Weight loss medications are prescription medications that help reduce food cravings and your appetite. In the past few years, the FDA approved several anti-obesity drugs that control food cravings and appetite.
Weight loss medications reduce the number of calories you consume each day because they make you feel less hungry. You will lose weight over time by eating less calories.
Certain anti-obesity drugs can also reduce cravings and control compulsive food eating, particularly for sweets, fatty, salted, and high-calorie foods.
Who can use Weight loss medications?
In some cases, your doctor may recommend a drug to help you lose weight. You may need a weight-loss drug if:
BMI is higher than 30. You have a condition called obesity, which is characterized by having too much fat in your body.
BMI Is greater than 27. You have serious medical problems linked to obesity such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Your health care provider will consider your medical history and your current health issues before recommending a medication. Your provider will then discuss with you the pros and cons associated with prescription Weight loss medications.
These drugs are not for everyone. You shouldn’t, for example, take weight-loss prescription drugs if you are trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding.
What are the effects of Weight loss medications?
Weight-loss prescription drugs, which you can take for longer than 12 weeks (called long-term use), lead to significant weight loss when compared to a non-medicinal treatment, or placebo. Weight-loss medicines combined with lifestyle changes lead to greater weight loss compared to lifestyle changes alone.
These drugs can result in a weight loss of up to 12% greater than that achieved by lifestyle changes alone. This may not sound like much. Losing 5% to 10% your body weight, and maintaining it, can be beneficial for your health. It can, for example, lower blood pressure, sugar levels, and the levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood.
Weight loss medications: What you need to know
Mild side-effects, like nausea, diarrhea and constipation, are quite common. Over time, they may diminish. Only rarely can serious side effects occur. Ask your doctor about the different treatment options. Ask about the potential benefits and risks associated with each drug.
Insurance doesn’t always cover the cost of weight-loss medications. Your insurance provider can tell you if your plan covers weight-loss drugs.
When people stop using Weight loss medications, they often gain some of the weight that they had lost. Healthy lifestyle habits can help to limit weight gain.
How long should I take my Weight loss medication?
The length of time you should take a drug to help you lose weight depends on how effective it is. Your doctor may recommend that you continue taking the drug if you have lost enough weight and improved your health.
Your doctor will likely change your treatment if you don’t lose at least 5% body weight in 3 to 6 months after taking a full dose. You may be switched to another weight-loss medication.
What Weight loss medications are available?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved six weight-loss medications for long-term usage.