Studies have shown that proper injection sites are crucial for medication efficacy and patient safety. For instance, a study found a significant reduction in overdose deaths related to supervised injection sites, highlighting the importance of correct injection practices.

Saxenda, a medication approved for weight management, is administered via injection. Understanding where to inject Saxenda is critical to maximizing its benefits and minimizing potential side effects.

In this article, we will guide you through the recommended injection sites for Saxenda and provide insights on how to safely and effectively use this weight loss treatment.


Key Takeaways

  • Saxenda is a weight loss medication that requires proper administration through subcutaneous injections.
  • The abdomen, thigh, and upper arm are the recommended injection sites for Saxenda.
  • Proper injection technique, including site rotation and needle depth, is crucial for ensuring the medication’s effectiveness and minimizing discomfort.
  • Healthcare professionals play a vital role in educating patients on correct injection practices for Saxenda.


Understanding Saxenda and Its Administration


Saxenda, known scientifically as liraglutide, is a prescription medication for managing weight in adults and children aged 12 to 17 who have obesity or weight-related health issues.

This injectable drug mimics the appetite-regulating hormone GLP-1, reducing hunger and aiding in weight loss efforts. Available as a prefilled pen, Saxenda makes daily subcutaneous injections straightforward.

Choosing the right spot for Saxenda injections is critical. Injecting it into the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm helps the medicine work properly. These are areas where the injection can be given just under the skin (subcutaneously).



For Saxenda, the best spots to inject are your abdomen, thigh, or upper arm—pick what feels suitable for you and swap around to avoid discomfort. 

  • Abdomen: The abdomen is one of the best spots for injecting Saxenda, a medicine used by adults and children aged 12-17 to help with weight loss and management. This area allows for easy subcutaneous injection, meaning just under the skin.
  • Thigh: The thigh is another site where Saxenda injections can be administered. It’s a good choice for patients who might not feel comfortable injecting into the abdomen or upper arm. For children aged 12-17 using Saxenda, the thigh might offer a more accessible self-injection site due to its accessibility and visibility.
  • Upper Arm: The upper arm—specifically, the fatty tissue over the triceps—is a good choice for subcutaneous injections of liraglutide. Just as with injections in the abdomen and thigh, it’s crucial to use a clean technique and change the exact spot slightly with each dose to help prevent problems under the skin.

Step-by-Step Guide to Administering Saxenda Injections


Giving yourself a Saxenda injection may sound complicated, but it’s simpler than you think. Prepare the site and follow the easy steps to use the pen correctly.

Preparing the Injection Site

Preparing the injection site is crucial before administering Saxenda, a weight-loss injection. This ensures the medication is delivered safely and effectively.

  • Choose the right location on your body. The abdomen, thigh, or upper arm are the best spots for Saxenda injections.
  • Make sure the skin is clean and dry. Wash the area with soap and water, then dry it thoroughly with a clean towel.
  • Check the skin for any bruises, cuts, or irritations. Avoid injecting into any of these areas.
  • Rotate sites with each injection to avoid tissue damage or irritation. Don’t use the same spot for your next injection.
  • Use alcohol wipes to disinfect the chosen injection site. After wiping, let the skin air dry for a few seconds.
  • Prepare the Saxenda pen by checking its expiration date and ensuring it’s at room temperature if stored in a refrigerator.
  • Remove the cap from the pen and attach a new needle before every injection to maintain sterility.
  • Settle on gentle pressure with your fingers when preparing to inject, making administration more comfortable.
  • After injecting, press down lightly on the site with a cotton ball or gauze, but avoid rubbing it.

Assembling the Injection Pen

Once the injection site is ready, the next step is assembling the Saxenda injection pen. This process ensures that the medication is delivered safely and effectively. Here is how to put together the Saxenda pen for administering injections:

  • Take out the Saxenda pen from its box and remove the cap. Make sure you have a new needle for each injection to avoid infection.
  • Check the liquid in the pen. The solution should be clear and without particles. If it’s not, use a new pen.
  • Pick up a new needle and peel off its protective seal. Attach this needle straight onto the pen by twisting it until it feels secure.
  • Perform an air shot before each use to ensure the pen works correctly. To do this, turn the dose selector until it points at the flow check symbol. Hold the pen with the needle pointing upwards, then press and hold down the dose button until it stops moving and ‘0’ appears in the dose window, ensuring any air bubbles are expelled.
  • Adjust your dose as your healthcare professional prescribes by turning the dose selector until your required dose aligns with the pointer.
  • Recap that after use, you must safely dispose of your used needles in a sharps container to prevent injuries.

Administering the Injection

Giving Saxenda injections the right way is critical to helping patients manage weight. As medical professionals, knowing the steps can ensure safety and effectiveness.

  • Make sure the Saxenda pre-filled pen is at room temperature before use.
  • Check the liquid in the Saxenda pen to see if it’s clear and colorless.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to prevent infection.
  • Choose an injection site on the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm, as these areas have enough subcutaneous tissue.
  • Clean the injection site with an alcohol wipe and let it dry to kill any germs.
  • Remove the cap from the Saxenda pen and attach a new needle tightly to avoid leaks.
  • Dial up the prescribed dose on the Saxenda pen using its dose selector.
  • Pinch a fold of skin at the chosen injection site to prepare for the insertion of the needle.
  • Insert the needle into the pinched skin at about a 90-degree angle for maximum depth accuracy.
  • Press the dose button until it stops moving, then count slowly to six to ensure all medication is delivered.
  • Pull out the needle from the skin and put a cotton ball or gauze over the injection site if there is bleeding.
  • Dispose of used needles safely in an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container right after use.
  • Never reuse needles or share your Saxenda pen with others to avoid infections.

Disposing of Used Needles

Safe disposal of used needles is crucial after administering Saxenda injections. This ensures that no one gets hurt and helps prevent infections. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Place all used needles in an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container right after use.
  • Do not throw loose needles in the trash. If you do not have a sharps container, use a leak-proof, puncture-resistant, heavy-duty plastic container.
  • Keep the disposal container out of reach of children and pets to avoid accidents.
  • Once your disposal container is almost complete, follow local rules to remove it. Many areas have special programs for disposing of medical waste.
  • Do not recycle the sharps disposal container or try to refill it.
  • If you travel, bring a portable sharps container to safely dispose of needles away from home.

Tips for Proper Injection Technique

  • Rotating Injection Sites: Rotating injection sites is critical for Saxenda users. This method prevents the skin from getting too sore or damaged. Patients can switch between their abdomen, thigh, and upper arms without changing the dose. This practice keeps the skin healthy and ensures that Saxenda works well.
  • Ensuring Proper Needle Depth: Getting the needle depth right is key for Saxenda injections. The medicine must go under the skin, not too deep or shallow. For adults and children aged 12-17, using Saxenda ensures that the liraglutide works as it should, helping with weight management by regulating appetite hormones.
  • Minimizing Discomfort: Ensuring the needle enters the skin at the correct depth can significantly reduce discomfort duringinjections. Applying ice to the injection site before administering can numb the area, making it less sensitive.


Expert Recommendations for Self-Administering Saxenda Injections

Healthcare professionals stress the importance of using the proper technique for Saxenda injections. They say that injecting into the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm is safe when done correctly.

These areas allow Saxenda to work by helping control hunger through the appetite hormone GLP-1. This makes managing weight easier for adults and children aged 12-17. Using a prefilled pen adds convenience to this daily routine. Moreover, they can also compare the convenience and ease of self-administered treatments, such as Saxenda vs Wegovy, to give patients more options.

Choosing the wrong injection site can lead to discomfort or less effective results. Avoid injecting Saxenda into muscles or veins as it’s meant for subcutaneous use, specifically in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm.

Educating Patients on Correct Injection Practices

Medical professionals are crucial in guiding patients on using Saxenda correctly for weight loss and management. Saxenda (liraglutide) injections are a critical tool for adults with excess weight or obesity, and even children aged 12-17 can benefit from this treatment.

Patient education materials must include clear information on the correct administration of Saxenda injections. These resources should detail how to inject into the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm—highlighting the importance of rotating injection sites for safety and comfort.



Knowing where to inject Saxenda is critical for safety and effectiveness. Quick tips—choose your abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. Keep rotating sites to avoid issues. Always use a clean technique to stay safe.

With these steps, Saxenda becomes simpler and helps you manage weight better. This information sets you up for success on your health journey with Saxenda injections.


1. Where is the best spot to inject Saxenda?

You can inject Saxenda into your belly, thigh, or upper arm.

2. Can I inject Saxenda in the same place every time?

No, switching spots each time is good to avoid skin problems.

3. Does it hurt to inject Saxenda?

Most people find it only a little pinchy, not too bad!

4. How often do I need to use Saxenda?

Use Saxenda once daily at any time that works for you.

5. Do I need a doctor to help me with my first injection of Saxeda?

Yes, it’s wise to have your first shot under a doctor’s care so they can show you how.

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American Academy of Family Physicians. (2022, May 1). Saxenda vs. Wegovy: What to know. American Family Physician. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from

Healthline. (n.d.). Saxenda: What to know. Healthline. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from (n.d.). How do you inject liraglutide? Retrieved June 24, 2024, from