Types of Weight Loss Medication

Types of Weight Loss Medication

weight loss medication on a scale with a measuring tape

Weight loss medications work in different ways to help you lose excess weight and keep it off long-term. If you need help losing weight, this medical weight loss solution could help you meet your desired health goals.

Here’s more about how each FDA-approved weight loss medication works and how to contact Advanced Laparoscopic Associates when you’re ready to learn more about your treatment options.

Who Qualifies for Medical Weight Loss?

You may qualify for weight loss medication if your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or greater or if your BMI is 27 or greater and you have at least one weight-related health problem.

Weight-related health problems include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • High blood triglyceride levels
  • Low levels of HDL cholesterol
  • Kidney disease
  • Certain cancers

Weight Loss Medication for Long-Term Use

Some FDA-approved medications for weight loss can be used long-term or longer than 12 weeks. Here’s how these medications can help you lose excess weight.

  • Orlistat (Xenical, Alli). Approved for people 12 years and older, orlistat works in your gut to help you absorb less fat from the foods you eat. Xenical is available by prescription, and Alli is a low-dose version available over the counter.
  • Phentermine-Topiramate (Qsymia). Approved for adult use, Qsymia reduces your appetite and helps you feel full sooner.
  • Naltrexone-Bupropion (Contrave). Contrave works similarly to Qsymia in that it can make you feel less hungry and helps you feel full sooner. This medication is approved only for adults.
  • Liraglutide (Saxenda). As a daily injection approved for use in people aged 12 and older, Saxenda helps you lose weight by targeting parts of the brain that regulate your appetite.
  • Semaglutide (Wegovy). Wegovy interacts with the brain to regulate your appetite and make you eat less, and it is given as a weekly injection approved only for adults.

Weight Loss Medication for Short-Term Use

The FDA has approved four weight loss medications for short-term use up to 12 weeks in adults. Very few studies have evaluated the safety and efficacy of these medications for long-term use. These medications are:

  • Phentermine (Lomaira, Adipex-P)
  • Benzphetamine (Regimex)
  • Diethylpropion (Amfepramone)
  • Phendimetrazine

All four medications increase levels of certain chemicals in the brain that play a role in hunger and appetite. They can help you lose weight by making you feel like you are not hungry or full.

When combined with regular exercising and good nutrition, prescription weight loss drugs can help you lose excess weight and maintain a healthy weight for years to come. Studies show that weight loss medication could help you lose 10% or more of your starting weight!

Advanced Laparoscopic Associates offers bariatric surgery and medical weight loss medications. If you are interested in medical weight loss, contact us today to request an appointment and learn more about our services.