Explore the different weight loss injections, Wegovy vs Saxenda based on their dosage, cost, effectiveness and side effects.

What is a weight loss medication?

A decrease in 5% of body weight has been clinically proven to have very positive effects on health. It’s essential to understand that all weight management approaches are effective when combined with diet and increased physical activity to achieve great health outcomes. 

Weight loss medication is used for adults who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) 30 or higher. Alternatively, those with a BMI of 27 or more, accompanied by weight-related medical conditions (type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc).

Saxenda is a a weight loss injection. Its active ingredient is liraglutide and is similar to a natural hormone called GLP-1 that our body releases from the intestine after a meal. 

Liraglutide interacts with receptors in your brain responsible for controlling your appetite. This interaction helps you feel full for a longer period, naturally leading to eating less and reducing your body weight. 

Wegovy is a weight loss injection. Its active ingredient is semaglutide, a prescription-only medication classified as a GLP-1 Receptor Agonist.

The injection functions by targeting a specific region in the brain which controls appetite. It works by slowing down the stomach emptying which can suppress hunger and give a feeling of fullness for longer.

Wegovy vs Saxenda

Wegovy is an injection you take once a week to help adults who struggle to lose weight and want to maintain it. To avoid side effects, the Wegovy dose starts low at 0.25mg and increases every month for five months until it reaches a weekly dose of 2.4mg. 

The injection is in a disposable pen with a built-in needle, making it easy to use. You can inject it into the fatty tissue on your lower abdomen, thigh, or upper arm.

Saxenda is a daily injection that helps people keep off the weight they’ve lost. It uses liraglutide to talk to the brain and manage appetite. 

You start with a small dose of 0.6mg and increase it by 0.6mg each week until you reach a daily dose of 3.0mg. Before using the pen, you attach needles to it. You can inject it in your abdomen, thigh, or upper arm.

Saxenda is a registered and available medication in Australia. Clinical trial studies have shown that 5-10% of participants noticed a positive change in 16 weeks of taking the medication accompanied with reduced calorie diets and exercise.

Wegovy had been registered in 2022 however it is not yet available in Australia. Clinical trials conducted in USA and Europe have evidently shown adults with obesity who took Wegovy were able to lose 15% of body weight accompanied with reduced calorie diets and exercise.

Wegovy received FDA approval and was released in the USA in 2021, in Europe in mid 2023 and is anticipated in Australia by early 2024.

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The monthly cost of Saxenda varies depending on the service/pharmacy used but it is generally priced $350 plus. The exact cost of Wegovy in Australia remains undetermined by the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, but it is likely to align with the pricing of similar medications in its class. 

Saxenda side effects can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, headache, altered taste perception and dizziness. As well as indigestion, bloating, burping, flatulence, dry mouth, heartburn, abdominal pain or swelling and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Wegovys common side effects in USA/Europe individuals are nausea, diarrhoea, headache, fatigue, vomiting, bloating. As it’s a new medication the way it interacts with other medications is not established hence its safer to avoid combining them. It is best to avoid Wegovy if you have specific conditions like pancreatitis or hypoglycemia.

What are other weight loss alternatives?

For individuals who experience an allergic reaction or cannot tolerate the side effects there are other options to consider. These include tablets, injections, or even surgical procedures. To initiate this journey, a beneficial starting point might involve seeking guidance from a registered dietitian.

Consult a doctor


SAXENDA liraglutide | Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

How Does Wegovy® Work? | Wegovy® (semaglutide) Injection 2.4 mg

WEGOVY | Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)