Switching from Saxenda to Wegovy: is it possible? The image shows a Saxenda and a Wegovy injectable pen.

Switching from Saxenda to Wegovy: is it possible?

October 26. 2023

Are you considering switching from Saxenda to Wegovy? A weight loss journey rarely is a straight path; there is no one-fits-all solution to lose weight. While both medications are highly effective, one can suit you better and provide more weight loss.

When comparing Saxenda vs. Wegovy, you may find that one fits your schedule and goals better. Or perhaps you started one thinking it would work, but it turns out your body never adapted to the medication’s side effects. Jumping from one drug to another is no joke, but if a medication is not providing results, you can always try another way. As long as you do it safely and under the guidance of a healthcare professional, switching medical weight loss programs is possible.

Have you tried Saxenda but think it’s time to try a new path? Wegovy could be the solution to reach your dream weight without further delays.

What are GLP-1 weight loss medications?

Receptor agonist medications are taking the weight loss world by storm. In the last few years, they have become one of the most powerful tools to shed away extra pounds. These drugs could be the best ally to battle the obesity epidemic America is currently facing.

In simple words, receptor agonists are chemicals that activate naturally occurring hormones that promote weight loss in different ways. In the case of Saxenda and Wegovy, these weight loss drugs’ respective active ingredients activate the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) hormone. That is why they are called GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs. However, new and more powerful medications are being developed each year. For example, retatrutide is now in the last clinical trials and development stages. This drug will be a triple receptor agonist, activating three hormones that support weight loss. Only imagine the weight loss possibilities.

With new receptor agonist medications launching every year and leveling up the game, it is not uncommon that you want to find out if switching from Saxenda to Wegovy is possible.

Wegovy and Saxenda share a similar story; each drug’s active ingredients were supposed to be something other than weight loss tools. Both drugs were first used to treat type 2 diabetes, but their ability to promote weight loss was so significant it couldn’t go unnoticed. The two medications are also manufactured by the same pharmaceutical, same as Ozempic weight loss.

An overview of Saxenda

This FDA-approved chronic weight management medication was launched in 2014 by Novo Nordisk Pharmaceutical. Saxenda’s active ingredient is liraglutide, first used to develop Victoza, a medication to reduce blood glucose levels. During clinical trials, liraglutide proved incredibly effective in promoting weight loss, and Saxenda came to life.

Liraglutide comes as a liquid solution inside injectable pens, and you must take your shot every day. The drug has a titration period in which you take a low dose until your body adapts to the medication. You will increase the dosage weekly until reaching the maximum allowed – 3mg daily.

Saxenda activates the GLP-1 gut hormone and expands its half-life. With liraglutide, GLP-1 becomes more powerful and increases its effects. That hormone induces insulin secretion and reduces glucose production. That effect causes food to travel slower through your digestive system and remain in your stomach for longer.

GLP-1 also targets the hypothalamus, the hunger region in the brain, decreasing food-seeking behavior. The GLP-1 hormone actions lead to appetite suppression, which will help you achieve your dream weight. Since Saxenda promotes weight loss by decreasing hunger, a Saxenda meal plan and regular physical activity are a must to reach your goals.

Key points of Wegovy

Wegovy’s active ingredient is semaglutide, which was first used to develop Ozempic. Ozempic was meant to treat type 2 diabetes, but this drug’s powerful weight loss side effect took all the attention. In no time, the world experienced an Ozempic shortage due to the high demand. Novo Nordisk heard that demand and launched Wegovy, a drug that uses the same active compound but aims to promote body weight reduction.

The FDA granted Wegovy approval in 2021, making it the first weight loss drug to get approval since 2014. Are Ozempic and Wegovy the same? Both drugs share the same active ingredient, but Wegovy comes in higher dosages, making it more effective for weight loss.

Semaglutide also activates the GLP-1 hormone, so Wegovy’s mechanism of action is very similar to Saxenda’s. Wegovy supports weight loss and getting rid of insulin resistance belly fat by reducing appetite and decreasing cravings for unhealthy foods. This weight loss medication is also administered through injectable pens and has a titration period, just like Saxenda. However, you must take Wegovy only once a week, always on the same day.

Reasons for switching from Saxenda to Wegovy

Since these two medications are highly efficient and very similar, why would someone want to trade them? Well, while Wegovy and Saxenda have a lot in common, each drug has unique features, and one could be more suitable for you. These are the most common reasons why switching from Saxenda to Wegovy could benefit you:

Dosage schedule

Following the dosage schedule is crucial for medications to work. In the case of Saxenda and Wegovy, they have entirely different dosage regimes.

With Saxenda, you must take your shot every day, ideally around the same time of the day. On the other hand, you must take Wegovy only once a week, always on the same day.

Do you find it challenging to make time to take Saxenda every day? The Wegovy weekly regime may fit better into your schedule if you have a busy lifestyle. That weekly schedule can also be more suitable if you travel often; traveling with Ozempic or Wegovy can be more practical than taking Saxenda with you.

Side effects

Since both medications activate the GLP-1 hormone that affects our digestive system, they have a list of similar side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach upset
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

While Saxenda and Wegovy cause the same mild side effects, some people experience fewer gastrointestinal-related symptoms with Wegovy. That’s likely because side effects often appear when you increase the dosage; Saxenda’s dose is increased weekly, while Wegovy only once a month. Adverse effects are also more prompt right after you take the shot; since you must take Wegovy once a week, you probably experience symptoms less often.

Does Saxenda make you tired? A reduced number of patients have reported feeling fatigued while taking Saxenda. If you are among them and that symptom is disrupting your lifestyle, it’s understandable you want to switch.

Rare but severe adverse effects of Saxenda and Wegovy may include low blood sugar levels, pancreatitis, kidney problems, and severe allergic reactions.

Weight loss effectiveness

Wegovy and Saxenda are two of the most potent weight-loss drugs on the market; you are in good hands regardless of which one you choose. However, one of them promotes more weight loss.

While using Saxenda, most people lose about 6.4% of body weight; an average of 30% of users lose up to 10%.

With Wegovy, most patients experience around 15% of body weight reduction. During clinical trials, 30% of participants taking Wegovy lost up to 20% of their body weight.

That is the main reason why people ask about switching from Saxenda to Wegovy. If you are looking to lose a more significant amount of weight, semaglutide is the best option.

Your body’s response to the drug

Not all bodies respond the same to different medications. While Saxenda may have done wonders for someone you know, it could not work for you. That is rare, but sometimes the body decides not to react to a drug as it should.

If you don’t experience any changes 16 weeks into a medical weight loss treatment, your doctor will advise you to quit the medication. If that is your case with Saxenda, you can try switching drugs to achieve weight loss.

How to switch medications safely

Switching from Saxenda to Wegovy is possible and not challenging, but there is no “best” way to do it. Each case is unique and will require personalized guidance from a weight loss clinic in Chicago healthcare professionals.

You may have to stop taking Saxenda before switching to Wegovy to make the transition smoother. That will depend on which dosage you were on, personal needs and goals, health conditions, etc.

Remember that when changing medications, you will have to learn a new dosage schedule and commit to a semaglutide diet plan and physical activity for the drug to work.

Final thoughts

Quitting a weight loss drug to start a new one is possible. The most crucial aspect of switching from Saxenda to Wegovy is doing so by consulting a healthcare professional. Never change drugs without first consulting with your doctor; that can lead to unfortunate, dangerous results or the medication losing effectiveness. Are you thinking about switching between two weight-loss medications? We can help you complete that process smoothly. Schedule a call with our team today and find out more!

Nurse Walton


Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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