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What foods should I avoid while on Saxenda?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on July 18, 2022.

Official answer


There are no specific foods you must avoid while taking Saxenda (liraglutide), but you should follow a reduced calorie diet and increase your physical activity, as directed by your healthcare provider, when you start taking this medicine. Stay on this program while you are taking Saxenda.

Related: What should I eat on a low-fat diet?

When you start Saxenda, your doctor will start with a lower dose and slowly increase it over 5 weeks to help lower your risk for nausea (feeling sick to your stomach). Nausea is the most common side effect when you first start this treatment, but it should decrease over time as your body gets used to the medicine. Other common stomach side effects include diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting.

If you develop an upset stomach and nausea when starting Saxenda, try these tips to help:

  • Eat bland, low-fat foods, like crackers, toast, and rice
  • Avoid spicy foods or those high in fat (fried foods, fast-food items)
  • Eat foods that contain water like soups and gelatin
  • Avoid sugary foods or desserts
  • Don't lie down after you eat
  • Get some fresh air outside
  • Avoid tight clothing

If you take too much Saxenda, call your doctor right away. Injecting too much Saxenda may cause severe nausea and vomiting, and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

The Saxenda brand of liraglutide is NOT used for treating type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The Victoza brand of liraglutide is only used to treat type 2 diabetes, but may also help you lose some weight. Do not use Saxenda and Victoza at the same time.

How can I prevent an upset stomach with Saxenda?

To help prevent nausea when starting Saxenda, your doctor will slowly increase your dose over 5 weeks as follows:

  • You start Saxenda with a 0.6 milligram (mg) subcutaneous injection each day in your first week.
  • In week two, you will increase your daily dose to 1.2 mg.
  • In the third week, you increase your daily dose to 1.8 mg.
  • In the fourth week, increase your daily dose to 2.4 mg.
  • In the fifth week and thereafter, you increase your dose to the full dose of 3 mg. Stay on this dose unless your healthcare provider tells you to change it.

A doctor may reduce a child's dose to 2.4 mg daily if the maximum dose is not tolerated.

You inject Saxenda subcutaneously (under the skin) once daily at any time of day, but it's best to get into a routine of injecting it the same time of day so you don't forget your dose. You can take Saxenda with or without food.

If you miss more than 3 doses of Saxenda, contact your doctor as you will need to restart the medicine slowly over time at a lower dose (called dose titration) to help avoid an upset stomach.

Before starting Saxenda, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you have any problems with your stomach, such as slowed emptying of your stomach (gastroparesis) or problems with digestion.

How much do I have to weigh to use Saxenda?

Saxenda is used for adults with excess weight (BMI ≥27) who also have weight-related medical problems (such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol) or obesity (BMI ≥30).

Learn more: How to Calculate Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

It is also approved to be used in children aged 12-17 years with a body weight above 132 pounds (60 kg) and obesity to help them lose weight and keep the weight off.

Saxenda is used with a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity.

This is not all the information you need to know about Saxenda (liraglutide) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of your doctor’s directions. Review the full Saxenda information and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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