Like all medicines, Saxenda can cause side effects, although
not everybody gets them.
The most common adverse events experienced with Saxenda are
gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. The 4-week dose-escalation schedule was
designed to minimise GI symptoms and most GI symptoms are mild to moderate and
transient . (1)
What if I feel sick?
If you experience any nausea, it is advisable to eat
smaller meals, stop eating when full and to make sure that you follow the dose
What if I have diarrhoea or an upset
You may experience diarrhoea or constipation. In both cases
it is very important to stay well hydrated. You can drink lots of
fluids, such as water or squash – take small sips if you feel sick but do not
have fruit juice or fizzy drinks as they can make diarrhoea worse.
If the diarrhoea persists then you can buy either oral rehydration sachets you mix with water
to make a drink or medicine to stop diarrhoea for a few hours (like loperamide) from your local pharmacy. (2)
What if I am constipated?
To relieve constipation drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol, increase the fibre in your diet or add some wheat bran, oats or linseed to
your diet. A daily walk or run can help you too as well as contributing
to your weight loss! (3)
How do I prevent indigestion?
Indigestion can be remedied by cutting down on tea, coffee,
cola or alcohol. Also, propping your head and shoulders up in bed can stop
stomach acid coming up while you sleep.
Try to eat 3 to 4 hours before going to bed and avoid rich,
spicy or fatty foods. Avoid taking ibuprofen or aspirin as this can make
indigestion worse. If you smoke, cutting down can help too.
If you are still suffering, then your local pharmacy can
help with medicines that help reduce acid in your stomach such as antacids and proton pump inhibitors (like Omeprazole 10mg). (4)
medicines are best taken after eating as their effects last longer. Check the
information leaflet that comes with the medicines for more information.
What if I can’t sleep?
If you experience
insomnia, then you can try changing your bedtime routine.
Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day
and only go to bed when you feel tired. Relax at least 1 hour before bed by
taking a bath or reading a book. Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet by
using thick curtains, black out blinds, wearing an eye mask or ear plugs.
Exercising regularly during the day will help and make sure that
you are comfortable in bed. (5)
What if I’m showing signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)?
Early signs of a
low blood sugar level include:
- feeling tired
- feeling hungry
- tingling lips
- feeling shaky or trembling
- a fast or pounding heartbeat (palpitations)
- becoming easily irritated, tearful, anxious or moody
- turning pale
If you experience any of the above then have a snack that
contains a slow-release carbohydrate, such as a slice of bread or toast, a
banana or a glass of cows' milk.
For a full range of potential
side-effects visit https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.2313.pdf
However, most people only
experience very mild side-effects that last only a short time as your body gets
used to Saxenda and some people don’t have any at all.
If you would like to learn more about Saxenda and how it works, click this link.
- Novo Nordisk Limited. Saxenda Summary of Product Characteristics [cited 2nd March 2021] https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/2313#gref
- NHS diarrhoea and vomiting [cited 2nd March 2021] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diarrhoea-and-vomiting/
- NHS Constipation [cited 2nd March 2021] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/constipation/
- NHS Indigestion [cited 2nd March 2021] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/indigestion/
- NHS. Insomnia [cited 2nd March 2021] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insomnia/
- NHS. Hypoglycaemia [cited 2nd March 2021] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/low-blood-sugar-hypoglycaemia/