What is this Saxenda? It’s a higher dose of Victoza, which has been available in the US since 2010 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. The dose for obesity is 3.0 mg (Saxenda), in contrast to 1.2 mg or 1.8 mg for diabetes (Victoza).
Ok, give me the warnings: The product will have a boxed warning stating that thyroid C-cell tumors have been seen in rodents, but the risk in humans is unknown. The most common adverse event in people taking Saxenda was nausea and diarrhea, both of which got better over time.
Does Saxenda work? In the largest trial involving 3731 patients, the Saxenda group lost an average 8% of body weight vs 2.6% with placebo at 56 weeks. So, that’s a 16 pound weight loss if you are 200 pounds. One comforting thing is that Saxenda is a higher dose of a drug that’s been around for a while (Victoza) so it’s not a total mystery.