Prescription weight-loss medications

Examine the pros and cons of treatment to handle being overweight.

By Mayo Clinic Employees

Are you an grownup who is overweight or obese and has severe overall health challenges due to the fact of your weight? Have you attempted diet program and training but haven’t been capable to obtain substantial weight loss? If you answered of course to these questions, then a prescription weight-loss drug might be an selection for you.

You should know, however, that prescription weight-loss medications are utilised in addition to — not in its place of — diet program and training.

Who is a candidate for weight-loss medications?

Your health practitioner may possibly take into account weight-loss medications for you if you haven’t been capable to drop weight by diet program and training and you fulfill 1 of the pursuing:

  • Your physique mass index (BMI) is greater than thirty.
  • Your BMI is greater than 27 and you have a severe health-related dilemma connected to being overweight, these kinds of as diabetic issues or high blood tension.

In advance of picking out a treatment for you, your health practitioner will take into account your overall health background, possible drug side outcomes and potential interactions with prescription drugs you are already using.

It truly is significant to notice, however, that weight-loss medications usually are not for all people. For example, prescription weight-loss medications shouldn’t be utilised by gals who are expecting or hoping to turn out to be expecting or gals who are breast-feeding.

How effectively do weight-loss medications work?

All prescription weight-loss medications authorised for prolonged-time period use produce substantial weight loss in comparison with placebo. In addition, studies demonstrate that the addition of weight-loss treatment to way of living changes effects in greater weight loss than way of living changes by yourself produce.

More than the course of twelve months, that can necessarily mean a weight loss of 3 to 7 per cent of full physique weight further than that reached with way of living changes by yourself. That may possibly appear like a modest sum, but sustained weight loss of five to ten per cent of full physique weight can have overall health advantages, these kinds of as lowering blood tension, blood sugar and triglyceride degrees.

What you should know about weight-loss medications

Moderate side outcomes, these kinds of as nausea, constipation or diarrhea, are frequent, but may possibly lessen above time. Not often, severe side outcomes can take place. For this explanation, it really is significant to extensively examine treatment options with your health practitioner.

Bodyweight-loss medications can be pricey and are not generally compensated for by insurance. Check out with your insurance company to study about protection for each treatment selection.

How prolonged does drug treatment very last?

How prolonged you will will need to get weight-loss treatment relies upon on whether the drug helps you drop weight and whether you have any side outcomes. If you have misplaced more than enough weight to strengthen your overall health and usually are not getting severe side outcomes, your health practitioner may possibly advise that you keep on the treatment indefinitely.

If you never drop at the very least five per cent of your physique weight after twelve months on the full dose of your treatment, your health practitioner will probably modify your therapy approach or take into account working with a unique weight-loss treatment.

Just after halting weight-loss treatment, a lot of people today achieve again some of the weight they misplaced. Having said that, adopting healthful way of living routines may possibly assist limit weight achieve.

What medications are authorised in the U.S. for weight loss?

Four prescription weight-loss medications are authorised by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (Fda) for prolonged-time period use: bupropion-naltrexone (Contrave), liraglutide (Saxenda), orlistat (Xenical) and phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia).

Most prescription weight-loss medications work by lowering hunger or expanding emotions of fullness, and some do each. The exception is orlistat, which operates by interfering with absorption of fat.

Bupropion-naltrexone is a mix drug. Naltrexone is utilised to handle alcohol and opioid dependence. Bupropion is an antidepressant and quit-smoking cigarettes support. Like all antidepressants, bupropion carries a warning about suicide threat. Bupropion-naltrexone can raise blood tension, and monitoring is needed at the commence of therapy. Widespread side outcomes contain nausea, headache and constipation.

Liraglutide is also utilised to handle diabetic issues. As opposed to other weight-loss medications, liraglutide is administered by injection. Nausea is a frequent criticism, and vomiting may possibly limit its use.

Orlistat can cause bothersome gastrointestinal side outcomes, these kinds of as flatulence and loose stools. It truly is needed to adhere to a low-fat diet program when using this treatment. Orlistat is also accessible in a reduced-toughness type with no a prescription (Alli). Uncommon scenarios of severe liver harm have been reported. Having said that, no cause-and-impact romantic relationship has been founded.

Phentermine-topiramate is a mix of an anticonvulsant (topiramate) and a weight-loss drug (phentermine). Phentermine has the potential to be abused due to the fact of its amphetamine-like outcomes. Other possible side outcomes contain an increase in coronary heart rate and blood tension, insomnia, constipation and nervousness. Topiramate increases the threat of birth problems.

Phentermine as a single agent (Adipex-P) is also utilised for weight loss. It truly is 1 of 4 weight-loss medications authorised for small-time period use (a lot less than twelve months). This group of medications is just not broadly recommended due to the fact of the minimal period of use, side outcomes and potential for abuse. The exception is phentermine. It truly is usually recommended and the genuine rate of abuse seems to be low.

The base line

Bodyweight-loss medications usually are not an straightforward solution to weight loss, but they can be a resource to assist you adopt the way of living changes you will need to drop weight and strengthen your overall health.