Weight loss medication, also referred to as anti-obesity drugs, controls or reduces weight by regulating the absorption of calories. These medications are available as over-the-countermedications, prescription drugs, and herbal medicines or supplements.
The benefit of prescription drugs is that they are issued strictly with a doctor’s prescription and their usage is closely monitored by the doctor. Certain weight loss prescription drugs with scheduled stimulants are regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). On the other hand, over-the-counter medications are available without notice from the doctor. Both over-the-counter and prescription weight loss medications are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Finally, herbal medication and supplements are found without assistance from a doctor and many are classified as food products. Since these are not as strictly regulated, they are not as safe as an option.
Prescription drugs are typically used for patients who have serious health risks associated with excess weight, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Patients who are unable to lose weight with conventional diet and exercise might also benefit from weight loss medication. Studies indicate that patients who use weight loss medication may lose up to 10 percent of their body weight in one year, especially if the medicine is taken in conjunction with use of a diet and exercise plan.
Some of the most commonly used weight loss prescriptions include:
• Adipex-P – Adipex-P is an anorectic and appetite suppressant, whose generic name is Phentermine.
• Belviq – Its generic name is Lorcaserin. It is a selective serotonin 2C receptor agonist. This medication encourages a feeling of satiety.
• Didrex – Didrex is an appetite suppressant and an anorectic drug. Didrex’s generic name is Benzphetamine.
• Qsymia – Qsymia is an appetite suppressant and an anorectic drug. Qsymia is a controlled substance under the DEA schedule. Its generic name is phentermine and topiramate.
• Xenica – The generic name of Xenica is Orlistat. It is a lipase inhibitor and a prescription form of the commonly known over-the-counter drug Alli. The drug prevents the absorption of fat in the intestines.
Here are five essential facts that you need to know about weight loss medication:
1. Weight loss medication prescription
The FDA reiterates that weight loss drugs be prescribed to people with serious weight problems. For example, people with a BMI of over 30 or serious weight issues that may compound the patient’s health situation. Patients who are not overweight do not benefit from the medications.
2. Health benefits of weight loss drugs outweigh the results of the weight loss
Weight loss drugs such as Saxenda and Qysimia may lead to a weight loss of up to five percent of the patient’s total body weight. Although these results may seem unimpressive, the loss is significant in the overall health and wellbeing of the patient. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a weight loss of five percent to 10 percent can lead to better blood sugar control, reduced blood pressure, and manageable blood cholesterol levels.
3. The medications work better when accompanied by diet and exercise plan
If you want to achieve long-term success in your weight loss, most physicians recommended the use of dieting medications with a companion diet and exercise plan.
4. Weight loss medication is not suitable for pregnant women
Studies have shown that drugs such as Qsymia, Belviq, and Contrive can cause harm to the fetus in a pregnant woman.
5. The doctor may change your prescription if it doesn’t work
Not every patient responds to every weight loss medication in the same way. Your doctor may choose to replace your medication with another type in order to find the best working combination for you for weight loss.
The principal purpose of using a weight loss medication is to reduce or control weight. Weight loss pills often work following two or three mechanisms. The mechanisms are: reducing appetite, increasing the fat burn-up, and reducing the level of caloric absorption.
Keep in mind that weight loss medicine is not meant to take the place of healthy eating or exercise. Rather, it is seen as a supplement and an asset to patients who are overweight and wish to follow the best plan for them to lose weight quickly but safely and effectively. Contact our office today to find out which weight loss medications are most often used successfully by our patients, and how we can help you discover a medical weight loss plan that will restore your health and help you to reach your goals.*