How long does a Saxenda pen last?

Dr. Babak Ashrafi

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Last reviewed: 23 Jun 2022

Understand how long a Saxenda pen will last, and why it can vary.


Key takeaways

  • How long a Saxenda pen lasts depends on whether you are taking a lower dose at the start of your treatment or the maintenance dose of 3mg per day.

  • Once you are on the maintenance dose, one Saxenda pen will last you 6 days.

Saxenda is a weight loss medication which involves injecting medicine into your body every day. It should only be taken if you are also on a weight loss programme involving diet changes and regular exercise.

Each Saxenda pen has 18mg of the medicine (called liraglutide). To work out how long a pen will last, you need to know what dose you take.

At the start of your treatment, the dose will be small (0.6mg per day) to see how your body adapts to the medication and watch for side effects. At this stage, one Saxenda pen will last you for 17 days.

Once you have reached the maintenance dose of 3mg per day, one Saxenda pen will contain 6 doses and last you for 6 days.

How long will a Saxenda pen last?

How long a Saxenda pen lasts depends on whether you have just started treatment or you are taking the maintenance dose.

At the start of your treatment, 1 pen will last you 17 days, and a pack of 5 pens will last you 6 weeks.

Once you take the maintenance dose, 1 pen will last you 6 days. A pack of 5 pens will last you 30 days.

The dose for each week when you start taking Saxenda is as follows:

  • week 1 - 0.6mg per day
  • week 2 - 1.2mg per day
  • week 3 - 1.8mg per day
  • week 4 - 2.4mg per day
  • week 5 - 3.0mg per day
  • week 6 - 3.0mg per day

You must not increase your dose beyond 3.0mg per day.

Saxenda pens have an expiry date. Once you start using one pen, it doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge and can last for 1 month.

How long does a Saxenda pen last at the maintenance dose?

The maintenance dose of Saxenda is 3mg per day. 1 Saxenda pen will last you 6 days.

How long does Saxenda treatment last?

Saxenda is long term obesity treatment. Your doctor will assess your treatment after 12 weeks and then regularly after that to ensure it is safe and effective to continue taking Saxenda.

You should only take Saxenda regularly if you have lost at least 5% of your initial body weight after 12 weeks on the maintenance dose.

Are there any side effects when taking Saxenda?

Like all medications, Saxenda can have side effects but not everyone experiences them. By starting on a lower dose and building up to the maintenance dose, your body can adjust gradually to the medication and reduce the impact of side effects.

Talk to your doctor if the side effects do not clear up after a few days or are bothering you. If you have just started taking the Saxenda pen, you may need to stay on a lower dosage for longer.

Common side effects include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • constipation or diarrhoea
  • indigestion, bloating, wind or heartburn
  • feeling or being sick
  • trouble sleeping
  • low blood sugar
  • feeling weak and tired
  • change in your sense of taste
  • increase in enzymes (shows up in a blood test)
  • gallstones
  • skin reaction where the injection is

Uncommon side effects include:

  • dehydration (especially if you have been vomiting or have diarrhoea)
  • inflamed gallbladder
  • allergic reactions
  • increased pulse
  • generally feeling unwell

If you experience an allergic reaction when taking Saxenda, seek immediate medical attention. Signs of an allergic reaction include difficulty breathing and swallowing, swollen mouth and lips, severe rash and collapsing and losing consciousness.

The patient information leaflet with your Saxenda pen has more information on side effects.

Where can I get Saxenda?

You can request Saxenda pens from ZAVA using our quick and confidential service.

  1. Complete the short questionnaire.
  2. A doctor will review your answers to ensure it is safe and effective to prescribe you the Saxenda pen.
  3. Saxenda will be sent to you in a discreet package, or you can collect it from your nearest Post Office.

If you have questions or concerns about the treatment at any point, you can message our doctors for free through your online patient account.

It is also possible to be prescribed Saxenda on the NHS through a specialist weight management service. Saxenda is usually considered an option if diet and exercise changes have not resulted in weight loss and other medications such as Orlistat have not worked for you.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion

Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.

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Article created: 23 Jun 2022

Last reviewed: 23 Jun 2022

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