Are Weight Loss Medications Right For You?
Direct-to-consumer marketing (DTC) has created a big influence on the general public when it comes to drugs and medications for many health conditions, especially obesity.
Traditionally, these were only marketed to medical professionals. Now, people are going to their doctors including “Dr. Google” to learn more about drug options for weight loss.
So, here’s a quick update on several new pharmaceutical weight-loss medications that have been recently approved by the FDA:
1. Wegovy (semaglutide) – This medication is a weekly injection that works by curbing appetite and reducing food cravings. It has been shown to help individuals lose up to 15% of their body weight in clinical trials. This is best for people who have a BMI of 30 or greater or a BMI of 26 or greater with high-risk health conditions such as Diabetes, High Cholesterol, and Heart Problems as examples. Other popular brand medications in this class are Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Saxenda.
2. Qsymia (phentermine/topiramate) – This medication is a combination of two drugs that work together to suppress appetite and increase feelings of fullness. It has been shown to help individuals lose up to 10% of their body weight in clinical trials.
3. Belviq (lorcaserin) – This medication works by targeting the serotonin receptors in the brain, which helps to reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness. It has been shown to help individuals lose up to 5% of their body weight in clinical trials.
4. Contrave (naltrexone/bupropion) – This medication is a combination of two drugs that work together to reduce cravings for food and decrease appetite. It has been shown to help individuals lose up to 8% of their body weight in clinical trials.
There are many other older medications that are still available for weight management. And they are still very safe and effective. The advantages of older medications are that they have decades of studies and millions of users.
It is important to note that these weight loss medications should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional and in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise plan.
They may also have potential side effects, so it is important to discuss any concerns with a healthcare provider before starting treatment.
An experienced bariatric physician or obesity medicine specialist can help you decide if weight loss medications are right for you.