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For chronic weight management in adult patients with a BMI ≥30 kg/m2, or ≥27 kg/m2 with one or more weight-related comorbidities, as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. Click for Limitations of Use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers you need to help set patients up for weight-loss success

As you consider prescribing Saxenda® for your patients, you may have some questions. Below you will find answers that will help you treat effectively and communicate pertinent information to your patients and staff.

You can also call 1-877-304-6894 anytime with questions about Saxenda®.


Saxenda® (liraglutide) injection 3 mg is indicated as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adult patients with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obesity) or 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition (eg, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia).

GLP-1 is a native hormone that is released in response to food intake and acts as a physiological regulator of appetite.1,2 97% similar to native GLP-1, Saxenda® works in the braina to increase feelings of satiety and decrease hunger and thereby reduce food intake, leading to weight loss.1,3

Learn more about how Saxenda® works in the body.

aShown in animal models.

The most common side effects, reported in ≥5% are: nausea, hypoglycemia, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, headache, decreased appetite, dyspepsia, fatigue, dizziness, abdominal pain, and increased lipase.1

Nausea is the most common side effect when first starting Saxenda®, but tends to decrease over time as your patient’s body gets used to treatment.1

See the full list of adverse events.

Adherence to the dosing schedule should help reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal symptoms.1

Learn more about the dosing schedule.

Once you’ve verified that your patient is covered and the prior authorization (PA) is approved, you can prescribe Saxenda® through your electronic health record (EHR) system. In some states, a separate prescription may be required for the NovoFine® 32G Tip needles.

When you prescribe, you can also provide your patient with a Saxenda® Sample Kit to help them get started right away.

View the ePrescribing Guide.


  • Patients should follow a 4-week dose escalation in order to reach the clinically efficacious 3-mg dose, which reduces the likelihood of gastrointestinal symptoms1
  • The Saxenda® starting dose is 0.6 mg per day for 1 week1
  • Patients increase the dose by 0.6 mg each week until the full maintenance dose of 3 mg is reached1

See the dosing schedule here.

Nausea is the most common side effect when first starting Saxenda®, but decreases over time for most people as their body gets used to treatment.1 If a patient experiences nausea, you may consider advising them to4:

  • Eat bland, low-fat foods, like crackers, toast, and rice
  • Eat foods that contain water, like soups and gelatin
  • Avoid lying down after they eat
  • Go outdoors for fresh air

Remember to reinforce adherence to the dosing schedule, which is designed to reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal symptoms.1

If patients cannot tolerate an increased dose during dose escalation, consider delaying escalation for approximately 1 week. If a patient cannot tolerate the 3-mg dose, discontinue treatment.1

Instruct patients to store new, unused Saxenda® pens in the refrigerator between 36°F and 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Once a patient is actively using the pen, it can be stored at room temperature (59°F to 86°F; 15°C to 30°C) or in a refrigerator for 30 days.1

Refer patients to the full Prescribing Information for more details regarding injection and pen storage.

Consider administering the first injection of Saxenda® in-office to reduce the risk of administration errors.

Patients will inject their dose of Saxenda® under the skin in the stomach area (abdomen), upper leg (thigh), or upper arm daily. Indicate each of the 3 appropriate injection areas when prescribing Saxenda® and ensure that patients understand that they should never inject into a vein or muscle.1

Refer patients to the Instructions for Use in the full Prescribing Information for full usage instructions.

Our step-by-step video will guide you through the Saxenda® injection technique.

Refer patients to the Instructions for Use in the Prescribing Information for more information regarding proper injection, storage, and handling techniques.


Novo Nordisk has developed a 3-step process to help identify patients with Saxenda® coverage and help those without coverage gain access.

See the steps here.

Some patients can reduce the cost of their Saxenda® prescription by activating a Saxenda® Savings Card. Eligible patients may pay as little as $25 or save up to $200 per prescription when using the Saxenda® Savings Card.a

Be sure to direct your patients to to activate their Saxenda® Savings Card before they pick up their prescription at the pharmacy.

Patients can estimate how their insurance coverage will impact the price of Saxenda® by using our Co-Pay Calculator.

aEligibility and other restrictions apply. Novo Nordisk reserves the right to modify or cancel this program at any time.

Consider scheduling the first follow-up visit with your patient between 2 and 8 weeks to evaluate initial progress and monitor for side effects. Remain an active part of their treatment journey by following up regularly and encouraging them to reach out to you or your staff with any questions along the way.

Remember to follow up with patients at 16 weeks to evaluate change in body weight, especially if a PA reauthorization is necessary to ensure treatment coverage. If a patient has not lost at least 4% of baseline body weight, it is unlikely they will achieve and sustain clinically meaningful weight loss with continued treatment. In this case, Saxenda® should be discontinued.

Looking for help with implementing a follow-up protocol for Saxenda®?

Review the Follow-up Guide here.

Yes! SaxendaCare® is a complimentary support platform designed to work with Saxenda® using scientifically proven weight-loss and maintenance strategies. SaxendaCare® supports patients with features including a SaxendaCare® Welcome Kit, live phone or in-app messaging support, and helpful reminders regarding their prescription and personal goals.

When enrolled in SaxendaCare®, patients can choose the coaching option that works for them; live phone calls with SaxendaCare® coaches, or in-app messaging support powered by Noom.

Patients are automatically enrolled in SaxendaCare® when they activate their Saxenda Savings® Card. They may also enroll anytime at

Visit to learn more.

Yes! Novo Nordisk has a helpful tool that you can print and fill out with your patient at their visit. Use our Weight Management Plan to guide them in identifying areas of focus and setting realistic expectations for their long-term success.

View our Weight Management Plan.


Support for Your Patients With SaxendaCare®

Selected Important Safety Information

Liraglutide causes dose-dependent and treatment-duration-dependent thyroid C-cell tumors at clinically relevant exposures in both genders of rats and mice. It is unknown whether Saxenda® causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans, as the human relevance of liraglutide-induced rodent thyroid C-cell tumors has not been determined. Saxenda® is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of MTC and in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). Counsel patients regarding the potential risk of MTC with use of Saxenda® and inform them of symptoms of thyroid tumors (eg, a mass in the neck, dysphagia, dyspnea, persistent hoarseness). Routine monitoring of serum calcitonin or using thyroid ultrasound is of uncertain value for early detection of MTC in patients treated with Saxenda®.

Indications and Usage

  • Saxenda® (liraglutide) injection 3 mg is indicated as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adult patients with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obesity) or 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition (eg, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia)

Limitations of Use

  • Saxenda® is not indicated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes 
  • Saxenda® and Victoza® both contain the same active ingredient, liraglutide, and therefore should not be used together. Saxenda® should not be used in combination with any other GLP-1 receptor agonist 
  • Saxenda® has not been studied in patients taking insulin. Saxenda® and insulin should not be used together 
  • The safety and efficacy of Saxenda® in combination with other products for weight loss, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal preparations, have not been established

Important Safety Information


Saxenda® is contraindicated in:

  • Patients with a personal or family history of MTC or MEN 2 
  • Patients with a prior serious hypersensitivity reaction to liraglutide or to any of the product components 
  • Pregnancy

Warnings and Precautions

  • Risk of Thyroid C-cell Tumors: If serum calcitonin is measured and found to be elevated, the patient should be further evaluated. Patients with thyroid nodules noted on physical examination or neck imaging should also be further evaluated 
  • Acute Pancreatitis: Acute pancreatitis, including fatal and non-fatal hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis, has been observed in patients treated with liraglutide postmarketing. Observe patients carefully for signs and symptoms of pancreatitis (persistent severe abdominal pain, sometimes radiating to the back with or without vomiting). If pancreatitis is suspected, discontinue Saxenda® promptly and if pancreatitis is confirmed, do not restart 
  • Acute Gallbladder Disease: Substantial or rapid weight loss can increase the risk of cholelithiasis; however, the incidence of acute gallbladder disease was greater in patients treated with Saxenda® than with placebo even after accounting for the degree of weight loss. If cholelithiasis is suspected, gallbladder studies and appropriate clinical follow-up are indicated 
  • Risk of Hypoglycemia with Concomitant Use of Anti-Diabetic Therapy: When Saxenda® is used with an insulin secretagogue (eg, a sulfonylurea) serious hypoglycemia can occur. Consider lowering the dose of the insulin secretagogue to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia. Monitor blood glucose parameters prior to starting Saxenda® and during treatment and adjust anti-diabetic drugs as needed 
  • Heart Rate Increase: Mean increases in resting heart rate of 2 to 3 beats per minute (bpm) were observed in patients treated with Saxenda®. Monitor heart rate at regular intervals and inform patients to report palpitations or feelings of a racing heartbeat while at rest during treatment with Saxenda®. Discontinue Saxenda® in patients who experience a sustained increase in resting heart rate 
  • Renal Impairment: Acute renal failure and worsening of chronic renal failure, which may sometimes require hemodialysis, have been reported, usually in association with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration. Use caution when initiating or escalating doses of Saxenda® in patients with renal impairment 
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions: Serious hypersensitivity reactions (eg, anaphylaxis and angioedema) have been reported in patients treated with liraglutide. If a hypersensitivity reaction occurs, patients should stop taking Saxenda® and promptly seek medical advice 
  • Suicidal Behavior and Ideation: In clinical trials, 9 (0.3%) of 3,384 patients treated with Saxenda® and 2 (0.1%) of the 1,941 treated with placebo reported suicidal ideation; one of the patients treated with Saxenda® attempted suicide. Monitor patients on Saxenda® for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior. Discontinue treatment if patients experience suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Avoid Saxenda® in patients with a history of suicidal attempts or active suicidal ideation

Adverse Events

  • The most common adverse reactions, reported in ≥5% are: nausea, hypoglycemia, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, headache, decreased appetite, dyspepsia, fatigue, dizziness, abdominal pain, and increased lipase

Drug Interactions

  • Saxenda® causes a delay of gastric emptying, and has the potential to impact the absorption of concomitantly administered oral medications. Monitor for potential consequences of delayed absorption of oral medications concomitantly administered with Saxenda®

Use in Specific Populations

  • There are no data on the presence of liraglutide in human breast milk; liraglutide was present in the milk of lactating rats 
  • Saxenda® has not been studied in patients below 18 years of age and is not recommended for use in pediatric patients 
  • Saxenda® slows gastric emptying. Saxenda® has not been studied in patients with preexisting gastroparesis

Please click here for Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning.


Click below to expand

1. Saxenda® [package insert]. Plainsboro, NJ: Novo Nordisk Inc; 2018.

2. Orskov C, Wettergren A, Holst JJ. Secretion of the incretin hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 and gastric inhibitory polypeptide correlates with insulin secretion in normal man throughout the day. Scand J Gastroenterol. 1996;31(7):665-670.

3. Flint A, Raben A, Astrup A, Holst JJ. Glucagon-like peptide 1 promotes satiety and suppresses energy intake in humans. J Clin Invest. 1998;101(3):515-520.

4. When you have nausea and vomiting. Medline Plus website. Updated August 22, 2016. Accessed November 14, 2018.