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Weight Loss Service

Weight Loss Service

Being overweight puts you at risk to a number of health problems and also affect your confidence.

What are weight loss injections and are they safe?

You may have seen celebrities  take to social media to promote weight loss injections and praise the so-called "skinny jab". It can be tempting to think of these injections as a quick and easy fix to your weight problem, but in truth, they can only work if you make the necessary lifestyle changes too.

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What are weight loss injections?

If you're considering weight loss injections, it's important to understand that this treatment is designed to address weight-related health issues. According to The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)1, this medicine is only right for you if all of the following applies:

When it comes to weight loss, one size certainly doesn't fit all. If you don't meet these criteria but are unhappy with your size, speak to us about losing weight safely. This will always involve healthy eating and regular exercise, but there are various support services that can make your weight loss journey that little bit easier.

How do weight loss injections work?


Mounjaro( Tirzepatide) - Available


Mounjaro is a weekly self–injectable pen used for weight loss. It contains tirzepatide which works by regulating blood sugar and energy balance levels, helping to reduce appetite and prevent cravings.

Tirzepatide works on two different hormonal receptors: glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). You may have heard of GLP-1 from other weight loss injections.

GLP-1 helps to regulate blood sugar levels, which in turn talks to the brain to make you feel less hungry and prevent cravings. It also slows down the emptying of the stomach to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

GIP regulates energy balance in brain and fat cells, enhancing the GLP-1 effect of suppressing your appetite and improving sugar control.

By mimicking the effects of both these naturally occurring hormones, Mounjaro has been shown to have greater weight loss potential than medicines that work on GLP-1 alone.

You inject Mounjaro under the skin (subcutaneously) in your stomach area, thigh or upper arm once a week using an injection pen. Don’t worry, it’s actually much easier than it sounds and if we prescribe Mounjaro for you, we’ll provide you with full instructions on how to use it.

You must follow a strict dosage increase schedule as advised by the pharmacist.

To allow your body to get used to the medicine and have the best chance for long-term success, you should follow the gently increasing dosage schedule as instructed.

Usually, you’ll start with a dose of 2.5 mg of Mounjaro, which will increase every four weeks (or as advised and if suitable for you) until you reach your maximum maintenance dose of 5mg, 10mg or 15mg.

If you’re wondering how much weight you can lose on Mounjaro, clinical trials have shown that patients could achieve at least 20% weight loss after using tirzepatide for 72 weeks (18 months) when combined with healthy lifestyle changes.

Mounjaro can cause some side effects to occur. Very common ones are gastrointestinal in nature: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation. These are mainly seen with dose increases, and tend to settle with time.

Other common side effects could include: fatigue, feeling lightheaded, excess wind (flatulence), gallstones, gastroesophageal reflux, injection site reactions, hair loss and hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes.

In rare cases, there can be serious side effects, such as:

Pancreatitis – if you develop severe abdominal pain, with or without persistent vomiting, this may be a sign of pancreatitis and you need to get medical help immediately.

Anaphylaxis – if you experience difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips or tongue and difficulty swallowing, you may be having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) and you must seek immediate medical help.

Please read the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your medicine for full details of side effects and how to use Mounjaro.

Mounjaro is approved for people with a BMI over 30 (obesity), as well as those with a BMI over 27 (overweight) who also have weight-related health problems such as prediabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart problems.

You shouldn’t use tirzepatide if you’re pregnant, and you should stop taking Mounjaro at least one month before trying to get pregnant.

Mounjaro is not suitable in some medical circumstances, for example if you use some other diabetes medicines, have severe problems with digesting food, or have a history of pancreatitis or thyroid cancer. If you’re allergic to tirzepatide or any of the other ingredients in this weight loss injection treatment, you must not use Mounjaro.

It’s essential that you give us a full medical history and details of any conditions or other medicines you’re taking when you fill out our online questionnaire. This ensures we’re able to prescribe weight loss treatment that’s suitable and safe for you.

As Mounjaro is a new weight loss medicine available in the UK, it has been assigned a black triangle, which means it will be closely monitored for any adverse effects.

If you’re using Saxenda or Wegovy, you’ll need to wait 1 month before switching to Mounjaro. This is called the 'washout' period, and gives the body time for the first drug to leave the system. All patients using Mounjaro for the first time will start with 2.5mg. Keep in mind, Mounjaro may not be suitable for you (even if you're using another weight loss medicine). We’ll assess if it’s right for you during your consultation.

Wegovy and Mounjaro are both weekly injection pens and work in similar ways to aid weight loss. Mounjaro has proven more effective in clinical trials, as it works on GLP-1 and GIP hormones, whereas Wegovy only works on GLP-1. However, Mounjaro is a new medicine in the UK so we don’t have as much safety data on it compared to other medicines in the long term. Deciding if or which medicine is right for you will depend on different factors, which we’ll assess during your consultation. If you’re already on Wegovy (or Saxenda) and losing weight, we recommend you keep using it. Keep in mind, weight plateaus are normal on your weight loss journey.

Saxenda- Ongoing supply issues

Saxenda - also known as liraglutide - is a weight loss medicine that you inject once a day to make you feel more full and less hungry.

This drug emulates a natural hormone found in the body that regulates your appetite, which can help you to consume fewer calories and lose weight. As with any weight loss treatment, this injection will only work if you also stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan. Studies show that Saxenda can lead to 4-6 kg of weight loss2.

Wegovy- Ongoing supply issues

Like Saxenda, Wegovy makes you feel fuller for longer by mimicking an intestinal hormone. But while Saxenda is injected daily, Wegovy is injected weekly. There's also evidence that Wegovy may be more effective for weight loss than Saxenda3. According to NICE, the new drug may help people reduce their weight by more than 10%, so long as they follow their diet and exercise plans4.

Possible side-effects of Saxenda

The most commons side effects9 include:

There are a few documented cases of long-term and severe adverse reactions. These include:

It is not known if this medication can cause thyroid tumours or thyroid cancer, but medicines that work like Saxenda have caused these conditions in studies with rats. For this reason, you shouldn’t take this injection if you or someone in your family has ever had medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2)9.

There are several other health conditions and medications that can make the Saxenda weight loss injection unsafe for you to take. Your healthcare expert will be able to advise if this is the case.

Possible side-effects of Wegovy

The most commons side effects10 include:

  • Nausea/ vomiting.
  • Diarrhoea/ constipation.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Headache.
  • Tiredness (fatigue).
  • Bloating, belching and wind.
  • Stomach flu.
  • Heartburn.

There are a few documented cases of long-term and severe adverse reactions. These include:

  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
  • Gallbladder problems.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Depression/ suicidal thoughts.
  • Serious allergic reactions - symptoms may include swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat and a very quick heartbeat, breathing or swallowing difficulties, or a severe rash. At worst, anaphylaxis.
  • For people with type 2 diabetes - there are additional risks of low blood sugar and changes in vision.

As with Saxenda, it is not known if Wegovy causes thyroid tumours or thyroid cancer, and so avoid this drug if you or someone in your family has ever had MTC or MEN 2. As other health conditions and medications may make Wegovy unsafe for you, always follow your healthcare expert’s advice.




Three key safety tips

1. Don't neglect diet and exercise

Remember, weight loss injections aren't miracle drugs - only by making lifestyle changes like following a nutritious diet and increasing your physical activity will you achieve a healthy body weight. It's these major lifestyle changes that will help you to keep the weight off and reduce your risk of weight-related health conditions.

2. Choose a trusted healthcare provider

In the UK, there have been reports of unregulated imports of weight loss injections and non-medically qualified practitioners. This weight management technique is only safe if carried out by a qualified and trained professionals like our pharmacists.

3. Disclose your medical history

A trustworthy provider should always do a thorough check of your medical record and ask questions to determine if weight loss injections are a suitable and safe treatment path for you. You should disclose any current or previous medical conditions and medications that you have taken.