Saxenda is a prescription-only medicine that helps adults who are obese or with weight-related comorbidity/ies lose weight. If you’ve been prescribed Saxenda, check out the tips below to ensure you take Saxenda safely.
1. Only take Saxenda when prescribed.
Saxenda is a self-administered injectable prescription drug. Only take Saxenda if your doctor or primary health care provider prescribed it.
2. Tell your doctor about all drugs and substances you are taking.
When consulting your doctor, tell them about all medications, supplements, and substances you are taking, especially if you’re taking diabetes medication.
Saxenda may react with these, either causing side effects or impacting the effectiveness of Saxenda. Informing your doctor of what you are taking helps prevent adverse reactions and helps make sure Saxenda does what it should.
3. Always conduct a quality check before injecting.
Before injecting Saxenda, it is important to always conduct a quality check first. Examine the fluid inside the Saxenda pen; it should be clear and colorless. If the fluid in the Saxenda pen looks cloudy, yellowish, or contains particles, the medicine may already not be effective. Do not use it anymore and dispose of it properly.
4. Store Saxenda properly.
Upon purchase of Saxenda, make sure to put it in the refrigerator immediately. Unopened Saxenda pens need to be kept in 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C) to prolong their shelf life and make sure they are usable until their indicated expiry dates.
Though Saxenda needs to be stored in a cool place, never freeze Saxenda pens. Don’t put Saxenda near the freezer or in refrigerator compartments that are near the freezer. Freezing Saxenda will destroy it and make it unsafe for use.
Meanwhile, if a Saxenda pen happens to be exposed to non-refrigerated temperatures higher than 46F, it is still safe for use. However, it will have a shorter shelf life and must be used or discarded within 30 days.
Once a Saxenda pen has been used, store it in a cool place or refrigerate it. Keep it away from heat and light to make sure it remains potent and usable for 30 days.
5. Follow Saxenda instructions for use.
To avoid any mistakes in administering Saxenda, thoroughly read and understand the instructions for use prior to injecting. The instructions will tell you how to attach the needle, how to read the symbols on your Saxenda pen, and most importantly, how to prepare the proper dosage and inject Saxenda.
6. Get proper training from your healthcare provider.
Although Saxenda pens come with instructions on how to use them, do not take Saxenda without first being trained by your healthcare provider. Instructions may be misinterpreted and you may still make mistakes without guidance from someone trained to administer Saxenda.
They will teach you how and where to inject Saxenda: subcutaneously in your stomach, upper leg, or upper arm. Be attentive during your training as Saxenda should never be mistakenly injected into a vein or a muscle.
7. Inject at the same time every day.
For Saxenda to work, it must be injected around the same time every day. Choose the most convenient time for you, be it before breakfast, lunch, dinner, or bed time to avoid missing a dose.
8. Don’t change your dosage unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
You must always follow your prescription. This will tell you what dosage to take at which point of your treatment.
Usually, Saxenda is taken at a low dosage in the first week. Then, when you don’t have adverse reactions, the dose gradually increases week by week until you reach 3mg. Once you reach 3mg, don’t increase your dosage anymore until your doctor tells you to.
If you have questions about dosage, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor or the pharmacy where you bought your Saxenda from.
9. Don’t store your Saxenda with other injectable medicine.
Patients who are prescribed Saxenda may also be taking other injectable medications like insulin. In such cases, make sure to store your Saxenda separately from other injectable medications to avoid getting the medicines mixed up. Overdosing on either medication can cause harm to your health and disrupt your treatment.
10. Watch out for missed doses.
Saxenda should be taken once every day, around the same time every day. If you miss a dose, take one the moment you remember it then resume with your next dose during the usual time when you take it.
If you have missed a day’s dose of Saxenda, do not take an extra dose to make up for the missed dose. And if you miss more than 3 days worth of doses, don’t just resume taking Saxenda. Consult your doctor first to discuss how you should restart your treatment.
11. Watch out for side effects.
As with any medication, Saxenda may cause side effects. Common side effects of Saxenda include skin reactions in the injection site such as pain, itch, or redness. Other common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, hypoglycemia, decreased appetite, headache, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, abdominal pain, upset stomach, indigestion, bloating, gas, UTI, changes in taste, GERD, belching, gastroenteritis, lack of energy, weakness, insomnia, and anxiety.
Meanwhile, serious side effects from Saxenda include pancreatitis, gallbladder problems, hypoglycemia, increased heart rate, serious allergic reactions, kidney failure, and depression or suicidal thoughts.
If you experience any of the listed side effects after taking Saxenda, stop taking Saxenda and consult your doctor immediately to avoid experiencing serious side effects. If you experience symptoms that are not listed, also consult your doctor to seek medical advice.
12. Never use Saxenda as a replacement for insulin medication.
Saxenda is not a treatment for Type 2 Diabetes and should never be used as a replacement for diabetes medication like insulin injections.
13. Never add any substance to Saxenda.
To ensure Saxenda’s effectiveness, never mix it with any other substance or medication as these may interfere with the medicine’s effectiveness and negatively impact your treatment.
14. Don’t ever share your Saxenda with anyone.
Never share your Saxenda pen or needle with anyone. Doing so may spread illness and infection.
15. Dispose of Saxenda injection properly.
Once you’re done injecting Saxenda, carefully remove the needle from the pend and put it in a sharps disposal container. Never put used needles along with other trash in the bin.
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