your body with more fat, so it’s easier and less painful to administer a subcutaneous injection in these places.
Can you change where you inject?
Absolutely! In fact, it’s encouraged that you change the injection site each day to avoid any irritation or bruising.
As long as you stick to the recommended areas (lower abdomen, thighs and the top of the arms), you should have plenty of places to choose from each time you inject.
If you can’t remember where you last injected, it might be worth writing it down in your phone or a notebook to avoid injecting the same area several times in a row.
You shouldn’t ever inject over any bony areas – making sure that you only inject in the recommended places reduces the risk of injury or tissue damage.
Which needles fit Saxenda pens?
If you’re prescribed Saxenda through myBMI, you’ll also receive the needles that you need to inject yourself with.
You should use a new needle each day.
Both 31 and 32g needles can be used with Saxenda, and if you run out, these are also available from most pharmacies.
The needles are available in various lengths, starting from 4mm.
When you receive your treatment, you should also find a patient information leaflet included which should explain how the needles should be fitted and removed.
Saxenda needles come with a disposable tab lid that should be removed before securing it onto the pen.
The plastic that you hold to push the needle onto the pen is the outer cap.
Once the needle is on, twist the outer cap to secure the needle – the outer cap should come away in your fingers with a slight pull.
You’ll also notice that there’s another plastic cap covering the needle – this is there for safety so that nobody is accidentally injured.
When you’re about to inject, you can remove this inner cap and dispose of it.
To dispose of the needle, place it back inside the outer cap, twist it anticlockwise, and your needle should come off.
You can then dispose of it safely in a sharps bin.
Should you eat before using Saxenda?
Because of the way Saxenda is administrated, it doesn’t matter whether or not you eat before or after your dose – it comes down to personal preference.
Some people prefer to take their injection before breakfast whilst others take it before bedtime.
The main thing to remember with Saxenda is to take it at around the same time each day.