Prescription Weight Loss Medication – What You Need to Know

 In Blog, Weight Loss

Diet and exercise are key to losing weight. For some people, watching what they eat and getting plenty of exercise is all they need to do to get rid of excess weight. For others, it is a constant struggle that can often feel like a losing battle. If you are experiencing difficulty losing weight, prescription weight loss medication may be an option. Consult with your doctor to find out if it is the right option for you.

Who is a Good Candidate? 

These types of medications were designed to help individuals who are excessively overweight get their weight under control. They are typically only prescribed if you have a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or higher. In some cases where there is a health condition such as type 2 diabetes, prescription weight loss medication may be recommended if your BMI is 27 or higher. However, they can also be used “off-label” for individuals looking to lose a small amount of weight, like those last stubborn 5-10 lbs.  Make sure your doctor is aware of any health issues you may have and any other medications you take, including over the counter supplements.

How Does Prescription Weight Loss Medication Work?

There are a variety of different prescription weight loss medications. Most work by either decreasing your appetite, increasing the feeling of fullness, or blocking the absorption of dietary fat. However, none of them is a magic bullet for losing weight. They are meant to be part of a weight loss plan that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. Your doctor will help you choose the prescription weight loss medication that is best for you. Here are a few of those more frequently recommended.


FDA approved in 2012, Qsymia is a prescription weight loss tablet that combines quick-release phentermine and extended-release topiramate. The phentermine helps to stimulate the sympathetic nerves and reduce an individual’s appetite. The topiramate provides a feeling of fullness. It may even alter the taste of food, making it less enjoyable to eat.


An oral prescription weight loss medication, Contrave is also a combination of two different drugs. It contains bupropion and naltrexone. FDA approved in 2014, Contrave affects two different areas of the brain to reduce hunger and control cravings.


Unlike Qsymia and Contrave which are taken orally, Saxenda is an injectable prescription weight loss medicine. It is a synthetic version of the GLP-1 hormone our stomach releases to slow down digestion and decrease appetite. Contrave is taken daily via subcutaneous injection into the belly or thigh.

Healthy Weight Loss

For those who are extremely overweight, prescription weight loss medication can be an effective component of a healthy weight loss plan. None of these medications will cause you to lose weight on their own. When following a medical weight loss plan, your doctor will provide you with a diet plan to follow and recommend exercise appropriate for your age, weight, and overall health. It is important to follow the prescribed dosage instructions.

Medical Weight Loss Solutions at Vive

If you’ve tried to lose weight on your own with little or no success, Dr. Pinto and his team can help. Vive Aesthetics and Medical Weight Loss is proud to be partners with The Center for Medical Weight Loss, the largest network of physicians specializing in weight loss in the country. Dr. Pinto is a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians and has served as the National Medical Director of The Center for Medical Weight Loss since October of 2014. He is responsible for educating and training hundreds of doctors across the country. At Vive, We provide medical weight loss consultations, meal plans, and will help you find the right weight loss solution for you. Schedule a consultation today and change your life for the better.

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