Saxenda vs. Wegovy: A Detailed Comparison!

If you are struggling to lose weight and believe that a healthy eating plan and regular physical activity are inadequate to help you shed some pounds, you may be interested in medications to help you. There are several medications recommended for weight loss, including Saxenda and Wegovy, though their effectiveness and possible side effects may differ.

People usually wonder if Saxenda is better than wegovy? Because Saxenda and Wegovy are both GLP-1 inhibitors, they induce weight loss in the same way. The main distinction between these two medications is that Wegovy is a once-weekly injection, but Saxenda has to be taken every day. Furthermore, Wegovy helps to promote weight loss more than Saxenda.

What exactly is wegovy?

Wegovy is the most recent authorized weight loss medicine. It is a naturally occurring glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist [1]. It is used to boost insulin release within your body, reducing your appetite, and keeping you fuller for longer, which in turn helps you to lose weight. Wegovy can help you lose weight and treat type 2 diabetes since it mimics the GLP-1 hormone.

Wegovy is FDA-approved to assist the patient to lose weight in addition to the right diet and exercise. Semaglutide is an approved drug in Wegovy for adults who are obese or have a weight-related illness such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol [2].

What exactly is saxenda?

Saxenda is a GLP-1 agonist too. It is also FDA-approved for adults [3] and fulfills the same requirements as Wegovy. But, unlike Wegovy, it is recommended for children aged 12 to 17 who are obese or overweight. When used together with a calorie-deficient diet and regular exercise, Saxenda improves the weight loss process.

This is an injected medication that has to be taken once daily with an injectable pen [4]. It is not approved for treating high blood sugar in type 2 diabetics, although it can be recommended for weight loss in people suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Saxenda vs wegovy: which is better?

Wegovy and Saxenda both function as GLP-1 inhibitors, hence these medications help people lose weight. Wegovy is administered through a weekly injection, but Saxenda has to be taken daily. This is the primary distinction between these two weight loss medications.

Moreover, some research suggests that Wegovy promotes higher weight reduction than Saxenda.

Wegovy vs Saxenda for weight loss

Semaglutide is found in Wegovy, while Liraglutide is found in Saxenda. Both Liraglutide and Semaglutide are prescription medications for weight loss. Both are given via injection, with Saxenda given once a day and Wegovy given once a week.

Both medications are effective at suppressing hunger and, when combined with a comprehensive medical weight loss program and a regular physical exercise routine, they can assist patients in losing weight. The prescribed medication that suits well for each patient depends on a number of circumstances, including the patient’s past medical history, overall fitness, favored way to administer the medication, and others.

Participants who took Wegovy observed a significant drop of an average of 16 percent of their weight throughout the course of a 68-week clinical trial, which was much higher than the 8 percent weight loss observed by participants given Saxenda. 

Is wegovy more effective than saxenda?

Although Wegovy and Saxenda perform in the same way, their results may differ.

A recent 68-week trial of nearly 300 people tested both medications head-to-head. People using Wegovy lost significantly more weight than those taking Saxenda when combined with diet and exercise. The Wegovy group dropped approximately 16% of their baseline body weight, compared to 6% in the Saxenda group [5].

Saxenda vs. wegovy side effects

The most common Wegovy and Saxenda side effects are gastrointestinal problems. This is because these medications cause your stomach to take a longer time to empty. These side effects are typically temporary. Slowly increasing your dose should help.

Both Saxenda and Wegovy have a few side effects in common. These are:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tiredness; and
  • Headaches and dizziness

More serious side effects of saxenda

Since Saxenda has been on the market, a few other serious side effects have been reported [6]. They are as follows:

  • Thyroid C-cell tumors [7]
  • Severe condition of an inflamed pancreas (generally known as Pancreatitis)  
  • An acute gallbladder condition, leading to the development of gallstones
  • Severe kidney damage and prevalent issues
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Low blood glucose levels (Hypoglycemia) in Type 2 Diabetes patients
  • Suicidal behavior and thoughts in patients
  • Gastritis, flatulence and other abdominal related illness

More severe side effects of wegovy

Some serious side effects have been reported after using Wegovy for a few days. Those side effects are as follows

  • Unexpected behavioral and emotional changes 
  • Thoughts and ideas of suicide and related actions 
  • Continuous feeling of dizziness, nausea, and vomiting
  • Lower blood glucose levels (Hypoglycemia) which can make you feel weak and dizzy
  • Pain or difficulty while urinating 
  • Unrecognized swelling in ankles, feet or neck
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Feeling trouble in swallowing food items and liquids
  • Observing certain symptoms of jaundice

Can you take wegovy and saxenda together?

It is not safe to use Wegovy and Saxenda together because their active components are quite identical to one another. Because of how similar these medications function within the body and would interact with one another, there is a greater chance of experiencing severe side effects, which could result in life-threatening diseases.

Both of these medications are GLP-1 blockers and thus, have an impact on blood glucose levels. Administering both of these medications at once drastically enhances your risk of hypoglycemia.

Is there any food interaction with saxenda or wegovy?

Certain foods are known to interact with Saxenda and Wegovy and thus are known for interactions with Liraglutide and Semaglutide drugs.

During the early stages of your treatment, you may notice that certain foods make you feel uneasy, or that certain things make you feel more nauseous than others. This varies from person to person, so foods that work for you may cause nausea in others.

Precautions to take while having saxenda or wegovy

Wegovy and Saxenda can lower blood sugar levels. You should be cautious if you combine them with other medications that affect your blood sugar. This is particularly true if you use insulin or insulin-releasing medications.

GLP-1 agonists also slow the emptying of the stomach. This could affect the absorption of other medications you’re taking. Once you begin taking Wegovy or Saxenda, you should keep an eye for any changes in your medications.

Switching from saxenda to wegovy

If you wish to switch between the two medications, you must have a record about which injection you last administered and when your last injection was. If you are already on Wegovy or Saxenda and are thinking of changing your medication, you should first consult with your healthcare professional to explore your choices and which therapy would be best for you.

You can start administering Wegovy injections the day after your last Saxenda dosage, if you’re going from Liraglutide to Semaglutide. On the other hand, before administering Saxenda, you must wait for a week between injections if you’re changing from Wegovy to Saxenda [8].

Of course, it is important to remember that treatment plans vary according to individual circumstances. Trust your doctor and completely follow their advice because these medications work differently for everyone.

FAQs

What is the most effective time to take saxenda?

Saxenda is an injectable medicine that is taken once daily. You can inject it whenever it is most convenient for you (for instance, before breakfast, lunch, dinner, or bedtime), but it should be taken around the same time every day.

How long can you take wegovy?

Wegovy is one of the six FDA-approved medications for the long-term treatment of obesity. As such, it can be used indefinitely as long as it is useful for weight reduction and does not cause intolerable adverse effects.

When do you start losing weight with wegovy?

Around week 60, participants’ weight begins to drop considerably. Several studies have shown that once the medicine is stopped, there is a quick regain in weight. When the medicine was stopped, the weight quickly returned to normal.

What Wegovy doses are available on the market?

Wegovy is available in a prefilled injection in certain doses, mainly 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 1.7 mg, or 2.4 mg. Wegovy should be administered once per week, with or without a meal. It must be taken on the same day every week. Simply inject the medication pen into the belly, thigh, or upper arm.

Do the side effects of wegovy go away?

As your body gets used to the prescribed medication, you may experience that wegovy side effects completely disappear. You can also take steps to avoid or reduce some of the side effects mentioned by your healthcare provider.

Wrapping Up

When administered along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, these prescription medications can help you lose weight. BothSaxenda and Wegovy are costly injectable medications with similar side effects. When compared, Wegovy has been shown to result in greater weight loss.

If other weight loss medications haven’t been effective for you, consult your doctor. They might suggest Wegovy or Saxenda as good options for you.

References

  1. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. “FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014.” U.S. Food & Drug Administration, (2021).
  2. U.S. FDA. “WEGOVY (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use Initial U.S. Approval.” (2017).
  3. U.S. FDA. “SAXENDA (liraglutide [rDNA origin] injection), solution for subcutaneous use Initial U.S. Approval.” (2014).
  4. National Library of Medicine. “Liraglutide Injection.” MedlinePlus.
  5. National Library of Medicine. “Effect of Weekly Subcutaneous Semaglutide vs Daily Liraglutide on Body Weight in Adults With Overweight or Obesity Without Diabetes: The STEP 8 Randomized Clinical Trial.” Pubmed.gov, (2022).
  6. Young-Gyun Seo. “Side Effects Associated with Liraglutide Treatment for Obesity as Well as Diabetes.” J Obes Metab Syndr vol. 30,1 (2021): 12-19
  7. Donnie Funch. “Risk of Thyroid Cancer Associated with Use of Liraglutide and Other Antidiabetic Drugs in a US Commercially Insured Population.” Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes vol. 14 (2021): 2619-2629
  8. Jaime P. Almandoz. “Switching Between Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists: Rationale and Practical Guidance.” Clin Diabetes vol. 38,4 (2020): 390-402
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