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Why am I not losing weight on Saxenda?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Nov 22, 2022.

Official answer


It takes time to lose weight with Saxenda. In adults, it may take about 8 weeks before you start to see a significant weight loss (at least 5%) with Saxenda. In the first 2 to 4 weeks you may lose about 2% to 4% of your weight. You should also follow a long-term, reduced-calorie diet and exercise program as prescribed by your doctor for the best weight loss results.

Your dose is initially slowly increased over 4 to 5 weeks to help prevent stomach side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

Talk to your doctor, nurse, or dietitian about your weight loss plan if you need help sticking to your goals. They can help you make changes that can increase your success.

When will I start losing weight with Saxenda?

Some people starting losing weight in the first 2 to 4 weeks after starting treatment with Saxenda. In studies, significant weight loss of at least 5% was seen after 8 weeks of treatment. After one year of treatment in adults, 85% of patients treated with Saxenda lost weight (an average of 21 lb. [9.5 kg] weight loss, or 9.2% of their weight). Your results may be different.

You will follow up with your doctor within at least 16 weeks after starting Saxenda to see if it’s working well for you. If you have not lost at least 4% of your body weight at this time, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it. Even though patients may be doing everything they are supposed to, not everyone will lose enough weight on Saxenda to be able to stay on treatment.

There are other options for weight loss, including different medicines and weight loss surgery. Your doctor can discuss these choices with you.

Learn more: How does Saxenda work?

Does everyone lose weight on Saxenda?

Not everyone loses weight with Saxenda, but studies show that most people do when added to a regular diet and exercise plan over a one-year time frame.

In studies done over a 56-week period, people at the start of one study had an average BMI of 38.3 kg/m2 and average body weight of 233.9 lbs (106.3 kg). Weight loss was defined as any reduction in weight from the start of the trial.

There were 2 groups: those that received Saxenda (2,487 patients) and those that received a placebo, an inactive treatment (1,244 patients). Both groups also followed a reduced calorie diet (500 less calories per day) and instructions on an exercise plan.

  • With Saxenda treatment, 62.3% of patients lost at least 5% of their weight (an average of 11.7 lb. [5.3 kg]) compared to 34.4% of those on placebo. On average, significant weight loss with Saxenda took 8 weeks.
  • In the same study, 33.9% of patients lost at least 10% of their weight (an average weight loss of 23.4 lb [10.6 kg]) compared to 15.4% of patients in the placebo group.
  • Although not evaluated as a primary study endpoint, some people lost 20% or more of their weight, with 6% of people on Saxenda losing an average of 46.8 lb. (21.3 kg), compared to a 3% of those on placebo.

Related Questions

Will I regain the weight if I stop Saxenda?

If you stop treatment with Saxenda you will likely regain your weight loss. However, research has shown that if you stay on treatment, your weight loss can be maintained. Studies that were 3 years long showed that more than half of patients taking Saxenda achieved clinically meaningful weight loss in the first year and maintained it at the 3 year timepoint.

Be sure to work with your healthcare providers your to learn how a proper diet and ongoing exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Select Warnings

The Saxenda brand of liraglutide is NOT used to treat type 1 diabetes 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.

Do not use Saxenda if you or anyone in your family has ever had a type of thyroid cancer called
medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

Related: Saxenda Warnings, Side Effects and Drugs Interactions (in detail)

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 product information and discuss this and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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