Saxenda for weight loss

Dr. Spencer Nadolsky

You may have heard of the obesity treatment medication Saxenda. In this article, we’ll review some of the important things you should know before using Saxenda for weight loss, including:

  • What is Saxenda?
  • How does Saxenda help you lose weight?
  • What do studies say about Saxenda?
  • What are the most common side effects of Saxenda?
  • How much does Saxenda cost?
  • How do I access the Saxenda savings card?
  • How can I use Saxenda?
  • How do I get a prescription for Saxenda with Sequence?

What is Saxenda?

Saxenda (Liraglutide) is a GLP-1 medication that was FDA-approved for weight loss in 2014. Liraglutide is also FDA-approved for type 2 diabetes under the brand name Victoza. Both Saxenda and Victoza are manufactured by Novo Nordisk, Inc. 

How does Saxenda help you lose weight?

Saxenda (Liraglutide) helps with weight loss by targeting areas of the brain that regulate appetite and food intake in addition to helping lower your blood sugar. In other words, you’ll feel less hungry, and feel full more quickly! When used in conjunction with healthy habits and daily movement, it can be a powerful tool to kickstart your weight loss journey.

What do studies say about Saxenda?

In a 56-week study, 63.2% of patients taking Saxenda lost at least 5% of their body weight (compared with 27.1% in the placebo group who did the same).

What are the most common side effects of Saxenda?

The most common side effects are nausea and gastrointestinal symptoms. To minimize side effects, your Sequence Clinician will generally start you off with a small dose and slowly increase it over the following months.

If you experience some nausea, we suggest the following:

  • Eat slowly and eat moderate portions with limited snacking, spacing out meal frequency
  • Drink clear or ice-cold beverages and foods that contain more water like soups
  • Avoid lying down after you eat and take a walk outside for some fresh air
  • Eat foods that are light and bland, like crackers or toast
  • Avoid fried, greasy, or very sugary foods 

If your nausea or other side effects are bothering you, let your Care Team know.

Females should stop taking liraglutide two months in advance of trying to conceive. If you do become pregnant while on a GLP-1 medication, please stop the medication immediately and contact your Clinician. 

How much does Saxenda cost?

The cost of Saxenda varies based on a patient’s insurance plan and medical history. Many members are able to get Saxenda for $25 per month or less after insurance coverage and application of a Saxenda savings card. 

If your insurance plan does not cover Saxenda, you can still purchase it out of pocket and apply for the savings card (Medicare, Medicaid, some Tricare members excluded). 

How do I access the Saxenda savings card?

The Saxenda® Saving Offer program has been discontinued for new enrollees as of June 30, 2023. If you have a Saxenda® Savings Offer that you activated and redeemed on or before June 30, 2023, you can take advantage of its benefits until December 31, 2023, without additional action required.

Program website 

Phone number



Novo Nordisk

How much can I save?

If you have private or commercial insurance you may pay as little as $25 per 30-day supply (1 box) of Saxenda® subject to a maximum savings of $200 per 30-day supply. 

If you pay cash for your prescriptions, you can save up to $200 per 30-day supply (1 box) of Saxenda®.

Are there any restrictions?

You are not eligible if you are enrolled in any federal or state health care program with prescription drug coverage, such as Medicaid, Medicare, Medigap, VA, DOD, TRICARE, or any similar federal or state health care program (each a Government Program), or where prohibited by law.

Absent a change in Massachusetts law, effective January 1, 2021, the Savings Card is no longer valid for residents of Massachusetts.

To qualify for this card, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be commercially insured
  • Have insurance that provides coverage for Saxenda
  • Have a valid prescription for Saxenda
  • Live in the U.S.
  • Cannot be enrolled in any federal or state healthcare programs (e.g. Medicaid, Medicare, Medigap, VA, DOD, or TRICARE)
  • Cannot seek reimbursement through any such federal or state healthcare programs

How can I use Saxenda?

Saxenda is delivered via an injectable pen with ultra-fine needles, so typically, you’ll barely even feel it. You should read the instructions that come with your prescription, but here’s a brief summary:

  1. Pick an injection site: Either in your stomach area (abdomen), upper leg (thigh), or upper arm. 
  2. Prepare your pen: Read the label to check that you have the right type of medication. Make sure the liquid is clear and colorless.
  3. Attach a new needle: Needles are sold separately and may require a prescription in some states. Always use a new needle for each injection. Tear off the paper tab, push the needle straight into the pen and turn until it is on tight. Pull off both needle caps.
  4. Check the flow with each new pen: Check the flow before the first injection with each new pen or if the pen is dropped. Turn up the dose selector until the counter shows the flow check symbol. Press the dose button until the dose counter returns to 0. Make sure that a drop appears at the needle tip.
  5. Select your dose: Turn your dose selector until the dose counter is centered on your appropriate dose.
  6. Inject your dose: Insert the needle into your skin. Press and hold down the dose button until the dose counter shows 0. Keep the needle in your skin and count slowly to a full 6 seconds. 
  7. Remove the needle after your injection: Carefully remove the needle from the pen. Dispose of the needle appropriately in a sharps container. If a sharps container is not available, you can use a puncture-resistant container with a secure lid such as an empty laundry detergent bottle or coffee can. Put the cap back on the pen. 

Store new, unused Saxenda pens in the refrigerator. After first use, store in a refrigerator or at room temperature. Pens in use should be thrown away after 30 days even if they still have Saxenda left in them. Don’t freeze Saxenda. Saxenda that has been frozen must not be used.

You can find more detailed information on the Saxenda website.

How do I get a prescription for Saxenda with Sequence?

Your Sequence treatment plan will vary depending on your medical history, goals, and insurance coverage. Clinicians will often prescribe GLP-1 medications like Saxenda because of their clinical and practical weight-loss success. 

If you’re looking to get evaluated for a weight loss prescription, we’ll need a bit more information about you. Every member must match recommended medical criteria, meet with a Clinician, and discuss their medical needs to make sure pharmacological treatment is appropriate.

Here’s how to begin:

  1. Submit our short, 5-minute assessment to see if you qualify. 
  2. Fill out your medical history questionnaire and book your virtual consultation
  3. Get a custom plan from one of our board-certified medical providers

With Sequence, you’ll have access to a variety of resources that will support your weight loss comprehensively, including our team of fitness coaches and Registered Dietitians. If you qualify for a membership, you also get access to an expert Care Team, who will provide ongoing support. 

See if you qualify for the Sequence Program.

Dr. Spencer Nadolsky

About the Author

Dr. Spencer Nadolsky is a lipid specialist certified with the American Board of Obesity Medicine. He is the Medical Director of

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