What's the difference between Saxenda and Mysimba?

Losing weight can be a real struggle for many of us. In 2017, 67% of men and 62% of women in the UK were classified as being either overweight or obese. These statistics are rather frightening when you consider the serious health implications associated falling into those categories, such as the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and even various types of cancer.

If you’ve already tried the traditional approach of ‘moving more and eating less’, with no prevail, then you may decide to give weight loss supplements a try. In this article, we discuss two popular types of weight loss medication: Saxenda and Mysimba, providing a detailed overview of each and answering some common questions that often surround the two weight loss products.


Form and dosage

Saxenda comes in the form of an injection, which differs from many other weight loss products which come in the form of pills or capsules. The recommended dose of Saxenda starts at just 0.6mg per day for the first week, then increases gradually each week until it reaches 3.0mg in week 5, at which point the patient should continue with a single 3.0mg dose each day. The dosage for Mysimba pills also increases gradually each week, with 1 daily pill to be taken in the first week, increasing gradually up to 2 tablets twice a day in week 4 and onwards. The table below outlines the prescribed dosage for each of these medications.



Saxenda vs Mysimba

Recommended users

While Saxenda and Mysimba are both used as weight loss treatments for overweight and obese individuals, the two products’ target user categories depend on BMI. Mysimba is only prescribed to people who have a BMI of 30+, whereas Saxenda can be used by people who have a BMI of 27+.

If you're unsure of your BMI, the NHS has an easy to use BMI calculator here.

How they work

These weight loss medications also differ in the way they work. The active ingredient in Saxenda is the peptide Liraglutide, which mimics the hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which is a naturally-occurring hormone that helps our brains to determine when our bodies are full. By replicating GLP-1, Saxenda helps us to feel like we’re full after eating less food than usual, thereby helping us to reduce our body weight. Mysimba, on the other hand, contains two active ingredients: naltrexone hydrochloride and bupropion hydrochloride. The exact way these ingredients work together is not fully understood, although it’s thought that the combination of the active ingredients works by changing the way the user feels about food, and in turn takes some pleasure away from eating.

How long you should take them

After 16 weeks of taking Saxenda, you should have lost 4% of your baseline body weight. If by this stage you haven’t, then it’s recommended that you do not continue using the medication. However, you must consult your doctor before stopping Saxenda.

Mysimba is similar in this way. If within the first 16 weeks of treatment, you haven’t lost 5% of your body weight, it’s recommended that you discontinue your use of the product. However, it is vital that you talk to your doctor before stopping taking Mysimba.

Side effects

Mysimba has a range of common side effects, such as sickness, abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, and more. For a full list of possible side effects of Mysimba, please see the product’s patient information leaflet.

Saxenda also comes with a range of side effects, such as sickness, diarrhoea, constipation and others. For a comprehensive list of all side effects related to Saxenda, please consult the medication’s patient information leaflet.

Does Saxenda Really Work?


saxenda set

Saxenda has received many positive reviews since its launch as a weight loss product in 2015. The online pharmaceutical encyclopedia drugs.com enables consumers using various types of medication to rate and post reviews of the products they’ve used. The average user rating for Saxenda as a weight loss product is 7.7 out of 10, with many users describing Saxenda as an effective medication for weight loss.

On top of this, Saxenda is has been FDA-approved in the US as a product for weight loss, and has undergone a wide variety of medical studies to prove its effectiveness. One such study found that 3 out of 5 of the study’s participants lost 5% or more of their body fat within 56 weeks of using Saxenda.

It’s important to note that Saxenda, just like any weight loss medication, is not recommended for use alone. Instead, it should be used as part of a healthy lifestyle alongside a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Does Mysimba Really Work?


Contrave (the American brand name for Mysimba) have conducted medical tests on the product to test its usefulness as a weight loss pill. The results have shown that after a 56 week period, the participants who used Mysimba (alongside a healthy diet and exercise) lost approximately 2 to 4 times more weight than participants who also dieted and exercised but did not take the Mysimba tablets.

Mysimba is FDA approved in the US and has received reviews from many patients who describe its effectiveness as a weight loss pill. The average rating on drugs.com for Contrave (Mysimba) is 6.7 out of 10, with more than 1,500 reviews commenting on its usefulness.

Just like any other weight loss pill, Mysimba is designed for use by people who are also participating in regular exercise and a healthy diet and is therefore not designed for use as a food substitute or replacement.

We hope this article has been useful in providing you with more information about the differences and similarities between Saxenda and Mysimba. Please see the table below for an overview of the main differences between the two products.


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