Weight loss injections are also commonly referred to as slimming injections, fat loss injections or fat burning injections. As the names suggest, they are taken to help the user achieve a reduction in their weight.
Those considering weight loss injections should already be working towards their weight loss goal through a healthy diet and exercise. For some people, these two things may prove insufficient in achieving the desired weight loss, but the medication in fat loss injections can provide the extra support needed.
Dr. Diana Gall
Our Health Care Team
"Injections for weight loss can be effective for achieving and maintaining a healthier body weight when diet and exercise alone haven’t worked. Used responsibly, weight loss injections should cause you to eat less food, which should lead to enough daily calorie burning to achieve significant weight loss. Before you’re prescribed weight loss injections, it’s vital that you properly understand how and when it’s appropriate to use such medication so you’ll stay healthy and achieve the desired weight loss."
Weight Loss Injections explained
Weight loss injections are a modern type of anti-obesity medicine which have helped thousands of patients lose weight when other methods have proved insufficient. While they can have a big impact on an individual’s efforts to lose weight, they are meant to be used alongside a healthy diet and exercise to achieve the best results.
When they are prescribed, weight loss injections are usually taken on a daily basis, but the amount of days you will use them will depend on the patient’s needs (how long such injections can be useful for).
The different types of weight loss injection
At the moment, just one weight loss injection pen is fully licenced to treat obesity in the UK. It is called Saxenda and it contains the active drug liraglutide. While liraglutide is also used for treating type 2 diabetes, clinical trials found that the drug could be effective at reducing weight if used in the appropriate manner. Saxenda was officially introduced in the UK back in 2017.
While other weight loss injections could become fully licenced and marketed in the future, Saxenda is currently the only one which has passed through all the clinical trials. You may come across injection pens similar to Saxenda which in theory achieve weight loss (and may even have achieved this in some clinical trials), but Saxenda remains the only one fully licenced for this purpose for now.
How do fat loss injections actually work?
Other weight loss medications (such as Orlistat) tend to achieve their goal by reducing the amount of fat you ingest when having meals. Weight loss injections are different however, because you still digest all of the food that you eat like normal. However, what the injections manage to do is reduce your appetite, meaning you should end up having less food and therefore calories.
When you’ve eaten food, your body naturally produces an appetite hormone to regulate hunger. After you’ve had a meal, the appetite hormone tells your body that you’ve eaten and that you’re satisfied. But this naturally-produced hormone usually only lasts for a short while.
Where do you apply a weight loss injection?
Weight loss injections, particularly Saxenda, are subcutaneous, which means they are administered under the skin and NOT into a vein or muscle. If you are using Saxenda or a similar subcutaneous injection product, then it’s usually recommended that you inject yourself in one of the following areas:
- Lower abdomen (either around the waistline or below it)
- Front of thigh
- Outer-upper arm
These areas of the body are considered suitable areas for subcutaneous injections because of the amounts of fatty tissue present. The medication contained in weight loss injections should be absorbed slowly and steadily rather than quickly (like you do when you use an intravenous injection).
To minimise the risk of penetrating a muscle, the needles which come with a weight loss injection tend to be fairly short. But if you’re still nervous about possibly injecting the medication too deep, then the safest area to administer it is in the lower abdomen area.
It is also a good idea to change the spot where you inject weight loss medication to avoid bruising or other adverse effects. You could make notes to keep track of where you’ve injected before to make sure you don’t inject there again for a while.
Do slimming injections require a prescription?
Yes, you always need a prescription in order to buy weight loss medication including fat burning injections. Obtaining a prescription for weight loss injections won’t necessarily require you to visit your doctor. Since Saxenda is limited on the NHS, it’s highly likely you would need to source a prescription privately anyhow.
At iMeds, our GMC-registered doctors can provide a private prescription for Saxenda weight loss injections or certain other kinds of weight loss medication. When you’re ready to place an order with us, you will need to complete a short questionnaire with relevant questions about your weight, diet and general health. These questions are asked to determine if weight loss medication is an appropriate and safe thing for you to use, so you should answer all questions honestly and truthfully. When you’ve submitted your answers and order, one of our doctors will review what you’ve requested and the answers you’ve given to determine if your suitable for the chosen treatment. If your order is approved, an electronic prescription will be generated and passed on to our dispensing pharmacy which will send the order to you.
Weight loss injection side effects
It’s crucial to understand that weight loss injections, like other prescription medicines, can cause side effects. Not all patients experience the side effects, but it’s worth knowing what could potentially happen when using this sort of treatment.
Side effects which weight loss injections including Saxenda are known for include the following:
- Acid reflux/heartburn
- Changes in taste
- Fast pulse
- Injection site reactions
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)
- Stomach pain
Different people can react in all sorts of ways to this sort of medication, but the side effects listed above are the most commonly reported by those who have taken weight loss injections. There’s a small but nevertheless existing possibility that you could experience a side effect which hasn’t been mentioned above. You can report a new side effect via the MHRA yellow card scheme, which is available as an app for both android and iOS-operating devices.
If you’re feeling nervous about the potential side effects that you could experience as a result of using weight loss injections, then it’s worthwhile consulting your doctor or local pharmacist about such treatments.