A mum who tried a new weight loss injection she’d seen on TikTok warned others not to buy it after suffering headaches, missed periods and piling the weight she lost back on.
Zoe Smith, 30, decided to purchase the Saxenda injection for £480 from Asda after seeing it advertised on TikTok and says it was “dangerously easy to buy”.
Tipping the scales at 17 stone and struggling to squeeze into a size 20, Zoe was keen to lose weight – after unsuccessfully trying diet programmes like Weight Watchers and Slimming World, as well as shake detoxes and calorie deficits.
After consulting a dietician, Zoe claims she was told the weight loss jab could be a last resort before gastric band surgery.
She injected the drug into her stomach once a day, racking up £460 for eight pens, over a total of two months.
The jab made her feel “nauseous, feeling unable to get out of bed,” and she stopped taking it after seven pens. She is now on the NHS waiting list for a gastric sleeve.
Saxenda was licensed for use in the UK in June 2020 – but at the time, it was only available via the Lloyds Pharmacy weight loss programme – and later, NHS prescription.
Since March 2022, the treatment has been available over the counter at most shops such as Asda, Superdrug and Boots.
Pharmacists don’t recommend using Saxenda alongside any diabetes medications – like Trulicity or Ozempic – both of which have been used illegally to “aid” weight loss.
Before her first injection, Zoe confessed to “constantly craving high-calorie snacks” in between meals – particularly struggling to resist “big bags of chocolate and crisps”.
The appetite suppressant “encouraged” her to eat three “nutritious” meals a day, as she was able to “feel fuller for longer”.
Having reached the maximum dosage, she could afford – 1.8mg per pen, over two months – Zoe decided she wanted to come off the course of treatment.
Despite losing 1st 7lbs in her first month, she decided her decline in health wasn’t worth the weight loss.
Online pharmacy service Zava recommends slowly decreasing your dosage of Saxenda over time – rather than stopping in one go – to prevent digestive issues and sickness.
“I had to wean myself off,” Zoe said.
Zoe claims her appetite still hasn’t returned to normal and says she’d “never recommend Saxenda” to anyone wanting to lose weight.
She is now on the waiting list for NHS gastric band surgery.
A spokesperson for ASDA said: “As part of the assessment, we ask specific questions relevant to prescribing weight loss medication – including any past history of eating disorders, specifically mentioning any conditions that are contraindications for the drugs, any problems with past use of weight loss medication, and advice about the importance of lifestyle changes.