Weight loss pills

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Editor-In-Chief: Prab R. Tumpati M.D.. Founder, WikiMD and W8MD Weight Loss, Sleep and MedSpa Centers.

Dr. Tumpati is board certified physician practicing sleep medicine, obesity medicine, aesthetic medicine and internal medicine. Dr. Tumpati’s passion is prevention rather than cure. As a physician with fellowship training in Obesity Medicine, Dr. Tumpati has a unique approach to wellness, weight loss, aesthetics with a focus on prevention rather than cure. Dr. Tumpati believes in educating the public on the true science and art of medicine, nutrition, wellness and beauty.

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Any medication, supplement or drug used for the sole purpose of losing weight can be called a weight loss pill or diet pill. The weight loss medications can be of several types depending on the mechanism of action of the weight loss medication.

How do weight-loss medications work?

Prescription medications to treat overweight and obesity work in different ways. For example, some medications may help you feel less hungry or full sooner. Other medications may make it harder for your body to absorb fat from the foods you eat.

Who might benefit from weight-loss medications?

Weight-loss medications are meant to help people who may have health problems related to overweight or obesity. Before prescribing a weight-loss medication, your doctor also will consider

  • the likely benefits of weight loss
  • the medication’s possible side effects
  • your current health issues and other medications
  • your family's medical history
  • cost

Health care professionals often use BMI to help decide who might benefit from weight-loss medications. Your doctor may prescribe a medication to treat your overweight or obesity if you are an adult with

  • a BMI of 30 or more or
  • a BMI of 27 or more and you have weight-related health problems, such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.

Weight-loss medications aren’t for everyone with a high BMI. Some people who are overweight or obese may lose weight with a lifestyle program that helps them change their behaviors and improve their eating and physical activity habits. A lifestyle program may also address other factors that affect weight gain, such as eating triggers and not getting enough sleep.

What medications are available to treat overweight and obesity?

The FDA has approved five of these drugs— orlistat (Xenical, Alli), lorcaserin (Belviq), phentermine topiramate (Qsymia), naltrexone bupropion (Contrave), and liraglutide (Saxenda)—for long-term use. You can keep taking these drugs as long as you are benefiting from treatment and not having unpleasant side-effects.

Pregnant women should never take weight loss medications. Women who are planning to get pregnant also should avoid these medications, as some of them may harm a fetus.

What are the benefits of using prescription medications to lose weight?

When combined with changes to behavior, including eating and physical activity habits, prescription medications may help some people lose weight. On average, people who take prescription medications as part of a lifestyle program lose between 3 and 9 percent more of their starting body weight than people in a lifestyle program who do not take medication. Research shows that some people taking prescription weight-loss medications lose 10 percent or more of their starting weight.1 Results vary by medication and by person.

  • Stimulant type weight loss drugs
  • Appetite suppressants
  • Other weight loss medications

Current weight loss pills in the United States

While there are many weight loss medications on the market, the most effective medications for best appetite suppression and weight loss are those that target multiple pathways in the brain as the appetite center in the brain has multiple redundant pathways! If you just block one of these pathways, the other pathways that control your appetite might be compensating so blocking at least two pathways at the same time makes better sense.

What is the best weight loss medication combination?

While the answer depends on the individual situation, according to Dr. Prab R. Tumpati, MD, founder of W8MD medical weight loss centers of America, the combination of low dose of Phentermine with low dose of Topiramate as in the recently FDA approved brand name weight loss medication, Qsymia.

The other new weight loss medication, Belviq, although not a combination medication as in Qsymia, can in fact be combined with Phentermine and Topiramate when medically appropriate.

List of weight loss medications considered stimulants

  • Phentermine (Adipex, Duromine, Fastin, Ionamin, Metermine, etc.)
  • Diethylpropion (Tenuate)
  • Rimonabant† (Acomplia; cannabinoid antagonist selective for CB1. Withdrawn amidst concerns about psychiatric consequences of drug treatment)
  • Sibutramine† (Meridia, Reductil; withdrawn from the market due to concerns regarding its cardiovascular effects. )
  • Oxymetazoline (Over the Counter Afrin nasal decongestant)

List of medications considered as appetite depressants

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New weight loss medications

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Weight loss medications

In 2012, the FDA approved two new weight loss medications Qsymia and Belviq after years of rejecting many other weight loss medications. There are other traditional and time tested weight loss medications such as Phentermine, Phendimetrazine etc.

What works and what does not for losing weight?

New weight loss medications Qsymia and Belviq

Medications for weight loss (diet pills) reviewed!

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Drugs that were withdrawn from the market due to adverse effects.

  • Fenfluramine (Ponderal, Ponderax, Pondimin; one of the two components [the other being phentermine] of Fen-phen. Since discontinued to its potential for causing valvulopathies and pulmonary hypertension)* Glucagon (GlucaGen)
  • Oxymetazoline (Over the Counter Afrin nasal decongestant)
  • Dexfenfluramine (Adifax; the d-enantiomer of fenfluramine; withdrawn for the same reason as its racemate)
  • Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)
  • Rimonabant (Acomplia; cannabinoid antagonist selective for CB1. Withdrawn amidst concerns about psychiatric consequences of drug treatment)
  • Sibutramine (Meridia, Reductil; withdrawn from the market due to concerns regarding its cardiovascular effects. )
  • Dexfenfluramine† (Adifax; the d-enantiomer of fenfluramine; withdrawn for the same reason as its racemate)
  • Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)
  • Fenfluramine (Ponderal, Ponderax, Pondimin; one of the two components [the other was phentermine] of Fen-phen. Since discontinued to its potential for causing valvulopathies and pulmonary hypertension)* Glucagon (GlucaGen)
  • Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)

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