SkinnyJab Injections – Can They Really Help Weight Loss And Can I Get Them?

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By David Thoreau

Updated on

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Hailed by many as a “miracle diet jab” and more recently the “SkinnyJab”, liraglutide could soon be available as an obesity treatment via the NHS.

SkinnyJab Weight Loss Injections
The Skinny Jab is a branded version of Saxenda / liraglutide

SkinnyJab is a weight loss injection that’s getting a lot of attention in the UK. Much of the interest is due to celebrity endorsements.

At the time of this review, the main SkinnyJab flag-flyer was the TOWIE (reality TV show) star, Gemma Collins.

Lots of people need to lose weight and too many of them are looking for an easy route. It’s not surprising SkinnyJab appears so attractive.

A four-week course of injections that will make your excess poundage disappear? A lot of people are gagging at the bit to give this product a go.

But what’s the truth about SkinnyJab? Does it really work, is it safe, and will it be a good weight loss option for you?

Let’s dig a litter deeper into the facts about this trendy new weight-loss product and see.

Produced in Denmark by Novo Nordisk, it has been available since 2009, but was not approved (for weight loss) by the European Medicines Agency until January 2015.

Liraglutide was originally marketed under the brand name Victoza and it was, and remains, a valuable product for treating diabetes.

It has the power to improve control of blood glucose levels and reduce meal-induced hyperglycaemia by triggering extra insulin production when the need for extra insulin is required.

What Is SkinnyJab?

SkinnyJab is a branded version of the liraglutide. It’s delivered to patients via a series of daily or weekly injections.

Saxenda weight loss pen
Skinny Jab is delivered by a pen like instrument

When the ingredients enters your system it provides a hunger-suppressing effect. This makes it easier to stick to a low-calorie diet and eat less food.

As with hunger suppressing diet pills, and other weight loss options, the low-calorie diet is the real key to weight loss, the jab is only offering extra support.

Nevertheless, many people claim the hunger suppression SkinnyJab provides is significant.

Hunger suppression can help a lot when you are trying to lose weight.

Whether you overcome your battle with food cravings via pills, injections, drinking extra water, or sheer willpower alone, the important thing is you manage to continue to eat less food.

A low-calorie diet robs your body of energy (measured in calories). If you throw exercise into the mix, the energy loss becomes greater still.

When your body is short of energy it adapts to the situation by burning its stores of fat. This releases the energy it put into storage when you were eating too much. It’s the weight gain process thrown into reverse.

Initially prescribed under the “Victoza” brand name,  liraglutide was originally developed as a treatment for people with type 2 diabetes.

It has the power to improve control of blood glucose levels and reduce meal-induced hyperglycaemia by triggering extra insulin production when the need for extra insulin is required.

Who Makes SkinnyJab?

SkinnyJab is manufactured by the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk.

It’s not a unique product. There are several other liraglutide weight loss brands. SkinnyJab is not better than the other options it just benefits from better advertising. 

Novo Nordisk offers a second version of it as well. It’s called Saxenda. The company launched it back in 2017.

The only difference between SkinnyJab and Saxenda is the strength.

Each dose of SkinnyJab provides 1.2 mcg of liraglutide, but Saxenda provides 3 mcg.

How Do I Get SkinnyJab?

Prior to taking SkinnyJab, you need to undergo a clinical assessment in a private clinic to see if you are a good candidate.

The Initial program runs for three to four weeks. The consultation is the first step.

If you are deemed a good candidate you receive a SkinnyJab home care package, ongoing aftercare, and access to a weight loss adviser 12 hours per day, seven days per week.

For additional support, the call center staff are available 24 hours a day.

Don’t see this as a jab-and-go weight-loss solution. The program also entails following a special diet. 

Two program options are available.

The first involves daily injections.

The second entails getting a single, longer-lasting jab once per week.

This may be the best option for people who have busier lifestyles. SkinnyJab advisers can tell you which version is the best one for you.

All told, following the SkinnyJab program will cost you £250-£400, depending on whether you jab every day or only once per week. 

The Legalities of Getting the Injection

SkinnyJab is a legal weight loss medication. It was approved for European use in 2009.

However, the guidelines the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provide only permit its use on patients who are obese. That means if you want to use SkinnyJab, you need to have a BMI of 30 or more.

As is the case with other weight loss medications, it’s possible to still get treatment with a lower BMI (25+) if you suffer from certain medical conditions.

Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and high blood pressure are a few examples. Being overweight has the potential to aggravate these conditions.

How Well Do SkinnyJab Injections Work?

According to the official website, SkinnyJab injections deliver an average weight loss of 12-20 pounds within the first four weeks.

However, no two people are the same. Just because some people can achieve this, it doesn’t mean you will too.

Despite all the positive media coverage, there are also some concerns about using Skinny Jab to lose weight.

Some experts worry using it may cause people to develop an unreasonable attitude about managing their weight.

One doctor states there is a risk people will use it to lose weight, return to their bad eating habits, regain weight, and then go back on the product again.

A little like yo-yo dieting with an added pincushion effect.

SkinnyJab claims its course design supports lasting weight loss.

However, the kind of people seeking this type of quick-fix solution may not have the right mindset to follow through.

Losing weight slowly with diet and exercise helps develop long-lasting good lifestyle habits. Jabbing needles in the flesh might not.

SkinnyJab Side Effects and Safety Issues

As with a lot of weight loss measures, SkinnyJab can entail some side effects.

The results of a clinical review suggest the most likely liraglutide side effects are gastrointestinal.  It also suggests such issues are more likely to occur during the early stages of treatment.

Possible side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

None of the aforementioned issues are too daunting but it’s important to also take note of the fact the review stresses the need for further study:

Additional studies are needed to determine its long term efficacy and safety profile.”

The only side effects listed on the SkinnyJab website are headache, nausea, and tiredness, but some experts have raised concerns that it may trigger hypoglycemia.

The manufacturer says is adamant it does not but liraglutide remains a relatively new product. Who knows what the future will tell?

So, is SkinnyJab safe? A lot of people are asking that question. The answer differs from one expert to the next. 

In a best-case scenario, a weight loss medication like this would only be available via family doctors and other medical personnel who have full access to a patient’s medical files.

This would allow the person giving the medication to make an educated decision based on medical facts, not just the information potential users are willing to share.

At the moment, this is not the case. The people in the private clinics that prescribe it may not be fully conversant with all the factors involved.

Skinny Jab Review Summary

Like weight gain, weight loss is nothing new. 

People have been doing both since the human race began.

Both procedures share a common factor—how much food goes into the mouth.

When too much food goes in the calorie count goes up and waistlines begin to expand.

When the supply is restricted the body begins burning fat and waist measurements start going the other way.

Correct diet needs to be at the heart of any healthy weight-loss plan. If it’s not the diet is destined to fail.

Eating less food presents an undeniable problem—hunger.

SkinnyJab is an injection that aims to give dieters an advantage by making hunger go away.

However, there are many cheaper ways to do the same thing.

Some people beat hunger by “filling up” with water or eating more low-calorie, high-fiber foods.

There are some pretty good appetite suppressing diet pills available too.

Apart from being pain-free and simpler to use, such pills have the advantage of being cheaper as well.

SkinnyJab appears to be capable of beating hunger and helping people to lose weight but the product is new and study is still in its early stages.

It has promise but it may not be the best way for the average person to lose weight.

Indeed, many people who need to lose weight are far from being clinically obese, are not eligible to use SkinnyJab anyway, and will have to go an alternative route.

As for the people who are clinically obese, going to a private clinic does not make sense.

Their level of obesity may make them a candidate for other form of medication. That gives them the option of bringing their family doctor onboard, which is surely a better way to go.

Alternatives to Skinny Jab

The commercial market is home to several products that have been formulated to produce exception results and are multi format.

PhenQ for example can burn excess body fat, block the introduction of new fat while also suppressing appetite.

PhenQ includes pharmacy grade ingredients but available to order direct from the official website without the need for a prescription.

Additional Information on Saxenda

What is Saxenda Liraglutide and how does it Work?

When used as an aid to weight loss 3mg of liraglutide (marketed as Saxenda) should be injected into the stomach first thing each morning.

This then provides appetite suppression for the rest of the day and, over a one-year-period, dieters who self-inject liraglutide each morning can expect to lose around a stone in weight more than dieters who are going the more traditional route by counting the calories and taking regular exercise.

It is important to note, however, that liraglutide will produce the best results when users adhere to a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise.

Studies show liraglutide can help dieters to reduce their calorie intakes by 10%, and results suggest that the drop is significant enough to produce very credible weigh losses.

In fact, the available data indicates liraglutide has twice the power of Orlistat—presently the preferred choice of British GPs when they require an effective weight loss aid for patients who are so obese their health has been placed in serious risk.

In simple terms, liraglutide assists weight loss by ensuring the user’s calorie intake is reduced enough to encourage the fat burning process.

According to Novo Nordisk, it achieves this by emulating a natural hormone (human GLP-1) that is produced by the body each time food is eaten.

The presence of this hormone signals the brain the stomach is full, so the copy-cat nature of liraglutide successfully misleads the brain into suppressing the appetite.

Saxenda Clinical Trials

Several studies support liraglutide’s appetite suppressing abilities, but its approval as a treatment for obesity is mostly due to the results of a clinical trial that were presented at Obesity Week 2014, the 2nd Annual Congress of The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the Obesity Society.

The data gathered from the “phase 3a SCALE™ Obesity and Prediabetes trial” showed 9 out of 10 obese adults had successfully lost significant amounts of weight by injecting 3mg doses of liraglutide.

The test subjects also followed a healthy diet and took regular exercise, but the placebo group behaved in a similar manner and their efforts produced results that fell short of the Liraglutide group’s by 9.2%.

At the completion of the 56-week study the researchers asked the participants to fill in a questionnaire, and the dieters who had injected liraglutide reported improvement in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and improved physical and mental wellbeing.

SCALE™ clinical trial investigator, Dr Ken Fujioka (Department of Nutrition and Metabolic Research, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California) pointed out the increased mental and physical burdens that can result from obesity and said it was “encouraging” to see the benefits liraglutide can provide.

Side Effects & Health Issues

In 2013 a group from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine raised concerns about a possible link between GLP-1 derivatives and pancreatitis, but both the FDA (USA) and the European Medicines Agency evaluated the available data and concurred there was “no compelling evidence of an increased risk of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer “.

Some side effects have been reported though. These have invariably been mild in nature, with nausea and diarrhoea standing out as the two most probable side effects liraglutide users are likely to face.

Availability – Where To Buy Saxenenda (SkinnyJab)

Although Liraglutide has been granted the necessary approval from the European Medicines Agency, and has been deemed a safe and effective weight loss treatment, at the time of writing it remained unclear whether Novo Nordisk would succeed in its aim to get Britain’s rationing body (Nice) to sanction Liraglutide’s use as a prescription medication available via the NHS.

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about the author

David Thoreau is a Biotechnologist with a background in life sciences. He has worked for many years on research projects that have helped people improve their quality of life. David has enjoyed collaborating with other scientists around the world, and he loves sharing his knowledge to help educate others about biotechnology.