Information for the public

Liraglutide (Saxenda) is available on the NHS as a possible treatment for managing weight in adults, if they have:

  • a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35 (or at least 32.5 for some black or ethnic minority people, because their weight-related health risks can be higher at a lower BMI)
  • high blood sugar, which increases their risk of developing diabetes, and
  • high risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

Liraglutide has to be prescribed by a specialist weight management service.

Most people will have been offered weight management interventions in a local lifestyle-change programme, before being referred to a specialist service.

If you are not eligible for liraglutide but are already having it, you should be able to continue until you and your doctor decide when best to stop.

Is this treatment right for me?

Your healthcare professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Questions to think about

  • How well does it work compared with other treatments?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • How will the treatment affect my day-to-day life?
  • What happens if the treatment does not work?
  • What happens if I do not want to have treatment? Are there other treatments available?

Information and support

The NHS website may be a good place to find out more.

This organisation can give you advice and support: Obesity UK, 0303 300 0314.

You can also get support from your local Healthwatch.

NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.

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