Saxenda versus phentermine

A Comparison of Saxenda and Phentermine

Weight loss medications are a personal choice, but it can be hard to decide which drug might suit you best. As part of our series on weight loss drugs, we’ll look at the benefits of Saxenda vs phentermine so that you can decide if one of these weight loss medicines might be right for you.

What Is Saxenda?

Saxenda is an injectable weight loss medication that contains the drug liraglutide. Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist. It acts on receptors to regulate the appetite and reduce hunger, making it easier to consume fewer calories and therefore lose weight. (1) (2)

Saxenda was first approved by the FDA in 2014 and is suitable for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or 27 or higher if a weight-related medical disease such as high blood pressure is also present. Saxenda can also be used by adolescents who weigh more than 132 pounds and have a BMI of 30 or greater. (1) (3)

In a clinical trial lasting over a year, around 33% of patients lost more than 10% of their body weight. Of those taking a placebo, only 10.6% managed the same percentage of weight loss. Another study found that liraglutide made maintenance of the new, lower weight, more successful.  As it can be used long-term, Saxenda is considered to be an option for chronic weight management. (4) (5)

What Is Phentermine?

Phentermine hydrochloride is an FDA-approved central nervous system stimulant. It prompts the release of neurotransmitters including norepinephrine to increase the heart rate, boost energy levels and reduce the appetite. Although generic pills are available, phentermine is also prescribed under the brand names Adipex-P and Lomaira. (6)

In a clinical trial lasting three months, 50% of participants who took the maximum daily dosage of phentermine lost at least 10% of their baseline body weight. The weight loss associated with taking phentermine also led to improvements in waist circumference measurements and cholesterol levels. (7)

The FDA recommends that phentermine is only taken for 12 weeks, but when taken under medical supervision some clinicians will prescribe recurrent 12-week cycles if weight loss is achieved.

Saxenda vs Phentermine: A Side-by-Side Comparison

If you are trying to make a decision between Saxenda or phentermine, our side-by-side table will help you see the similarities and differences, as well as the pros and cons, of each weight loss drug.

Can You Take Saxenda and Phentermine Together?

Saxenda and Phentermine Together

Many people who want to lose weight have asked ‘can you mix Saxenda with phentermine?’. However, taking a combination of phentermine and Saxenda is not recommended. There is a moderate risk associated with taking both drugs, and, regardless of interactions, the FDA recommends that only one weight loss drug is taken at a time. (14)

Phentermine or Saxenda – Which One Is Better for Me?

The benefits of phentermine vs Saxenda are similar. Both drugs are proven to prompt more weight loss than a placebo medication. However, this is achieved via different mechanisms. The two drugs also have different side effect profiles and health warnings. It is therefore important to learn about the precautions and contraindications for both drugs, as one may better suit your individual health circumstances.

Saxenda is a good choice for chronic weight management as it can be taken long term under medical supervision. However, long term use can be expensive for those whose insurance does not cover the treatment. Saxenda may not be suitable if you have certain medical conditions, and may be undesirable for those who are needle-phobic.

Phentermine has a long history of inducing significant clinical weight loss during short-term use. Some clinicians prescribe recurrent cycles of phentermine to those who are willing to undergo regular health screening and show good progress with weight loss. As a generic pill, phentermine is a more affordable choice.

Although you may be keen to lose weight quickly, if you are asking can you combine phentermine and Saxenda, you may be disappointed at having choose between the medications. Phentermine is the most commonly prescribed weight loss pill in the US, so you may choose to try this option first.

You must speak to your doctor prior to starting a weight loss treatment to ensure the medication will suit you.

References

1. Saxenda.com (Saxenda).
2. Go.Drugbank.com (Liraglutide).
3. FDA.gov (Saxenda Approval).
4. Mehta A et al. Liraglutide for weight management: a critical review of the evidence. Obesity Science & Practice. 2017; 3 (1): 3-14.
5. Pi-Sunyer X et al. A Randomized, Controlled Trial of 3.0mg of Liraglutide in Weight Management. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2015; 373: 11-22.
6. Phentermine.com (Phentermine).
7. Kim, KK et al. Effects on weight reduction and safety of short-term phentermine administration in Korean obese people. Yonsei Medical Journal. 2006; 47: 614-625.
8. Phentermine.com (Phentermine Dosage).
9. Saxenda.com (Saxenda Dosing).
10. Phentermine.com (Phentermine Side Effects).
11. Phentermine.com (Phentermine Warnings).
12. BlinkHealth.com (Buy Generic Phentermine).
13. PushHealth.com (Buy Saxenda).
14. Drugs.com (Drug Interactions).