Facts on Prescription Weight Loss MedicationsPosted: August 30, 2011 in Obesity Medicine by Craig Primack MD FACP
The goal of prescription weight loss medications is to help an individual lose weight. Medical weight loss with the use of medication is generally intended to help people who haven’t been able to lose weight through exercise and diet, even after multiple attempts. Before selecting a weight management medication for you, your obesity doctor will examine your medical history, your previous weight loss efforts, and current body mass index (BMI). Once prescribed, you’ll still be advised to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly in order to encourage weight loss.
Types of Weight Loss Medications
There are two main types of prescription weight management medications: appetite suppressants and fat absorption inhibitors. Appetite suppressants come in many different brands. This type of weight loss medication works by increasing catecholamine and serotonin, which are two hormones that affect appetite and mood. Fat absorption inhibitors block fat absorbed in the intestine to reduce overall calorie intake. They work best when ingested with a high fat meal.
Weight Loss Expected
When taking prescription diet pills in combination with dietary changes and exercise, the average weight loss is ten to fifteen percent. This amount of weight loss can make a difference in reducing the risk of developing certain diseases.
Both appetite suppressants and fat absorption inhibitors medications have side effects. Fat absorption inhibitors can result in unwanted side effects, such as oily stools. Because fat is not absorbed in fat absorption inhibitors, fat simply passes through the intestine, resulting in oily stools. Both of these types of weight loss medications should only be used for two years or less, while other medications for weight loss are only recommended for a few weeks to a few months. Make sure that you only take weight loss medications with your physicians approval and supervision.
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