Saxenda Side Effects, Cost Price, Effectiveness of Obesity Drug. Last December, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Saxenda as a treatment option for weight management. This FAQ is for those of you who are wondering about Saxenda side effects, whether the drug is the right one for you, the cost of the drug or the price you have to buy to get yourself some Saxenda, and more.
What are Serious Saxenda Side Effects? According to the FDA the following serious side effects are recorded for patients treated with Saxenda:
- gallbladder disease
- renal impairment
- suicidal thoughts
- increased heart rate (*Saxenda should be discontinued in patients who experience a sustained increase in resting heart rate.)
What About the Most Common Saxenda Side Effects? The following common side effects were observed during clinical trials:
- low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- decreased appetite
Any Other Adverse Effects a Patient Should Be Made Aware Of? From FDA:
Saxenda has a boxed warning stating that tumors of the thyroid gland (thyroid C-cell tumors) have been observed in rodent studies with Saxenda but that it is unknown whether Saxenda causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans.
Saxenda should not be used in patients with a personal or family history of MTC or in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (a disease in which patients have tumors in more than one gland in their body, which predisposes them to MTC).
May Children and Any Adult With Weight Issues Use Saxenda? No. The drug is not for children and is only approved for adults who fall under the following categories:
- adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater (obesity)
- or adults with a BMI of 27 or greater (overweight) who have at least one weight-related condition such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol (dyslipidemia)
If you are neither of the above, Saxenda is not for you. Oh, by the way, this is not an over-the-counter drug; it require’s your doctor’s prescription.
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How Effective is Saxenda? Separate clinical trials demonstrated the relative effectiveness of Saxenda among patients with type 2 diabetes and those without. Here are the results (via FDA):
Results from a clinical trial that enrolled patients without diabetes showed that patients had an average weight loss of 4.5 percent from baseline compared to treatment with a placebo (inactive pill) at one year. In this trial, 62 percent of patients treated with Saxenda lost at least 5 percent of their body weight compared with 34 percent of patients treated with placebo.
Results from another clinical trial that enrolled patients with type 2 diabetes showed that patients had an average weight loss of 3.7 percent from baseline compared to treatment with placebo at one year. In this trial, 49 percent of patients treated with Saxenda lost at least 5 percent of their body weight compared with 16 percent of patients treated with placebo.
The FDA adds that those using Saxenda “should be evaluated after 16 weeks to determine if the treatment is working. If a patient has not lost at least 4 percent of baseline body weight, Saxenda should be discontinued, as it is unlikely that the patient will achieve and sustain clinically meaningful weight loss with continued treatment.”
What is the Price Cost of Saxenda? Saxenda is expected to cost $25 a day according to futurepharma.com.
Will Saxenda Be Covered by Your Insurance? Whether or not you can charge Saxenda to your insurance company depends on your insurance plan. Citing a source, Kaiser Health News states that “about a third of companies don’t cover anti-obesity drugs at all, a third cover all FDA-approved weight-loss drugs, and a third cover them with restrictions to limit their use”.
Saxenda Side Effects, Cost Price, Effectiveness of Obesity Drug posted 19 February 2015. Updated 27 April 2017.