Prescription Weight Loss Drugs: How Effective These are for Obesity

weight-loss-drugsWeight loss drugs are of two types. One may be weight loss supplements and the others are prescription weight loss drugs. The first category of weight loss pills are easily available but for the second you need a doctor’s prescription.

All these pills claim to help you with weight loss or at the minimum these make it easier for you to lose weight when combined with other weight loss methods.

These drugs work by either suppressing your appetite, reducing nutrient absorption in the body or by acting as fat burners.

We will discuss about natural weight loss supplements in another post, but right now we will discuss more about prescription weight loss drugs.

As we know that obesity is no longer just a condition that increases risks for other diseases, it is a disease itself now. And because of this, a lot of medical research has been focused on finding obesity treatments but so far the effective weight loss drugs have been quite elusive.

Who Can Use Weight Loss Drugs

Prescription weight loss drugs are for people who are so much obese that the health risks arising out of obesity are very serious. Do keep in mind that weight loss drugs are no substitute for healthy eating and regular fitness regime. The most commonly prescribed weight loss drugs are:

  • Adipex – it is anorectic and suppresses appetite
  • Qysmia – Suppresses appetite and is also anorectic
  • Belviq – works by promoting a feeling of satiety
  • Saxenda – regulates areas of brain that are responsible for appetite
  • Contrave – appetite suppressing, also increases metabolism
  • Xenical – Inhibits lipase. It is prescription alternative for Alli (over the counter) [1]
  • Suprenza – appetite suppression and anorectic
  • Diethylpropion, Didrex, Desoxyn, Bontril – all appetite suppressants and anorectics
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As you can, when it comes to prescription weight loss drugs, not a lot of options are available, for example when compared with drugs for other chronic diseases like hypertension.

Do Weight Loss Drugs Work?

Even prescription weight loss drugs work only when used as part of a complete weight loss program involving diet and exercise. These drugs are prescribed for people with BMI higher than 30. Those who have other diseases like high blood pressure, sleep issues, diabetes etc in combination with obesity can use it with BMI of 27 or higher.

As with other drugs, different people respond to the drugs in different ways. Some may lose a lot of weight but many may not lose weight at all. But there are different options available and you can try the other ones if one does not work for you.

So how much weight you will lose weight prescription weight loss drugs? For one thing, do not expect that you will lose weight overnight or even in a week. Generally, you will be able to lose about 5 to 10 percent of your weight over a period of 6 months to a year.[2] This means that you may be able to lose about between ten to twenty pounds in a year if you weigh 200 pounds now.  This might sound a modest weight loss, but people with severe obesity can expect a significant improvement in their life and it also decreses their risks of stroke, heart disease and diabetes.

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Are Weight-loss Drugs Safe to Use?

Many weight loss drugs in the past have been taken off the market because of their side effects. For example, fenfluramine and Dexfenfluramine were reported to damage heart valves. Similarly, meridia was also removed after it was suspected that it increases risks for stroke and heart attack.

Modern drugs also have side effects. For example Qysmia has been linked with birth defects. Therefore, women taking it should not try to get pregnant.

But if you find that your prescription weight loss pills has helped you lose about 5 percent of weight in a few months without any significant side effects, then you can continue to take the medicine for the rest of life.

However, weight loss medicines work best when you take these in conjunction with a healthy diet, enough sleep, reduced stress in life and exercise program. Weight loss drugs should be only one part of the overall comprehensive weight loss program.

 

Note: Please consult with your physician before starting any prescription weight loss drug. This is an informative article and should not be treated as a medical advice. 

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