Due to national stock issues, we are not currently taking any requests for Saxenda. We are hoping to receive stock shortly, so please check back again this afternoon.
Saxenda is a weight loss medication that you inject once a day with a pen. It works by reducing your appetite over a long-term period. The active ingredient, liraglutide, mimics the hormones you normally release after you eat which tell your brain that you’re full. This makes it easier to eat less and lose weight. Saxenda is manufactured by Novo Nordisk.
At ZAVA, we understand that losing weight is a personal journey, and it’s a lot more than just numbers on a scale. It can help you feel confident and is equally important for your mental health as your physical health.
Our friendly team of doctors will support you with advice and aftercare to make sure your treatment is safe and effective. After starting treatment, you can message our doctors for free through your patient account if you have any questions about Saxenda, weight loss treatment, or your health in general.
1 pen (£57.00 per pen) - £57.00
2 pens (£52.00 per pen) - £104.00
3 pens (£51.00 per pen) - £153.00
4 pens (£50.00 per pen) - £199.99
5 pens (£49 per pen) - £245.00
6 pens (£47 per pen) - £281.99
Saxenda is a weight loss treatment which can be prescribed if you:
- have a BMI between 27 kg/m² and 30 kg/m² and a health condition which can affect your weight, such as high blood pressure
- have a BMI of over 30 kg/m²
Saxenda is an injectable pen which contains the active ingredient liraglutide. It can help you to lose weight when used as part of a weight loss treatment plan.
There are 5 doses of Saxenda:
- 0.6mg for the first week
- 1.2mg for the second week
- 1.8mg for the third week
- 2.4mg for the fourth week
- 3.0mg from week five onwards
You have to start on the lowest dose and then build up to the highest dose over the course of 4 weeks. This is so your body can get used to Saxenda and you can reach the highest dosage safely.
There are no other doses available. You can’t take the highest dose straight away to make it work faster. There are no higher doses than 3.0mg available that are more effective. To get the fastest, best weight loss outcome possible, take your medication as advised by your doctor and stick to your diet and exercise plan.
Each Saxenda pen contains 17 doses at the lowest dosage (0.6mg). Your first pack has enough pens for 4 weeks worth of doses. Once you are on the highest dosage (3mg), a single pen typically lasts up to 1 week.
You’ll need to adjust the dose on your pens as you go through the first 5 weeks of treatment. See the section ‘how to take a dose of Saxenda’ for more details.
Saxenda contains liraglutide, which behaves like the natural hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Usually, GLP-1 is released from your intestines after you have eaten a meal, which tells your brain you are full.
When Saxenda is injected, it also tells your brain that you are full, which helps you control your appetite. Saxenda helps to decrease your appetite over time, so you find it easier to eat less and lose weight.
How fast does it work?
It’s realistic to expect to lose over 5% of your body weight after 12 weeks on the highest dose of Saxenda, after you’ve spent 4 weeks building up to that dose (16 weeks total). It’s important to combine Saxenda with a diet and exercise plan to achieve the best results.
How long does it last?
A single dose of Saxenda stays in your body for about 2 days and about half of it is gone in the first 13 hours.
Depending on your response to the medication and your weight loss goals, you may finish your course before or continue beyond 12 weeks of the highest dose (16 weeks total). When you have achieved your weight loss goals, your doctor will talk you through stopping your treatment.
➤ Read more about how long Saxenda's effect lasts.
Your doctor will talk you through your treatment plan. Your dose will increase as your body gets used to the treatment until you reach the highest dose of 3mg a day. You should only keep taking Saxenda if you have lost at least 5% of your body weight after being on the maintenance dose for 12 weeks.
Stick to your weight loss plan during treatment
Stick to the diet and exercise plan that your doctor recommends during treatment, since Saxenda alone doesn’t cause weight loss. Your doctor will assess your treatment regularly to make sure you are losing weight and Saxenda is working as it should.
Do you need to avoid certain foods?
There’s no foods that react badly with Saxenda so you don’t have to completely cut anything out of your diet. But, since a healthy diet is important for getting the most out of Saxenda treatment, there are some foods you could cut down on or avoid, including:
- sugary foods and drinks, like cakes, biscuits, breakfast bars, fizzy drinks, fruit juices
- foods high in saturated fats, like crisps, fast foods, fried foods
You should use Saxenda at the same time each day to get the best results. Find a time of the day that works best for you, such as in the morning. You can take Saxenda with or without food and drink.
Your Saxenda pen should only be used with the provided needles. They should be no longer than 8mm with a width as thin as 34G. For reference, the pen and needle is comparable to the sort used to administer insulin.
Always read the instructions included within your Saxenda packet or follow this guide before taking Saxenda for the first time. If you are blind or have poor eyesight, you should get someone to help you.
Setting your dose
Check your dose against your treatment plan, to make sure you are injecting the right amount of medicine into your body. The dose selector on your Saxenda pen can be turned backwards and forwards to reach the correct dose, up to a maximum of 3mg. There is a small window where you can read the dose.
Where to inject your dose
Once you have selected the correct dose, you are ready to inject the medication. To protect your skin you should use a new injection site each day. You can choose between the following injection sites:
- the front of your abdomen (below your stomach), which is the most commonly recommended injection site
- the front of your thigh
- the top of your arm
Never inject your medicine into a vein or muscle.
Throw away your needle after your injection
When the needle has been removed from your skin, use the outer needle cap from earlier to safely dispose of the needle. Never touch the needle with your fingers, as this could cause you to hurt yourself.
Once the needle is covered, make sure the outer cap is on completely and unscrew the needle from your Saxenda pen and throw it away.
Never reuse or share a needle
Never share your needles or Saxenda pen with anyone else. Saxenda must be prescribed to you.
You’ll always be given enough needles when you request Saxenda from ZAVA. If you need more, speak to your online doctor. If a needle is bent or damaged do not use it.
Saxenda, like other medications, can have some side effects. That is why your treatment plan will be adjusted slowly, so your body can get used to the treatment, reducing the likelihood of side effects.
Very common side effects that affect more than 10% of people include:
- nausea or vomiting (feeling or being sick)
- constipation or diarrhoea
Common side effects that affect up to 10% of people include:
- problems with your stomach or intestines, such as indigestion, heartburn, bloating, and wind (flatulence)
- a change in your sense of taste
- difficulty sleeping
- feeling tired or weak
- skin reactions at the injection site
- low blood sugar
- an increase in enzymes, which would show up in a blood test
Uncommon side effects that affect up to 1% of people include:
- inflamed gallbladder
- dehydration, which is more likely if you have vomiting and diarrhoea
- allergic reactions
- increased pulse
- feeling generally unwell
- abdominal pain and pancreatitis
These side effects usually go away within a few days or weeks but speak to your doctor if they are bothering you too much or do not go away. For serious side effects such as a severe allergic reaction, call 999 or go to A&E.
For more information on side effects and to view rare side effects, read the Saxenda patient information leaflet included with your treatment.
You should not use Saxenda if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the medication, especially liraglutide. A doctor will review your request to make sure that Saxenda is the right treatment for you if you have other health conditions.
Speak to your doctor if you take any other medications, especially if you take:
- any prescription treatment for diabetes, as they may cause your blood sugar to drop too low (hypoglycemia)
- anticoagulants, which reduce your risk of blood clots
There is no food or drink you need to avoid but you should stick to a balanced diet and limit your alcohol intake as this could make some side effects worse. Saxenda is not suitable for pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers. If you think you are pregnant, stop taking Saxenda and speak to your doctor. You should not be using Saxenda if you are a woman and actively trying to get pregnant.
Ordering Saxenda online
Requesting Saxenda from a ZAVA doctor is quick and easy. Simply complete a short questionnaire about your health. For your first Saxenda request via our questionnaire, our doctors ask for a couple of photos to help determine if Saxenda is safe and suitable for you. You can submit any full length picture that gives an indication of your weight, as well as one photo showing your weight on scales. You don’t have to include your face in the photos. All photos are entirely confidential and will only be reviewed by the ZAVA medical team.
Once a doctor has reviewed your photo, your medication will be dispatched if it’s right for you.
Your Saxenda treatment will then be sent to you using cold chain refrigerated transport. Due to cold chain requirements, requests reviewed after 4pm on a Thursday will be dispatched on the Monday, for a Tuesday delivery.
Where else can you get Saxenda?
You can also get Saxenda treatment from a weight management specialist. If you’ve tried other treatments, like lifestyle changes and weight loss tablets, your GP can refer you to a specialist who can approve Saxenda treatment for you.
Once you’re given a prescription by your specialist, you can get it filled at most pharmacies.
If Saxenda is not the right treatment for you, there are other options available through our online service, such as:
- Wegovy, another prescription weight loss injection which works like Saxenda and will be available soon in the UK
- Orlistat, a generic weight loss tablet that changes how your body digests fat
- Mysimba, a weight loss pill containing the active ingredients naltrexone hydrochloride and bupropion hydrochloride, which works to reduce your appetite by sending signals to your brain
- Xenical, which is a branded version of orlistat and works the same way
- Contrave, which is the same medication as Mysimba, it’s just the American brand name which isn’t used in the UK
For more information about our weight loss treatments or to discuss your treatment options, you can also message our doctors for free through your patient account.
Which alternatives are cheaper?
Saxenda can be provided on an NHS prescription, so it can be as cheap as a standard NHS prescription fee (£9.35) or free if you don’t pay for your prescriptions. Other alternatives available on NHS prescription are:
- Prescription exercise programmes
A doctor can also provide free weight loss advice if you book an appointment with your normal GP surgery.
Frequently asked questions
Can you get Saxenda for free?
Yes, if your GP refers you to a weight management specialist and you’re prescribed Saxenda as an NHS prescription you can get it for free, as long as you don't pay for your prescriptions.
Is there a generic version?
There isn’t a generic version of Saxenda yet. The company that makes Saxenda (Novo Nordisk) owns a patent which stops anyone else from making a generic version. The earliest a generic version will be available in the UK is February 13th, 2026.
Why am I not losing weight on saxenda?
Saxenda doesn’t cause weight loss by itself and doesn’t work for everyone. Make sure you stick to your diet and exercise plan to help Saxenda work properly. If it’s been 16 weeks since you started treatment and you’ve stuck to your diet and exercise plan and you still haven’t lost weight, talk to your doctor about changing to another treatment.
What happens when you miss a dose?
When you miss a dose the level of Saxenda in your body will drop slightly. Every time you take a dose you’re ‘topping up’ the amount of Saxenda in your body. If your levels do drop, you might notice feeling less full after eating.
When you miss a dose of Saxenda and it’s still the same day, take your dose as normal. If you remember you forgot one yesterday or earlier, just take your normal dose when you’re supposed to. Don’t take extra Saxenda to make up for missing doses on other days and never take two doses on the same day.
If you miss 2 or more doses in a row, talk to your doctor about restarting treatment.
Will I gain weight after stopping Saxenda?
After you stop Saxenda, you will stop feeling as full after eating. But, if you stick to the diet and exercise plan you were on when you were losing weight with Saxenda, you should be able to keep the weight off. If you start struggling with weight after stopping Saxenda, talk to your GP.
Is Saxenda insulin?
No, Saxenda contains a different active ingredient to insulin, liraglutide. Liraglutide is a man-made hormone which does help increase insulin production in your body so it does help stop insulin spiking after you eat. Insulin and liraglutide may be prescribed together to help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar and weight.
Can you lose weight on Saxenda without dieting?
Saxenda is only meant to be used as part of a weight loss plan that includes diet and exercise. Since Saxenda does make you feel fuller, you are likely to want to eat less when taking it anyway, but it’s important that you don’t rely on Saxenda alone.
Does Saxenda work straight away?
Saxenda can make you feel fuller after just one or two doses, but it will take some time for you to start losing weight after you begin treatment.
How many Saxenda pens will I need?
Saxenda comes in packs of 1, 3, and 5 pens. How many pens you need depends on what stage of treatment you’re at. As you move onto higher doses of Saxenda, you’ll get fewer doses out of each pen.
Your first pack should include enough pens for you to work up to the highest dose, 5 pens in total that will last about 6 weeks. Once you’re on the highest dose, each pen will last about a week and a pack of 5 pens will last 30 days.
Does Saxenda cause hair loss?
Hair loss is not a side effect of Saxenda. But, some people can get temporary hair loss from losing weight quickly, known as telogen effluvium. This type of hair loss usually fixes itself after about 6 months as your body adapts to your new weight.
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.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 03 May 2023
Saxenda 6 mg/mL solution for injection in pre-filled pen (2021) EMC [accessed March 2023]
Saxenda Patient Information Leaflet, EMC [accessed March 2023]
Liraglutide, NICE/British National Formulary [accessed March 2023]
How Saxenda works, Saxenda [accessed March 2023]
Obesity treatment, NHS [accessed March 2023]