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If diet and exercise alone or over the counter supplements haven’t helped you hit your weight loss goals, prescription weight loss drugs could be an option. We share the facts behind medications like Qsymia, Contrave, and others approved by the FDA to fight obesity.
Find out if you could be a suitable candidate for these medications and how to approach your doctor about getting a prescription. We also share the benefits of prescription-strength solutions and delve into potential side effects, usage, and alternatives.
Learn how the most commonly-prescribed weight loss medications work, as well as the names they’re sold under and potential side effects.
Yes, medications such as Contrave, Qsymia, and the others we reviewed are proven to help you shed unwanted weight. Although potent, bear in mind that they’re not a permanent substitute for a good diet and regular exercise.
For some individuals with health problems or taking certain medications (e.g., for type 2 diabetes), the disadvantages may outweigh the potential gains. Your physician will determine which medication is the best fit for you.
Any compound that influences processes related to weight management (e.g., calorie absorption or appetite) that must be regulated by a healthcare provider falls into this category. Your doctor can prescribe any of the medications mentioned above (Qsymia, Contrave, Saxenda, etc.) for weight loss.
Weight loss drugs such as Qsymia and Contrave are used to treat obesity, which can reduce the many health risks a high Body Mass Index BMI carries. These medications also have the following benefits:
Certain conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) make reducing your weight a challenge. Despite following a good diet and exercise regime, you may still find that dropping pounds is a frustratingly slow endeavor.
Weight loss drugs like Contrave and Q are a potent weapon in treating complications from being overweight and obesity. In turn, symptoms from such disorders can improve as your BMI decreases.
Seeing results is one of the most motivating factors to keep up with healthier lifestyle changes These medications can jumpstart the process for you, encouraging you to stick to your diet and exercise program.
Similarly, working out with a high BMI is challenging: the faster you shed extra pounds, the easier physical activity will be for you.
These medications are all but guaranteed to promote weight loss in the right candidates. Combined with an effective exercise program and nutritional guidance, they can help patients slim down and maintain a healthy weight.
Weight loss drugs such as Contrave are legal in the United States and most other countries worldwide. These anti-obesity medications aren’t blacklisted in the same way as other fat-burning compounds, such as certain steroids.
Qsymia, Contrave, and similar weight loss drugs pass clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These FDA approved medications are an established obesity treatment, meaning that the benefits are considered to outweigh the potential risks.
Aside from the comfort of knowing that some of these medications are FDA approved, weight loss drugs are used to treat obesity under the supervision of a healthcare provider. People can’t take medicines such as Contrave without first securing a prescription, meaning your doctor will ensure it’s safe for you. This is in contrast to supplements, which are usually not regulated by medical professionals.
We answer common questions and concerns about these weight loss medications here.
On average, most people can expect to decrease their starting body weight by 10 percent or more through prescription weight loss drugs. You can also enhance the effectiveness of weight loss medications by consulting your healthcare provider for help with diet and exercise.
Usage data for these drugs indicate that any adult with a body mass index BMI over 30 and people dealing with complications from being overweight or obesity are usually the best candidates. For example, if you have high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes due to your high BMI. Or, if you’re heavy enough to suffer from weight related limitations that make everyday physical activity and tasks hard.
A doctor may not prescribe a drug like Qsymia or Contrave to people who don’t fit the right criteria. Besides assessing your unique health data, your healthcare provider could also set conditions, such as participating in an exercise program.
People who think a drug like Qsymia could be an ideal treatment plan for being overweight and obesity will want to consult a doctor. If you have weight related issues that you haven’t discussed yet and a high BMI, your doctor may deem you a suitable candidate.
Ideally, you should demonstrate to your doctor that you are trying to make health-conscious choices such as upping physical activity levels, altering diet, or discussing an exercise plan. Doctors don’t usually prescribe Contrave, Qsymia, and other drugs as a fix-all solution.
All of the pills on our list are currently legal in the United States and four (Contrave, Qsymia, Saxenda, and Xenical) are sanctioned by the FDA to treat obesity. However, the legality of some of these medications can vary depending on the country.
There’s a reason you can’t get diet pills without a prescription, whether they have an FDA seal of approval for weight loss treatment or not.
People with health problems such as glaucoma, type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure may have a higher chance of experiencing adverse effects with long term use. You should stop taking weight loss medications if you’re planning to become pregnant, as the majority are contraindicated for pregnant women.
Yes, certain diet pills—even those the FDA endorses—can have serious side effects such as suicidal thoughts, which is why people can’t get them without a prescription. Your healthcare provider will discuss specific adverse effects to watch out for based on what you’re taking (e.g., Qsymia, Contrave, or another medication).
If you’re about to become pregnant, you may want to discuss the short term use of these medications with your healthcare provider. Other potential effects include:
Use weight loss medicines like Qsymia as directed by your healthcare provider to ensure you lose weight while staying safe. To further lower your BMI and body weight, start making lifestyle changes such as increasing physical activity.
If you notice adverse effects from these medications, stop taking prescription weight loss drugs and report them to your medical practitioner straight away.
If your healthcare provider doesn’t agree to prescribe you Qsymia, Contrave, or other weight loss medications, don’t despair. Similarly, people who have to stop taking their diet pills for whatever reason can opt for a non-prescription, over the counter alternative.
Those taking other medications should always check in with your doctor first before starting a new supplement.
Weight loss medicines like Contrave can help you lose weight if you’re at a point where all else has failed or your BMI is dangerously high. When administered under medical supervision, these medications are safe and effective and can be transformative in your weight loss journey.
If you aren’t eligible for a prescription, over the counter solutions such as Zotrim and PhenQ can be viable alternatives to kickstart fat burning and help you trim down. You can also look into meal replacement shakes as another effective weight loss aid.