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Can Saxenda just be stopped?

Saxenda is a prescription injectable medication used for chronic weight management. It mimics a hormone called GLP-1 that helps regulate blood sugar and appetite. Saxenda should not be used by those with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2. It also has some common side effects like nausea, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, low blood sugar, headache, fatigue, dizziness, and stomach pain. While Saxenda can be an effective weight loss tool when used properly, some have questions about stopping the medication.

Is it safe to just stop taking Saxenda?

No, Saxenda should never be stopped suddenly without medical supervision. This medication needs to be discontinued gradually under the care of your healthcare provider. Stopping Saxenda abruptly can lead to serious health risks.

Some potential consequences of suddenly stopping Saxenda are:

  • Severe loss of blood sugar control for diabetics
  • Increased appetite and food cravings
  • Rapid weight regain
  • Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, vomiting, nausea

When discontinuing Saxenda use, your provider will have you slowly taper down your dosage over at least a 3-4 week period. This gives your body time to adjust and helps minimize negative effects of stopping this GLP-1 receptor agonist medication.

Why can’t you just quit Saxenda cold turkey?

The reason abruptly stopping Saxenda is ill-advised is because it works by modifying hormone pathways that impact appetite and blood sugar. Your body becomes accustomed to the effects of Saxenda over weeks and months of use. If Saxenda is suddenly removed from the system, it can essentially shock the body and lead to rebound effects.

Some specific reasons not to quit Saxenda cold turkey include:

  • May lead to rapid weight regain as appetite surges
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other GI disturbances
  • Hypoglycemia risk for those taking Saxenda for diabetes
  • Rebound hyperphagia where appetite and hunger become even harder to control
  • Can undermine all the progress made using Saxenda for weight loss

Talk to your doctor about the proper way to wean off Saxenda. Following their tapering schedule will help you safely discontinue this medication.

How long does it take for Saxenda to get out of your system?

Saxenda takes about 13-15 days to be eliminated from systemic circulation after complete discontinuation. The half-life of Saxenda is about 13 hours, meaning it takes around 13 hours for the concentration in the blood to be reduced by half. After 5-6 half-lives, a drug is mostly eliminated from the body.

However, Saxenda’s effects on appetite regulation and blood sugar can persist longer than the drug is detectable in the system. This is why discontinuing the medication too rapidly can be problematic. It takes time for the body to adapt to not having Saxenda. Tapering down slowly over a minimum of 3-4 weeks allows this physiological adaptation to occur in a more controlled manner.

What happens when you stop taking Saxenda?

When Saxenda is stopped appropriately with a tapering schedule, here is what can happen as the medication leaves your system:

  • Appetite may increase over 1-2 weeks
  • Some weight gain is likely over 2-4 weeks
  • Blood sugar may gradually increase in diabetics
  • Nausea and GI symptoms may manifest during the taper
  • Energy intake and hunger may return to pre-Saxenda levels

By slowly tapering Saxenda doses down, these effects can be minimized. But some return of appetite and potentially some weight gain is common. Working closely with your healthcare provider can help make stopping Saxenda as smooth as possible.

How do you wean off Saxenda?

To properly wean off Saxenda, your healthcare provider will have you gradually decrease your dosage over 3-4 weeks or longer. This is the typical tapering schedule:

Week Dosage
Week 1 0.6 mg
Week 2 0.3 mg
Week 3 0.15 mg
Week 4 None

Your doctor may tailor the exact tapering plan and timeline based on factors like how long you’ve been taking Saxenda, dosage, and existing medical conditions. It’s important to follow your provider’s advice on tapering off Saxenda to prevent complications.

What are the Saxenda withdrawal symptoms?

When Saxenda is stopped abruptly, possible withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Increased appetite and hunger
  • Stomach pain or nausea
  • Dizziness and headaches
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Flu-like general malaise

Properly tapering Saxenda doses under medical supervision can help minimize unpleasant withdrawal effects. But some increase in appetite and weight gain is commonly seen.

How much weight is regained after stopping Saxenda?

Most people will regain some weight after discontinuing Saxenda, but the amount varies. In clinical studies, people regained about 40-50% of the weight they had lost while taking the medication. But results can range based on factors like:

  • How long Saxenda was taken
  • Dosage level
  • Lifestyle behaviors
  • Use of other medications
  • Adherence to diet and exercise

Those who follow a reduced calorie meal plan and exercise regimen are more likely to maintain more of their weight loss after stopping Saxenda. Working closely with your healthcare team can help minimize weight regain.

When will appetite return to normal after Saxenda?

Appetite suppression is one of the prime effects of Saxenda. After stopping Saxenda use, normal appetite and hunger signals can return within 1-4 weeks in most people. Some may experience a surge in appetite that diminishes over time. The primary appetite reducing effects of Saxenda will subside within about 1 month of full discontinuation.

Can Saxenda be restarted after stopping?

In most cases, Saxenda can be safely restarted after a break if medically needed for weight control. But it’s a good idea to be off Saxenda for at least 2 months before considering restarting. Be sure to consult your healthcare provider before beginning Saxenda again.

Reasons Saxenda may be restarted include:

  • If significant weight re-gain occurs
  • If A1c rises again the diabetic range after stopping Saxenda
  • If obesity-related health risks like high blood pressure return

Saxenda can help manage body weight and blood sugar levels. Discuss with your doctor if restarting treatment is appropriate after stopping the medication.

Should Saxenda be stopped periodically?

There is no specific recommendation that Saxenda must be stopped periodically. Many take Saxenda indefinitely for weight control under medical supervision. But some may choose to take a break from the medication for reasons like:

  • Wanting to see if weight can be maintained without it
  • Needing a rest from side effects
  • Planning a pregnancy
  • Wanting to lower medication costs for a time

Discuss with your healthcare provider about your reasons for wanting to stop Saxenda and the appropriate restarting timeline. There is no set rule for how often it must be stopped.

Is it okay to miss or skip Saxenda doses?

It’s best not to intentionally miss or skip doses of Saxenda. Saxenda is most effective when taken consistently without long lapses in use. Skipping or missing doses can lessen its effects and also increase side effects when restarting.

Of course, an occasional missed dose here and there will not be problematic. But you’ll get optimal results by taking Saxenda daily according to your prescribed dosing schedule. Be sure to consult your healthcare provider if you have trouble adhering to the medication regimen.

What happens if you stop Saxenda for a month?

If Saxenda is stopped for around 1 month or longer, here is what typically happens:

  • Appetite returns to pre-treatment levels
  • Weight regains about 5-15% from maximum loss on Saxenda
  • Blood sugar may increase if taking Saxenda for diabetes
  • Hunger signals and cravings increase in intensity
  • GI side effects resolve

The effects and benefits of Saxenda begin to dissipate within 1-2 weeks of stopping, and are largely reversed after about one month off the medication. Weight regain is common if lifestyle interventions are not maintained.

Can you regain the lost weight after stopping Saxenda?

Yes, it is very possible to regain much or all of the weight lost while taking Saxenda after discontinuation. On average, about 50% of lost weight is regained within 6 months of stopping Saxenda. But results vary dramatically based on diet, activity, and other factors.

To help avoid regaining lost weight after discontinuing Saxenda:

  • Follow meal plan from weight loss phase
  • Exercise at least 150 minutes per week
  • Join a weight loss support program
  • Continue working with your healthcare team
  • Weigh regularly to catch regain early

With diligent lifestyle efforts, some or even all weight loss achieved on Saxenda can be maintained. But regain is common without continued adherence to diet and activity modifications.

Does weight regain after stopping last?

Unfortunately, weight that is regained after discontinuing Saxenda use tends to be long-lasting if lifestyle habits remain unchanged. The physiological drive to return to a previous higher body weight can persist long after stopping weight loss medication.

However, those who are able to keep up healthy eating patterns and physical activity levels have a better chance at maintaining their Saxenda-facilitated weight loss for the long term. Continued weight management support can also improve maintenance success.


Saxenda should never be stopped suddenly without medical supervision. To safely discontinue Saxenda, work with your healthcare provider to slowly taper dosage over a 3-4 week period or longer. This helps prevent negative effects like rapid weight regain. It is common to regain some lost weight after stopping Saxenda treatment, but this can be minimized through continued lifestyle interventions. Saxenda can be restarted in the future if needed for weight management under medical guidance. Be sure to discuss the proper way to stop or restart Saxenda with your doctor.