You may have heard of two GLP-1 medications for treating overweight and obesity before: Wegovy® (semaglutide) and Saxenda® (liraglutide).
The One Year Metabolic Reset will offer all Weight Loss Coach members Wegovy® and Saxenda®, along with several other potential GLP-1 medications. What's the difference if both are prescribed for weight loss? What are their functions? Do they differ in quality?
Discover the differences between Saxenda® and Wegovy®, as well as their ingredients and dosing schedules.
Our bodies produce GLP-1 hormone naturally, which is why Saxenda® and Wegovy® act as GLP-1 receptor agonists. Wegovy® contains semaglutide, whereas Saxenda® contains liraglutide.
Most people won't care about these details unless they're pharmacists or medical researchers. Liraglutide and semaglutide are FDA-approved drugs that have been thoroughly researched.
Saxenda® (liraglutide) and Wegovy® (semaglutide) belong to the larger class of GLP-1 drugs that produce similar effects to those produced naturally by your body. Every time you eat, your body releases GLP-1, an incretin hormone. In addition to regulating food intake and appetite, it controls blood sugar levels.
A substantial amount of research suggests that people who are overweight or obese experience reduced GLP-1 signaling, which contributes to overeating and hunger between meals. GLP-1 medications can promote these pathways and signals to regulate blood sugar effectively. This is why GLP-1 receptor agonists have a powerful effect on lowering A1C and promoting weight loss. It's important to note that they're not a "quick fix" for a healthier metabolism - they have to be combined with lifestyle changes such as exercise, healthier eating choices, stress reduction, and sleep.
Novo Nordisk is a Danish pharmaceutical company that manufactures both Wegovy® and Saxenda®. In regards to Saxenda® and Wegovy®, NovoNordisk provided the following information:
Initially, Saxenda® (liraglutide) injection is prescribed for weight-related medical conditions or obesity in adults with excess weight (BMI >27). When using Saxenda®, weight loss should be achieved with a low-calorie diet and a high level of physical activity.
The FDA has approved Wegovy® (semaglutide) injection 2.4 mg as an additional treatment option for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or above (obesity) or 27 kg/m2 or above in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbidity (e.g., hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia).
While Novo Nordisk calls the program a "reduced calorie diet," Weight Loss Coach is not about calorie counting; instead, you'll concentrate on making healthy food choices and reducing quick-digesting carbohydrates in favour of healthy proteins and fats. This emphasizes the importance of overall well-being (rather than a narrow viewpoint).
The two medications are not objectively superior to each other. You will need to consider your medical history, health profile, and several other factors when choosing the treatment that works best for you.
When evaluating Saxenda® or Wegovy®, keep in mind the following differences in their clinical trials:
The Danish pharmaceutical company NovoNordisk developed semaglutide, the active ingredient in Wegovy®, in 2012. Many patients found it more convenient since it has a longer acting time than liraglutide. Semaglutide only requires weekly injections, unlike liraglutide, which must be administered daily.
Furthermore, a JAMA study published in January 2022 found that “Among adults with overweight or obesity without diabetes, once-weekly subcutaneous semaglutide compared with once-daily subcutaneous liraglutide, added to diet and physical activity counselling, resulted in significantly greater weight reduction at 68 weeks.”
Although the researchers did not state it directly, their objective was to assess weight reduction alone, not the participants' overall metabolic health. Your medical team may give Saxenda® or Wegovy®, another GLP-1 receptor agonist, as part of your Metabolic Reset program if you're a Weight Loss Coach’s member.
The ability of both medications to regulate your body's natural hunger signals, combined with lifestyle changes, has been proven to improve metabolic health. On average, Weight Loss Coach members - whether taking Saxenda® or Wegovy® -- lose 15% of their body weight.
It is important to better your metabolic health when taking GLP-1 medications, whether Saxenda®, Wegovy®, or anything else. Your risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, and all-cause mortality will be reduced.
According to our philosophy, weight loss is secondary to improving metabolic health over treating overweight or obesity. Calibrate program participants can still expect weight loss when taking Saxenda® or Wegovy®.
Participants can maximize their success with Saxenda®, Wegovy®, or other GLP-1 medications by following Weight Loss Coach’s Four Pillars of Metabolic Health. Our members receive 1:1 accountability coaching, monitoring, and support from licensed physicians.
During Wegovy® clinical trials with semaglutide 2.4 mg, an average weight loss of 15.8% was observed after 68 weeks. Liraglutide 3.0mg was found to lead to 8% weight loss in an adult study of Saxenda® taken for 68 weeks. Both trials included intensive lifestyle interventions along with medication.
All members taking a GLP-1 medication are guaranteed to lose at least 10% of their body weight.
Before customizing your treatment plan and prescribing your medications, your Calibrate doctor will carefully review your complete health intake, including blood work. During 1:1 sessions and through the app, you'll be paired with a team of accountability coaches to help you stay on track.
It is not recommended to take liraglutide and semaglutide simultaneously. All GLP-1 medications share the same mechanism of action, so they cannot be used in conjunction. If you would like more information, contact your healthcare provider.