Find out if you could benefit from taking these medications.

Although weight loss drugs like any dieter dream can sound, they are not suitable for everyone. If you have serious health problems because of your weight and dieting hasn’t worked for you, weight loss prescription drugs, however, can be an option. You should know, however, that prescription drugs weight loss not replaced the need for healthy changes in your eating habits and activity level.

Who is a candidate for weight loss drugs?

Prescription drugs weight loss are generally reserved for people who are not able to lose weight by diet and exercise, and who have health problems because of their weight. They are not for people who want to lose a few pounds for cosmetic reasons.

Consider weight loss drugs your doctor for you you have no contraindications and:

  • Your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30
  • Your BMI is greater than 27 and you have a serious medical problem related to obesity, such as diabetes or high blood pressure

Before you a medication for you, your doctor will consider your health history, possible side effects and possible interaction of weight loss drugs with other medicines that you take.

How well working weight loss drugs?

When combined with a low-calorie diet and regular exercise, weight loss drugs produce an average weight loss of 5 to 10 percent of the total body weight within a year, that a typical weight-loss goal. Diet and exercise are responsible for a portion of this weight loss, and medications are responsible for a part too.

Loss of 5 to 10 percent of your total weight may not seem like much, but even modest weight loss can improve your health by:

  • Decreasing blood pressure
  • Decreasing lipid levels
  • Decreasing levels of glucose in the blood
  • Increasing insulin sensitivity

It is important to keep in mind, however, that these medications may not work for everyone. And when you use this medication stops, you’re probably too much or all of you lost weight regain.

Common weight loss drugs

Diethylpropion (Tenuate) and phentermine (Adipex) are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for short-term use only — generally less than 12 weeks. Only orlistat (Xenical) is approved by the FDA for prolonged use. Orlistat is also available in the form of a reduced-strength without a prescription (Alli).

The graph shows the used prescription drugs weight loss, how they work and their side effects.

Drug Mechanism Of Action Possible side effects
Diethylpropion Reduces appetite, increases the feeling of fullness Increased blood pressure and heart rate, insomnia, dizziness
Phentermine Reduces appetite, increases the feeling of fullness Increased blood pressure and heart rate, insomnia, dizziness
Orlistat Blocks absorption of fat Intestinal cramps, gas, oily spotting

Safety of weight loss drugs

Safety is a concern with some medications have been weight loss. For example, sibutramine (Meridia) was approved in 1997 for weight loss but was removed from the market in 2010 because follow-up studies showed an increase in the risk of serious heart events, including non-fatal heart attack and stroke.

In the same year, the FDA because of rare reports of serious liver damage in a safety review of orlistat people take it. No cause and effect relationship was established between orlistat and liver Injury risk. However, Xenical and Alli orlistat to labels now advise people who alert signs and symptoms that liver damage, such as itching, loss of appetite, yellow eyes or skin, light-colored stools or brown urine can indicate.

Factors to consider

If you meet the criteria for prescription drugs weight loss, you and your doctor will need to evaluate the potential benefits against the possible risks of the medicine. Cost is also a consideration. Not all health insurance plans include prescription drugs weight loss.

If you consider weight loss drugs, make sure you do everything possible to exercise, changing your eating habits and a different lifestyle factors that have contributed to customize your excess weight.

Weight loss drugs are not the easy answer to weight loss, but they can be a useful tool to help you make the necessary changes of diet and lifestyle. Keep off the pounds you’ve lost, however, is an ongoing concern. And many people, despite their efforts, still shows the weight.