Weight Loss Medications – Are They the Right Choice for You?
Has your weight has gotten out of control and you’re struggling to get a handle on it? If so, you may have wondered if prescription weight loss medications could help. This is something that only your physician or bariatric specialist can determine. If they feel this type of medication is appropriate for your weight loss journey, they will explain the different options, what to expect and recommend the best choice for you.
Who Could Benefit from Weight Loss Medications?
While these medications are typically reserved for patients with a BMI over 27, in some situations they can also be used for smaller amounts of weight loss. The best way to know if these medications can help you is to come in for a consultation.
If your BMI is 30.0 or over or if the excess weight is contributing to other health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes, medication can be a safe, effective tool, that is many times underutilized. Before taking medication, our providers will factor in your all current health issues, current medications and your family medical history when deciding if weight loss medications are the right option for you.
Young children and pregnant women should not take weight loss medications. Most of these medications have only been approved by The FDA for use by adults. The prescription medication Xenical is FDA approved for children ages 12 and older. Weight loss medications should never be taken by pregnant women or those trying to get pregnant. If taken during pregnancy, these types of medications can cause harm to a fetus. Women of childbearing age should be tested before they start taking any of these medications and should be vigilant about using birth control while taking them.
If your physician recommends medication as part of your weight loss plan, keep in mind, weight loss medications are not a magic bullet. The results from these medications are moderate. For example, according to the FDA, people taking the weight loss medication Qsymia can, on average, expect to lose 6.7 to 8.9 percent of their weight or about 7 to 9 pounds for every 100.
However, this can have a significant impact on your health as losing even 5 or 10 percent of your body weight can produce positive health benefits, including lower blood pressure, better blood sugar control, and improved blood cholesterol. Results may vary by medication and from person to person by person.
Complement to a Healthy Lifestyle
Weight loss medications don’t replace physical activity or healthy eating habits as a way to lose weight. They are meant to enhance your overall weight loss plan. Studies show that weight loss medications work best when combined with a healthy, active lifestyle.
Different Types of Weight Loss Medications
Not all weight loss medicines work the same. Some, such as Xenical, work by blocking fat absorption and can have unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects. Other medications such as Belviq, Contrave, Saxenda, and Qsymia work by suppressing your appetite. During your consultation with your physician, they will determine which type of medication would work best for your lifestyle.
Get Started on Your Weight Loss Journey
Vive is proud partners with The Center for Medical Weight Loss, the largest network of physicians specializing in weight loss in the country. Using evidence-based weight loss programs, your success is inevitable. Dr. Pinto has been serving 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.
The only way to change your life is to change your lifestyle. Long-term success will depend on permanent changes in your day-to-day life. The hardest part, however, is the first step. Getting started on your weight loss journey must begin somewhere. Dr. Pinto’s philosophy is to give you the jumpstart you need to achieve and then maintain a healthy weight. At Vive Medical Weight Loss, that first step starts at your consultation. Schedule yours today!