Prescription Weight Loss Drugs: Helpful or Not?
Nearly 40 percent of adults in the United States (39.8 percent) are obese, and 31.8 percent are overweight. If you’re part of either of these groups, you may have wondered what the most effective method is to lose weight.
Generally speaking, the best way to lose weight is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and get regular exercise. Sometimes, though, you need a little extra help getting started.
Many people who are in this position turn to clinical weight loss drugs to help kickstart their weight loss and get them started on the right track.
If you’re interested in trying weight loss drugs, it’s important to understand how they work and which ones are most effective. Read on to have all your questions answered.
Do Clinical Weight Loss Drugs Work?
In short, yes. Weight loss drugs do work. But, they’ll only work if you’re eating a healthy diet and eating in a caloric deficit (meaning you eat fewer calories than you burn).
Weight loss drugs work in different ways. Some curb your appetite and reduce the likelihood that you will overeat. Others block fat absorption or mimic the effects of the hormones that signal fullness.
Many people see results shortly after they begin taking weight loss drugs. Those results don’t always last, though, especially after the person stops taking the pills.
In order for your weight loss to be long-lasting, it’s important to work on modifying the behaviours that led to you becoming overweight in the first place.
Who Should Take Clinical Weight Loss Drugs?
Weight loss drugs aren’t for everyone. In general, doctors only prescribe them to people who meet certain criteria, including the following:
- Have a body mass index (BMI) that is great than 30
- Have a body mass index that is greater than 27 and also have serious medical issues related to their weight
- Are not pregnant or breastfeeding
Before starting you on a specific weight loss drug, your doctor will also thoroughly review your health history and your family’s health history.
They’ll make sure you don’t have any conditions — such as heart disease or diabetes — that could be made worse by weight loss drugs. They’ll also ensure that the drugs will not interact with any other medications you’re currently taking.
Potential Side Effects of Weight Loss Drugs
Most weight loss drugs only come with mild side effects, such as nausea, headaches, diarrhea, or constipation. These side effects typically get better over time.
In some cases, the side effects may be more serious. Potentially dangerous side effects associated with weight loss drugs include:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Jaundice and liver disease
- Mood changes
- Thoughts of suicide
Some weight loss drugs are also habit-forming. When users stop taking them, they may experience withdrawal symptoms.
How to Choose the Right Weight Loss Drugs
If you’re going to use weight loss drugs to help you shed excess body fat, it’s important to make sure you’re choosing safe drugs with minimal side effects.
The following guidelines will help you make the right choice for your needs:
Understand the Different Types of Weight Loss Drugs
Weight loss drugs can be divided into the following categories:
- Appetite suppressants: These decrease feelings of hunger and lessen your chances of overeating.
- Lipase inhibitors: These block approximately one-third of your body’s dietary fat absorption.
- Anti-depressants: These can help minimize appetite and prevent overeating.
- Opioid antagonists: These can also help minimize appetite and prevent overeating.
- Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists: These drugs help regulate the hormones that control appetite.
It’s important to understand the different types of weight loss drugs on the market so that you can be prepared when you go see your doctor to ask for a prescription.
Understand Which Drugs are Illegal in the U.S.
It’s also important to note that some weight loss drugs are illegal in the U.S. The following are drugs that you need to avoid:
- Fenfluramine: This drug has been associated with dangerous heart valve issues
- Sibutramine: This drug has been shown to increase your risk of experiencing heart attacks and strokes
These drugs are very dangerous and shouldn’t be relied upon to help you lose weight. There are plenty of other, safer alternatives that will help you shed excess weight without seriously increasing your risk of developing other conditions.
Talk to Your Doctor
You’ll need to get a prescription from your doctor before you start taking weight loss drugs.
As you know, weight loss drugs can come with a variety of side effects. If you work with a doctor before and during the process of taking them, you’ll be better equipped to handle these potential side effects.
You’ll also be able to rest easy knowing you’re not taking any drugs that will interact badly with other medications you’re using.
Never buy weight loss drugs from anywhere other than the pharmacy. Remember, safety first.
Prepare for a High Price
Before you start taking weight loss drugs, you need to understand that they’re often expensive. It’s also important to note that they are often not paid for by insurance providers.
If this is the case with your insurance provider, you can sometimes save money by filling your prescriptions through an online pharmacy.
You can also consider filling them at a Mexican or Canadian pharmacy. Taking this approach allows you to get Canada drugs for much lower prices than what you’d pay in the U.S.
Looking for More Weight Loss Tips?
As you can see, there are benefits to using clinical weight loss drugs. But, you need to talk to your doctor first and be smart about the specific drugs you choose to rely on.
Remember, too, that you’ll need to make sure you’re pairing them with a healthy diet and workout routine if you want your results to last.
If you’re looking for more weight loss tips or information on weight loss drugs, be sure to check out the weight loss section of our site today. It’s got tons of great advice that will help you shed those stubborn pounds and keep them off.