How to stop Saxenda and switch to Wegovy

Many Saxenda patents are considering the switch to Wegovy when it launches this year. If you’ve been taking Saxenda, buying Wegovy may be a good alternative to help you with weight loss.

We understand that switching from one weight loss medication to another may be daunting. That’s why we’ve created this guide to walk you through the process if you choose to make the switch.

Why switch from Saxenda to Wegovy?

Saxenda was a game changer when it came onto the weight loss scene here in the UK back in 2017. The drug, liraglutide, was originally a diabetes medication called Victoza that was found to have appetite suppressing effects. Manufacturer Novo Nordisk therefore created a version of liraglutide called Saxenda to be used as a treatment for weight loss.

Wegovy has a very similar origin story. The active ingredient in Wegovy, semaglutide, is also used in a medication called Ozempic used to treat type 2 diabetes. As a GLP-1 agonist like liraglutide, semaglutide can also suppress appetite in the same way.

The difference between the two? Semaglutide has been found to be around 3x as effective for weight loss compared to liraglutide. Not only is Wegovy more effective, it also only requires a weekly injection instead of a daily one.

That said, switching to Wegovy may not be the right choice for everyone. If Saxenda is working well for you and you’re happy to continue with your daily injections, there’s no obligation to change course.

Side effects of stopping Saxenda

Starting Saxenda can come with a heap of concerns, and stopping it is no different. Saxenda isn’t an addictive drug, so you won’t get withdrawal symptoms once you’ve stopped taking it.

However, while you won’t be dependent on the drug, you may still experience some unwanted symptoms when you stop your treatment. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting and changes in appetite.

It is important to speak with your doctor or prescriber before deciding whether to stop or stay on Saxenda - don’t try to stop your treatment without medical supervision.

How to stop taking Saxenda and start Wegovy

If you’re taking Saxenda, stopping and restarting on a different drug can seem intimidating. We’re here to help with our step-by-step guide on how to switch over.

As with any other prescription medicine, you should only stop or change your treatment if your doctor or prescriber recommends it.

Step 1 – Speak to your prescriber

If you’re thinking of making the switch from Saxenda to Wegovy, the first thing you’ll need to do is contact your prescriber. They’ll go over your progress on Saxenda and help you decide whether starting Wegovy is the right step forward for you.

If you’re receiving Saxenda through an NHS weight management programme, it’s important to note that Wegovy is not yet available on the NHS. That means if you want to switch to Wegovy, you’d have to go through a private prescriber and fund treatment yourself.

If your prescriber agrees that switching to Wegovy is the right choice for you and that they would be happy to prescribe your new medication, you can move on to the next steps.

Step 2 – Decide whether to stop Saxenda suddenly or slowly

As liraglutide (Saxenda) isn’t addictive, you can decide to stop taking it straight away. However, your doctor or prescriber will more likely recommend you to reduce your dose gradually.

This is because stopping Saxenda suddenly is more likely to result in side effects like nausea and vomiting. These side effects occur due to the sudden change in hunger hormones and should subside once your digestive system has adjusted.

Step 3 – Make a plan

Speak with your prescriber to decide when you’re ready to stop or gradually reduce your Saxenda treatment. Make sure to be aware of the potential side effects and plan for these in advance.

You may want to stock up on bland, easy-to-digest foods or even anti-sickness treatments to help you along while your body gets used to the change in hormones. If you experienced side effects when you first started taking Saxenda, try to remember what helped you manage them.

You should also consider when you’re going to make the switch from Wegovy to Saxenda. For example, it may be easier to change your medication at the weekend or when you’ll have some time to yourself so you can manage any symptoms if you need to.

Step 4 – Start taking Wegovy

Once you have successfully stopped taking Saxenda, it’s time to start taking Wegovy. Your prescriber will let you know what the dosing schedule is - just like Saxenda, it’s important to follow the recommended titration path to gradually get your body used to the medication.

Don’t forget, Wegovy is a once-weekly injection rather than once-daily. It should be taken on the same day each week, any time of day, with or without food.

We understand how daunting changing your medication can seem, so we hope this guide has helped clear up how straightforward it is to switch from Saxenda to Wegovy.

Of course, make sure to ask your prescriber if you have any other questions about the switching process, and don’t change your treatment plan without getting expert medical advice.

Faye Bonnell - Medical Content Writer
James O'Loan - CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist
James O'Loan , CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist on 02 February 2023
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