Appetite Suppressant FAQFAQs about Adipex-P, Belviq, Contrave, Saxenda, Qsymia, etc..
This information does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment. If you have any additional questions, give us a call or send an email.
General Appetite Suppressants FAQ
Do prescription Appetite Suppressants / weight loss medications really work?
Yes. With a low calorie diet and exercising daily, along with the appetite suppressants, your body fat should decrease significantly in a short time period.
Even modest weight loss can improve your overall health significantly by:
- Decreasing blood pressure
- Decreasing lipid levels
- Decreasing blood glucose levels
- Increasing insulin sensitivity
Do I qualify for Appetite Suppressants?
The medical weight loss is intended for people who have had a hard time losing weight by only diet and exercise. It is also for people who have certain health issues that affect their weight. It is based on your body mass. Before you are prescribed to the medication, the health professional will go over all side effects and if your on other medication, they will go over any interaction if any.
Some medications that can interact with Appetite Suppressants include but are not limited to certain, anti-psychotics, anti-depressants and amphetamines. Please check with your physician to make sure any medications you are taking do not interact.
Phentermine & Adipex-P FAQ
What is the most important information I should know about Adipex-P (Phentermine)?
Phentermine is used together with diet and exercise to treat obesity (overweight) in people with risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
Do not use phentermine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.
You should not take phentermine if you have a history of heart disease, severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure, overactive thyroid, glaucoma, if you are in an agitated state, or if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
Do not use phentermine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Adipex-P (Phentermine)?
Do not use phentermine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
You should not take phentermine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- a history of heart disease (coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension)
- severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure
- overactive thyroid
- if you are pregnant or breast-feeding
- if you are in an agitated state
- if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse; or
- if you are allergic to other diet pills, amphetamines, stimulants, or cold medications
Taking phentermine together with other diet medications such as fenfluramine (Phen-Fen) or dexfenfluramine (Redux) can cause a rare fatal lung disorder called pulmonary hypertension. Do not take phentermine with any other diet medications without your doctor’s advice.
To make sure you phentermine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- high blood pressure
- kidney disease; or
- a thyroid disorder
FDA pregnancy category X. Weight loss during pregnancy can harm an unborn baby, even if you are overweight. Do not use phentermine if you are pregnant.
Phentermine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while taking phentermine.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 16 years old.
Phentermine may be habit forming. Never share phentermine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
What are the possible side effects of Adipex-P (Phentermine)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion
- chest pain, feeling like you might pass out
- swelling in your ankles or feet
- pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest
- confusion or irritability, unusual thoughts or behavior
- feelings of extreme happiness or sadness; or
- dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure)
Common side effects may include:
- feeling restless or hyperactive
- headache, dizziness, tremors
- sleep problems (insomnia)
- dry mouth or an unpleasant taste in your mouth
- diarrhea or constipation, upset stomach; or
- increased or decreased interest in sex, impotence
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Adipex-P® ( Phentermine Hcl )
ADIPEX-P® ( Phentermine Hcl ) is a prescription medication that is an appetite suppressant and can be used to treat obesity for a short period of time, as an adjunct to exercise, behavior modification, and a low-calorie diet.
Qsymia Specific FAQ
What is Qsymia?
Qsymia is a prescription medicine that contains phentermine and topiramate extended-release that may help some obese adults or some overweight adults who also have weight-related medical problems lose weight and keep the weight off.
Qsymia should be used with a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity.
It is not known if Qsymia changes your risk of heart problems or stroke or of death due to heart problems or stroke.
It is not known if Qsymia is safe and effective when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight-loss products.
It is not known if Qsymia is safe and effective in children under 18 years old.
What is the most important information I should know about Qysmia?
Qsymia can cause serious side effects, including:
- Birth defects (cleft lip/cleft palate). If you take Qsymia during pregnancy, your baby has a higher risk for birth defects called cleft lip and cleft palate. These defects can begin early in pregnancy, even before you know you are pregnantWomen who are pregnant must not take Qsymia.Women who can become pregnant should:
- Have a negative pregnancy test before taking Qsymia and every month while taking Qsymia
- Use effective birth control (contraception) consistently while taking Qsymia. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to prevent pregnancy
If you become pregnant while taking Qsymia, stop taking Qsymia immediately, and tell your healthcare provider right away. Healthcare providers and patients should report all cases of pregnancy to:
- FDA MedWatch at 1-800-FDA-1088, and
- The Qsymia Pregnancy Surveillance Program at 1-888-998-4887
- Increases in heart rate. Qsymia can increase your heart rate at rest. Your healthcare provider should check your heart rate while you take Qsymia. Tell your healthcare provider if you experience, while at rest, a racing or pounding feeling in your chest lasting several minutes when taking Qsymia
- Suicidal thoughts or actions. Topiramate, an ingredient in Qsymia, may cause you to have suicidal thoughts or actionsCall your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:
- Thoughts about suicide or dying
- Attempts to commit suicide
- New or worse depression
- New or worse anxiety
- Feeling agitated or restless
- Panic attacks
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- New or worse irritability
- Acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
- Acting on dangerous impulses
- An extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
- Other unusual changes in behavior or mood
- Serious eye problems which include:
- Any sudden decrease in vision, with or without eye pain and redness
- A blockage of fluid in the eye causing increased pressure in the eye (secondary angle closure glaucoma)
These problems can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new eye symptoms
Who should not take Qsymia?
Do not take Qsymia if you:
- Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or become pregnant during Qsymia treatment
- Have glaucoma
- Have thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism)
- Are taking certain medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or have taken MAOIs in the past 14 days
- Are allergic to topiramate, sympathomimetic amines such as phentermine, or any of the ingredients in Qsymia. See the end of the Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in Qsymia
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking Qsymia?
Tell your healthcare provider if you:
- Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
- Have had a heart attack or stroke
- Have or have had an abnormal heart rhythm
- Have or have had depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior
- Have eye problems, especially glaucoma
- Have a history of metabolic acidosis (too much acid in the blood) or a condition that puts you at higher risk for metabolic acidosis such as
- Chronic diarrhea, surgery, a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates (ketogenic diet), weak, brittle, or soft bones (osteomalacia, osteoporosis, osteopenia), or decreased bone density
- Have kidney problems, have kidney stones, or are getting
- Have liver problems
- Have seizures or convulsions (epilepsy)
- Are breastfeeding. It is not known if Qsymia passes into your breastmilk. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will take Qsymia or breastfeed. You should not do both
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Qsymia taken with other medicines may affect how each medicine works and may cause side effects.
Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take:
- Birth control pills. Tell your healthcare provider if your menstrual bleeding changes while you are taking birth control pills and Qsymia
- Water pills (diuretics) such as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)
- Any medicines that impair or decrease your thinking, concentration, or muscle coordination
- Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors [such as ZONEGRAM® (zonisamide), DIAMOX® (acetazolamide) or
- Seizure medicines such as Valproic acid (DEPAKENE®
Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for a list of these medicines, if you are not sure.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist each time you get a new medicine. Do not start a new medicine without talking to your healthcare provider.
How should I take Qsymia?
- Take Qsymia exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it
- Your healthcare provider should start you on a diet and exercise program when you start taking Qsymia. Stay on this program while you are taking Qsymia
- Your healthcare provider will tell you how much Qsymia to take and when to take it
- Do not change your dose without talking to your healthcare provider
- Take Qsymia 1 time a day in the morning
- Qsymia can be taken with or without food
- If you miss a dose of Qsymia, wait until the next morning to take your usual dose of Qsymia. Do not double your dose
Your healthcare provider should either (1) tell you to stop taking Qsymia or (2) increase your dose of Qsymia if you do not lose a certain amount of weight within the first 12 weeks of treatment at the recommended dose. If your healthcare provider increases your dose of Qsymia, he/she should tell you to stop taking Qsymia if you have not lost a certain amount of weight after an additional 12 weeks of treatment on the higher dose.
- Do not stop taking Qsymia without talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping Qsymia suddenly can cause serious problems, such as seizures. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to stop taking Qsymia slowly
- Before you take Qsymia, check to make sure that you are taking the right dose:
3.75 mg/23 mg
7.5 mg/46 mg
11.25 mg/69 mg
15 mg/92 mg
If you take too much Qsymia, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
What should I avoid while taking Qsymia?
- Do not get pregnant while taking Qsymia. See “What is the most important information I should know about Qsymia?”
- Do not drink alcohol while taking Qsymia. Qsymia and alcohol can affect each other, causing side effects such as sleepiness or dizziness
- Do not drive a car or operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Qsymia affects you. Qsymia can slow your thinking and motor skills, and may affect vision
What are the possible side effects of Qsymia?
- See “What is the most important information I should know about Qsymia?”
- Mood changes and trouble sleeping. Qsymia may cause depression or mood problems, and trouble sleeping. Tell your healthcare provider if symptoms occur
- Concentration, memory, and speech difficulties. Qsymia may affect how you think and cause confusion, problems with concentration, attention, memory or speech. Tell your healthcare provider if symptoms occur
- Increases of acid in bloodstream (metabolic acidosis). If left untreated, metabolic acidosis can cause brittle or soft bones (osteoporosis, osteomalacia, osteopenia), kidney stones, can slow the rate of growth in children, and may possibly harm your baby if you are pregnant. Metabolic acidosis can happen with or without symptoms. Sometimes people with metabolic acidosis will:
- Feel tired
- Not feel hungry (loss of appetite)
- Feel changes in heartbeat
- Have trouble thinking clearly
Your healthcare provider should do a blood test to measure the level of acid in your blood before and during your treatment with Qsymia.
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus who also take medicines used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. Weight loss can cause low blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus who also take medicines used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus (such as insulin or sulfonylureas). You should check your blood sugar before you start taking Qsymia and while you take Qsymia
- Possible seizures if you stop taking Qsymia too fast. Seizures may happen in people who may or may not have had seizures in the past if you stop Qsymia too fast. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to stop taking Qsymia slowly
- Kidney stones. Drink plenty of fluids when taking Qsymia to help decrease your chances of getting kidney stones. If you get severe side or back pain, and/or blood in your urine, call your healthcare provider
- Decreased sweating and increased body temperature (fever). People should be watched for signs of decreased sweating and fever, especially in hot temperatures. Some people may need to be hospitalized for this condition
Common side effects of Qsymia include:
- Numbness or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or face (paraesthesia)
- Change in the way foods taste or loss of taste (dysgeusia)
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Dry mouth
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
These are not all of the possible side effects of Qsymia. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to VIVUS at 1-888-998-4887 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
How should I store Qsymia?
- Store Qsymia at room temperature 59°F to 77°F
(15°C to 25°C)
Keep Qsymia and all medicines out of the reach of children.
General information about Qsymia
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use Qsymia for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Qsymia to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.
The Medication Guide summarizes important information about Qsymia. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for information about Qsymia that is written for healthcare professionals.
For more information, go to www.QsymiaREMS.com or call
What are the ingredients in Qsymia?
Active ingredients: phentermine hydrochloride and topiramate extended-release.
Inactive ingredients: methylcellulose, sucrose, starch, microcrystalline cellulose, ethyl cellulose, povidone, gelatin, talc, titanium dioxide, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #3, FD&C Yellow #5 and #6, and pharmaceutical black and white inks.
Belviq Specific FAQ
What is BELVIQ®?
BELVIQ® is an FDA-approved prescription weight-loss medication that, when used with diet and exercise, can help some overweight adults with a weight-related medical problem, or obese adults, lose weight and keep it off.
It is not known if BELVIQ® when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight-loss products is safe and effective. It is not known if BELVIQ® changes your risk of heart problems, stroke, or death due to heart problems or stroke.
Overweight (body mass index [BMI] of 27 kg/m² or greater) with at least one weight-related medical condition, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes; Obese (BMI of 30 kg/m² or greater).
What is some general information about BELVIQ®?
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use BELVIQ® for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give BELVIQ® to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.
This Patient Information leaflet summarizes the most important information about BELVIQ®. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about BELVIQ® that is written for health professionals.
For more information, go to www.BELVIQ.com Website or call 1-888-274-2378.
Who should not take BELVIQ®?
Do not take BELVIQ® if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as weight loss offers no potential benefit during pregnancy and BELVIQ® may harm your unborn baby. BELVIQ® should not be taken while breastfeeding.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking BELVIQ®?
Before you take BELVIQ®, tell your doctor if you:
- have or have had heart problems including:
- congestive heart failure
- heart valve problems
- slow heart beat or heart block
- have diabetes
- have a condition such as sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or leukemia
- have a deformed penis, Peyronie’s disease, or ever had an erection that lasted more than 4 hours
- have kidney problems
- have liver problems
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
- are breast feeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if BELVIQ® passes into your breastmilk. You and your doctor should decide if you will take BELVIQ® or breastfeed. You should not do both.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
BELVIQ® may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how BELVIQ® works.
Especially tell your doctor if you take medicines for depression, migraines or other medical conditions such as:
- triptans, used to treat migraine headache
- medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, including tricyclics, lithium, selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or antipsychotics
- linezolid, an antibiotic
- dextromethorphan, an over-the-counter medicine used to treat the common cold or cough
- over-the-counter supplements such as tryptophan or St. John’s Wort
- medicines to treat erectile dysfunction
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of these medicines, if you are not sure.
How should I take BELVIQ®?
- Take BELVIQ® exactly as your doctor tells you to take it.
- Your doctor will tell you how much BELVIQ® to take and when to take it.
- Take 1 tablet 2 times each day.
- Do not increase your dose of BELVIQ®.
- BELVIQ can be taken with or without food.
- Your doctor should start you on a diet and exercise program when you start taking BELVIQ®. Stay on this program while you are taking BELVIQ®.
- Your doctor should tell you to stop taking BELVIQ® if you do not lose a certain amount of weight within the first 12 weeks of treatment.
- If you take too much BELVIQ® or overdose, call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
What should I avoid while taking BELVIQ®?
Do not drive a car or operate heavy machinery until you know how BELVIQ® affects you. BELVIQ® can slow your thinking.
What are the possible side effects of BELVIQ®?
- Serotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)-like reactions.
BELVIQ® and certain medicines for depression, migraine, the common cold, or other medical problems may affect each other causing serious or life-threatening side effects. Call your doctor right away if you start to have any of the following symptoms while taking BELVIQ®:
- mental changes such as agitation, hallucinations, confusion, or other changes in mental status
- coordination problems, uncontrolled muscle spasms, or muscle twitching (overactive reflexes)
- racing or fast heart beat, high or low blood pressure
- sweating or fever
- nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- muscle rigidity (stiff muscles)
- Valvular heart disease. Some people taking medicines like BELVIQ® have had problems with the valves in their heart. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while taking BELVIQ®:
- trouble breathing
- swelling of the arms, legs, ankles, or feet
- dizziness, fatigue, or weakness that will not go away
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- Changes in your attention or memory.
- Mental problems. Taking BELVIQ® in high doses may cause psychiatric problems such as:
- feeling high or in a very good mood (euphoria)
- feelings of standing next to yourself or out of your body (disassociation)
- Depression or thoughts of suicide. You should pay attention to any mental changes, especially sudden changes, in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any mental changes that are new, worse, or worry you.
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus who also take medicines used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. Weight loss can cause low blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus who also take medicines used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus (such as insulin or sulfonylureas). You should check your blood sugar before you start taking BELVIQ® and while you take BELVIQ.
- Painful erections (priapism). The medicine in BELVIQ® can cause painful erections that last more than 6 hours. If you have an erection lasting more than 4 hours whether it is painful or not, stop using BELVIQ® and call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
- Slow heart beat. BELVIQ® may cause your heart to beat slower. Tell your doctor if you have a history of your heart beating slow or heart block.
- Decreases in your blood cell count. BELVIQ® may cause your red and white blood cell count to decrease. Your doctor may do tests to check your blood cell count while you are taking BELVIQ®.
- Increase in prolactin. The medicine in BELVIQ® may increase the amount of a certain hormone your body makes called prolactin. Tell your doctor if your breasts begin to make milk or a milky discharge or if you are a male and your breasts begin to increase in size.Most common side effects:
- dry mouth
- low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in patients with diabetes
- back pain
How should I store BELVIQ®?
Store BELVIQ® at room temperature between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
Safely throw away medicine that is out of date or no longer needed.
What are the ingredients in BELVIQ®?
Active Ingredient: lorcaserin hydrochloride
Inactive Ingredients: silicified microcrystalline cellulose; hydroxypropyl cellulose NF; croscarmellose sodium NF; colloidal silicon dioxide NF; polyvinyl alcohol USP; polyethylene glycol NF; titanium dioxide USP; talc USP; FD&C Blue #2 aluminum lake; and magnesium stearate NF.
Contrave® Specific FAQ
What is CONTRAVE®?
CONTRAVE® (naltrexone HCI/bupropion HCl) is a prescription weight-loss medicine that may help adults with obesity (BMI greater than or equal to 30 kg/m2), or who are overweight (BMI greater than or equal to 27 kg/m2) with at least one weight-related medical condition, lose weight and keep the weight off. CONTRAVE should be used along with diet and exercise.
What are the main ingredients in CONTRAVE®?
CONTRAVE contains two well-known FDA-approved drugs, naltrexone and bupropion that, individually, have been on the market for over 30 years. Naltrexone is an anti-addiction medication approved to treat alcohol and opioid dependence. Bupropion is an antidepressant approved to treat depression and seasonal affective disorder and is an aid to smoking cessation treatment. (These individual drugs are not approved for weight loss and CONTRAVE is not indicated for the treatment of depression, smoking cessation, or alcohol or opioid dependence.)
How does CONTRAVE® work?
The exact neurochemical effects of CONTRAVE leading to weight loss are not fully understood.
CONTRAVE is believed to work on two areas of the brain—the hypothalamus (your hunger center) to help reduce hunger and the mesolimbic reward system to help control cravings—that can get in the way of weight loss.
Across three one-year studies, nearly half of patients taking CONTRAVE along with diet and exercise lost 5% or more of their body weight versus 23% of patients with diet and exercise alone (placebo).
Who should take CONTRAVE®?
CONTRAVE is approved for use in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater (obese) or 27 or greater (overweight) who have at least one weight-related condition, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol. It is to be used along with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity.
CONTRAVE is not for everyone. Do not take CONTRAVE if you:
- Have a seizure disorder
- Are pregnant or trying to get pregnant
- Have an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia
- Are under the age of 18
- Have uncontrolled hypertension
- Use other medicines that contain bupropion such as Wellbutrin and Aplenzin
- Are dependent on opioid medicines or use medicines to help stop taking opioids, such as methadone or buprenorphine or are in opiate withdrawal
- Drink a lot of alcohol and abruptly stop drinking
- Use medicines called sedatives like benzodiazepines, or anti-seizure medicines, and you stop using them suddenly
- Are allergic to any of the ingredients in CONTRAVE, such as naltrexone HCI and bupropion HCI
- Are taking medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
See the Medication Guide to learn more.
What is the dosing for CONTRAVE®?
CONTRAVE should be taken by mouth in the morning and in the evening and should not be taken with high-fat meals.
CONTRAVE dosing should be increased slowly according to the following schedule:
It’s important to take CONTRAVE exactly as your doctor prescribes it. Keep in mind that some people, like those with renal or hepatic impairment, or those taking certain other medications, may need to follow a different dosing schedule. A total daily dosage of four CONTRAVE tablets (i.e., two tablets taken twice per day) should be reached at the start of week four.
To learn more about dosing, see the Medication Guide.
What are the most common CONTRAVE® side effects?
The most common side effects reported with CONTRAVE include nausea, constipation, headache, vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, dry mouth, and diarrhea.
What are recommended tips for managing side effects?
In general, it is recommended you drink plenty of water when taking CONTRAVE. If you experience nausea, you may also want to eat a small amount of dry toast with CONTRAVE. If symptoms do not improve, please consult with your doctor who may also recommend an over-the-counter anti-nausea medication for you.
How are CONTRAVE® serious side effects?
If you experience any of the following, stop taking CONTRAVE and tell your healthcare provider right away:
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Increases in blood pressure or heart rate
- Liver damage or hepatitis (symptoms include stomach area pain lasting more than a few days, dark urine, yellowing of the whites of your eyes, or tiredness)
- Manic episodes
- Visual problems (symptoms include eye pain, changes in vision, swelling or redness in or around the eye)
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus who also take medicines to treat their diabetes (such as insulin or sulfonylureas)
- Severe allergic reaction (signs and symptoms include rash, itching, hives, fever, swollen lymph glands, painful sores in your mouth or around your eyes, swelling of your lips or tongue, chest pain, or trouble breathing)
Saxenda® Specific FAQ
What is Saxenda®?
Saxenda® (liraglutide) injection 3 mg is an injectable prescription medicine that may help some adults with excess weight (BMI ≥27) who also have weight-related medical problems or obesity (BMI ≥30) lose weight and keep the weight off. Saxenda® should be used with a reduced-calorie meal plan and increased physical activity.
- Saxenda® is not for the treatment of type 2 diabetes
- Saxenda® and Victoza® have the same active ingredient, liraglutide, and should not be used together
- Saxenda® should not be used with other GLP-1 receptor agonist medicines
- Saxenda® and insulin should not be used together
- It is not known if Saxenda® is safe and effective when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight-loss products
- It is not known if Saxenda® changes your risk of heart problems or stroke or of death due to heart problems or stroke
- It is not known if Saxenda® can be used safely in people who have had pancreatitis
- It is not known if Saxenda® is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age. Saxenda® is not recommended for use in children
How does Saxenda® work?
Saxenda® addresses one of your body’s natural responses to weight loss.
- Your body naturally produces an appetite hormone known as glucagon-like-peptide (GLP-1) that helps to regulate your hunger
- Saxenda® works like GLP-1 by regulating your appetite, which can lead to eating fewer calories and losing weight
- Saxenda® is not a stimulant
How long can I be on Saxenda®?
Chronic diseases like obesity usually require long-term treatment. Your health care provider will create a plan tailored to your weight-management goals. You’ll need to visit your health care provider 4 months after you begin taking Saxenda® to review your progress and renew your prescription.
Does my health care provider need to do the injections?
Saxenda® is a once-daily, self-injectable medicine that comes in a prefilled pen. Your health care provider must teach you how to inject Saxenda® before you use it for the first time. If you have questions or do not understand the instructions, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist. See the full Patient Instructions for Use that come with the Medication Guide for detailed information about the right way to use your Saxenda® pen.
What are the most common Saxenda® side effects?
Nausea is the most common side effect when first starting Saxenda®, but decreases over time in most people as their body gets used to the medicine. If you do experience nausea, here are some things that may help:
- Eat bland, low-fat foods, like crackers, toast, and rice
- Eat foods that contain water, like soups and gelatin
- Don’t lie down after you eat
- Go outside to get some fresh air
The dosing schedule is designed to reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal symptoms. Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. Learn more about Saxenda®, including possible side effects, in the Medication Guide.
Will I have to watch what I eat and increase my physical activity?
You’ll work with your health care provider to follow a low-calorie meal plan and increase your physical activity while taking Saxenda® for weight management.
Can I take Saxenda® with other weight-loss products?
Saxenda® has not been evaluated in combination with other prescription weight-loss medicines or weight-loss supplements. Saxenda® has the potential to change how other medicines are absorbed. Use caution when taking Saxenda® with oral medicines. Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
What is the dosing schedule of Saxenda®?
The starting dosage is 0.6 mg per day for 1 week. You should increase the dose each week until the dose of 3 mg is reached, as prescribed. The dosing schedule is designed to help minimize gastrointestinal side effects. If you start with a sample pen, you will need a prescription in order to complete the dose escalation.
How is Saxenda® stored?
Store new, unused Saxenda® pens in the refrigerator between 36°F and 46°F (2°C to 8°C). After first use, store in a refrigerator or at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C to 30°C). Pens in use should be thrown away after 30 days even if they still have Saxenda® left in them. Don’t freeze Saxenda®. Saxenda® that has been frozen must not be used.