Do You Need Prescription Weight Loss Drugs?

Published on by Weight Loss Doctor

Prescription weight-loss drugs are not intended for people who want to lose just a few pounds for cosmetic reasons. They are generally reserved for people who haven't been able to lose weight through diet and exercise and who have health problems because of their weight. 
You may consider weight-loss drugs if you have no contraindications and your body mass index (BMI) is above 30 or your BMI is greater than 27 and you have a serious medical problem related to obesity, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Before selecting a medication for you, your doctor will consider your health history, possible side effects and potential interaction of weight-loss drugs with other medications you're taking.

Weight Loss Prescription Drugs
At present most available weight loss drugs approved by the FDA are for short-term use, that is for a few weeks or months.
Appetite suppressants promote weight loss by tricking the body into believing that it is not hungry or that it is full. They decrease appetite by increasing serotonin or catecholamine -- two brain chemicals that affect mood and appetite.
Another type of prescription weight loss drug is a fat absorption inhibitor. Fat-absorption inhibitors work by preventing your body from breaking down and absorbing fat eaten with your meals. This unabsorbed fat is eliminated in bowel movements. Xenical is the only example of this type of treatment approved for use in the U.S. Xenical works by blocking about 30% of dietary fat from being absorbed. Xenical is now sold over-the-counter as Alli.
Xenical is the only weight loss drug approved for longer-term use in significantly obese people, although the safety and effectiveness have not been established for use beyond two years.
Newer drugs are being studied as potential treatments for obesity, some of which are showing promise and may be available in the near future.

 Do Appetite Suppressants really Cause Weight Loss?

Appetite suppressants promote weight loss by tricking the body into believing that it is not hungry or that it is full. They decrease appetite by increasing serotonin or catecholamine -- two brain chemicals that affect mood and appetite.

Is Xenical Working?
In general, Xenical is moderately effective, leading to an average weight loss of 12 to 13 pounds over a one-year period, more than what would be expected with non-drug treatments. Most of the weight loss is generally experienced in the first 6 months.
Over the short term, weight loss from prescription drugs may reduce a number of health risks in obese people. However, there are currently no studies to determine the effects of these medications over the long term.

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