Weight Loss Medications

Weight Loss MedicationsAchieving long-term weight loss may require you to make a number of lifestyle changes, including developing healthier eating habits and making more time for exercise. Along with guiding you through making those changes, some weight loss doctors will also incorporate weight loss medications to help you meet your weight loss goals.

How Weight Loss Medications Work

Weight loss medications can help you lose weight by:

  • Suppressing appetite
  • Boosting metabolism

When your appetite decreases, you naturally consume fewer calories, supporting healthy weight loss. Improved metabolism will help you use the calories you are consuming more efficiently.

Weight loss medications are generally prescribed on a short-term basis to support weight loss. Prescriptions for these medications are available for those with a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or higher. If an individual has a BMI of 27 or higher and has serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure or type-2 diabetes, they may also be prescribed weight loss medications.

Common Weight Loss Medications

  • Phentermine is a common prescription weight loss medication. Phentermine acts as an appetite suppressant and is also included in one the newer weight loss medications, Qsymia.
  • Qsymia is approved by the FDA as a weight loss medication. Qsymia contains a combination of phentermine and topiramate. Topiramate, also known as Topamax, decreases appetite, along with helping to increase calorie burning and make foods taste less appealing.
  • Belviq is also an FDA-approved medication for weight loss. It also functions as an appetite suppressant and works to decrease appetite by affecting the serotonin receptors that influence hunger.
  • Metformin is most commonly used to treat diabetes, but is also shown to effectively reduce hunger and is sometimes used to treat obese individuals. It is especially useful as a treatment option for overweight children and adolescents.

Best Practices

Weight loss medications are intended to provide people who are looking to lose weight with an additional tool to help them safely achieve a healthy weight. Because these are prescription-strength medications, they should only be used under the direction of a medical weight loss doctor.

Along with with making lifestyle changes that encourage long-term healthy eating and exercise routines, weight loss medications can provide the additional help that a person needs to start realizing their weight loss goals.