What to expect when using Saxenda in week two
What to expect when using Saxenda in week two
Welcome to your second week of taking Saxenda for weight loss. Hopefully, you have formed a regular medication routine by now and are comfortable using the injection pen daily.
Your dosage for week two
As you increase your dosage to 1.2mg, it’s important to be aware of any potential side effects that may occur. Remember that most side effects are just your body’s way of adjusting to medication, which is common. However, if any symptoms persist, or are severe or intolerable, reach out to your medical team via your patient portal.
Saxenda mimics a natural hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). GLP-1 is a hormone released by the intestines in response to consuming food, and it helps regulate blood sugar levels and appetite. By activating GLP-1 receptors in the body, Saxenda can cause changes in blood sugar levels, gastric emptying, and other physiological processes. These changes are why side effects may occur when your body adjusts to the weekly medication dose increases over the next few weeks.
Let’s look at some of the most common side effects and how to help manage any symptoms you may experience until your body tolerates the medication.
Feeling nauseous or sick as a side effect of weight loss medication can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. It may feel like you are on the verge of vomiting, or your stomach is upset, uneasy or slightly uncomfortable. You may feel weak or tired and have a loss of appetite. If you do experience nausea, some things that may help include:
- Eating smaller, more frequent meals: Eating smaller meals throughout the day can help keep your stomach from feeling too empty, which can help reduce feelings of nausea.
- Avoiding fatty or spicy foods: These foods can irritate your stomach and worsen nausea, so it’s best to avoid them and choose bland-type foods.
- Staying hydrated: It’s important to drink plenty of fluids to help prevent dehydration, which can worsen nausea.
- Trying ginger: Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce nausea and is available in ginger tea, ginger travel calm products or gingernut biscuits.
- Lifestyle behaviours: Try not to lie down after you eat, and go outside to get some fresh air during the day.
Diarrhoea and Constipation
Diarrhoea occurs when the food and fluids you consume move too quickly through the digestive system, preventing the body from absorbing water and nutrients properly, leading to loose or watery stools. Conversely, constipation is when the foods and fluids you consume move too slowly through the digestive system, allowing the body to pull too much water from the waste, causing solid or compacted stools. Both can be accompanied by abdominal cramping, bloating, and dehydration. Several dietary changes may help reduce these symptoms:
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids to help prevent dehydration. Water, sports drinks, and clear broths are good options to drink regularly.
- Incorporate fibre: Adding more foods with fibre can help bulk up your stools and support the easy-passing of stools through the digestive system. Good sources of fibre include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
- Avoid trigger foods: Certain foods can make symptoms worse, such as dairy products, fatty or spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol. It’s best to avoid these foods until your symptoms improve.
If constipation continues, try Benefiber daily or a mild short-term natural laxative like Senna, taken as required.
Headaches can feel different for each person; however, some common symptoms may include a dull ache or pressure in the head, sensitivity to light or sound, and tension or tightness in the neck or shoulders. Headaches can be mild, moderate, or severe and may last a few hours to several days. This side effect of weight loss injections may occur as a result of dehydration or changes in blood sugar levels; therefore, it is important to:
- Eat small meals or snacks regularly: This helps to balance blood sugar levels. Choose high-fibre, low-fat options like fruits, whole grains and lean protein sources.
- Stay hydrated: Dehydration can trigger headaches. Drink constantly throughout the day rather than lots all at once.
- Manage Stress: Find ways to help reduce stress. Consider techniques such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing exercises.
- Get enough sleep: Adequate sleep is vital for overall health and can help prevent headaches. Aim for 7-8 hours of good quality sleep each night.
- Take over-the-counter pain relief: Paracetamol can help relieve headache pain.
Experiencing dizziness may feel like the world is moving (vertigo) or a sense of lightheadedness or unsteadiness on your feet, leading to loss of balance. Changes in blood pressure and blood sugar levels often cause dizziness. To support any challenges with this side effect, be sure to:
- Get up slowly: When you get up from a lying or sitting position, do so slowly to allow your body time to adjust and prevent dizziness.
- Increase hydration: Drinking regularly throughout the day can assist blood pressure.
- Eat regularly: Skipping meals or going too long without eating can cause blood sugar levels to drop, leading to dizziness.
- If feeling dizzy, do not operate machinery or undertake strenuous exercise.
It’s important to monitor the injection site when using Saxenda medication. You may experience mild redness, itching, firm lumps under the skin, or bruising, all of which are normal. However, if you notice any severe or persistent symptoms like swelling, pain, or infection, reach out to your medical team immediately.
To minimise discomfort and potential side effects, rotate the injection site daily and avoid injecting into the same area repeatedly. Additionally, use a new needle every time you administer the medication to ensure safety and effectiveness.
It’s important to understand that not everyone experiences side effects when starting Saxenda medication. If you do, these helpful tips should assist you in managing any symptoms. Remember, managing your health and weight loss is a journey; every step counts towards achieving your goals. Stay positive, keep motivated, and make the most of the resources available to you, so you can overcome any challenges or side effects you may encounter.
For more information, click here to read the complete Consumer Medicine Information guide.