What’s The Dosage of Saxenda and How Many Pens Will I Need?
What’s The Dosage of Saxenda and How Many Pens Will I Need?
This content has been reviewed and approved for quality and accuracy by James O'Loan (GPhC: 2084549)
Saxenda Titration and How Your Dose Will Increase
So you’ve considered taking Saxenda for weight loss, but you’re finding the dosing a little bit confusing.
Why do you need to increase your dose and how does that work when you’re administering the injections yourself?
We’re here to answer all of your questions and more, so you can fathom the mystery of taking the skinny jab and get your dose right every time.
How do I take Saxenda?
Saxenda is a weight loss medication that is given by injection, which is why it’s also known as the skinny jab or skinny pen.
It’s quick and easy to do, you just prime the pen, select your dose, and then inject it under your skin.
The pen is designed to make the injections easy for you to administer to yourself once a day, so you’ll have complete control over when and where you take the medication.
If you’re not a fan of needles then you’ll be pleased to know that the needle cartridges that fit into the pen use thin needles which are designed to reduce pain as much as possible.
Of course, there’s a lot more we could say about using the pen itself, so we did!
We’ve written a handy guide about how to take Saxenda, so you can get into the details and work out whether it’s the kind of treatment you’ll be able to use every day.
What is titration?
Titration is just a fancy name for starting medication with a lower dose and slowly building up your dosage over time.
It’s a common practice that’s used with lots of different medications, including liraglutide (the active ingredient in Saxenda).
Titration is done for two reasons, firstly, to help you and your doctor to determine what dose is right for you, taking factors like side effects and the effectiveness of your medication into account.
Secondly, it helps your body to adjust to the new medication you’re taking.
Some medications can have harsher side effects when taken with a full dose right away, but if you give your body time to slowly adjust to smaller amounts of the drug at a time then it can handle the treatment much easier.
How much Saxenda should I use?
When you start to take Saxenda you’ll start with a smaller dosage and gradually build up the amount you’re using until you’re taking a full dose every day.
You should always follow the dosage instructions given to you by your doctor, but most people will follow a pattern of increasing your dose by 0.6mg every week, starting at a 0.6mg daily dose of liraglutide and finishing with a maximum of 3mg a day.
We’ve created this handy chart to show you how much you should be taking during the first 2 months of your treatment and onwards.
Your Saxenda dosing schedule chart
How do I change the dose on my skinny pen?
When you get your Saxenda skinny pen, you’ll notice a small window at the end of the pen with a number in it next to the letters mg.
This is where you choose the dosage you’re going to use before you take your injection every day.
You’ll twist the end of the cap until it shows the dose you’re going to use, for example, if you’re in week 2 of your treatment you’ll twist the cap until the numbers read 1.2mg.
Each pen is capable of giving doses of up to 3mg at a time, so you won’t have to switch to a different pen to change your dosage at the end of the week.
How many skinny pens will I need?
The number of skinny pens you will need for your treatment will depend on how far along you are in the titration process.
For the first month, you will usually need 3 pens, one for the first 17 days, another for the next 8 days, and a third to take you to the end of the month.
By then you’ll usually have gone through the process and will be taking 3mg doses every day.
When you’ve got to this point, each pen will last you for 6 days, so you’ll typically need 5 pens to get you through an entire month.
It might sound complicated, to begin with, but trust me, it’s much more straight forward than it sounds and you’ll get used to it pretty quickly.
Can I split my Saxenda dose?
During your first month, you will usually need to split one of your Saxenda doses between two pens.
This is perfectly fine, but you’ll need to pay close attention to what your dose should be and how much you will need to use from each pen.
Typically, when you finish your second pen you’ll be taking a 2.4mg dose every day but will have 1.2mg left in your pen.
In this case, you’ll take 1.2mg from one pen and 1.2mg from your third pen to complete your dose.
Each pen contains 18mg of liraglutide, so when you’re taking the maximum dose of 3mg a day you won’t need to worry about splitting your dose across pens, it will usually only be needed when you switch from your second to third pen.
Can I increase my liraglutide dose early?
We do not recommend increasing the dose of liraglutide earlier than you need to unless you’ve been told to do so by your doctor.
The titration process is designed to help you get to the right dose you need with as few side effects as possible, and increasing too quickly can make your side effects worse.
We understand that at the beginning of your weight-loss treatment you might be eager to get started and see the effects of this medication right away, but trust me, slow increases to your dose are the way to go.
Will changing my dose affect the side effects I experience?
Everyone has the potential to experience side effects of liraglutide, even when you’re increasing as slowly as you should.
Often, these side effects will be minor and will get better as your body gets used to the treatment.
As you slowly increase your dosage, you may find that any minor side effects you are experiencing get a little worse when you increase your dose and then tail off again throughout the week.
By the time you’re at the highest recommended dose, your body will have slowly gotten used to the medication and you’ll often find that any side effects will finally reduce for good.
Of course, if you do experience any side effects while taking Saxenda, we’d recommend speaking to your doctor or pharmacist so they can check that your treatment is going as well as it should and that there’s nothing to worry about.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you forget to take your Saxenda at the usual time then the first thing you should do is check how long it’s been since you were due to take your dose.
Depending on how much time has passed, you might still be able to take your injection today.
Here’s a basic breakdown of what you should do next:
- If it’s been less than 12 hours since your usual dose time you should inject your next dose as soon as you remember to. The next day you can take your usual dose at your usual time
- If it’s been more than 12 hours since your usual dose time you should skip this dose and carry on, as usual, the next day.
- Never take 2 doses in one day to make up for a missed dose. Always stick to the dose you should be taking at your stage of the dosage plan. Taking too much Saxenda can make you very ill so you should seek immediate medical attention if you accidentally take a double dose
- If you’re ever unsure, remember to speak to a doctor or nurse about what you should do next
Well, hopefully that’s made your dosing schedule a lot easier to understand and you feel more confident in taking the skinny jab for yourself.
Remember, if you’re ever unsure, your pharmacy team are always here to help, so don’t be afraid to ask!