Medication for weight loss might sound great, especially for individuals struggling with obesity and overweight. Today, obesity is considered a risk factor for many other medical complications. But it is also a health condition itself and should be prevented at all costs. Due to the prevalence of obesity, particularly in western societies, some researchers and medical experts have designed medications to aid weight loss, many of which are now available without a prescription. But are they effective? Let’s find out.
Can Weight Loss Medication Help You?
New weight loss medications get approved by the FDA every year. Some of these medications include Contrave (naltrexone and bupropion), Qysmia (phentermine and topiramate), Saxenda (liraglutide), and Belviq (lorcaserin). These have all been tested and proven to help treat obesity.
In the past few years, newer drugs have been introduced. They are used mostly in weight-loss programs to help individuals lose weight fast. Usually, these programs encompass close monitoring by a qualified physician. These approved weight loss medications are generally prescribed for people with a BMI that is higher than 30.
If you have conditions such as joint problems, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or sleep apnea, you might be asked to use weight loss medications. However, you should note that not all users respond the same way to these medications. Therefore, if you do not receive the best results after using a particular drug, your doctor might recommend you try another.
Even as you use these drugs, they will not work a miracle overnight. If they work excellently, you might only get a slight improvement in your BMI. But this is great because even the smallest weight loss lowers the likelihood of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
Is Weight Loss Medication Safe?
There are some disturbing reports on weight loss medications. It might make you want to research more if these medications are safe for human consumption.
Some medications, such as fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine, had to be removed from the market as they were linked to damage of the heart valve among some users. Another one is Meridia (Sibutramine), which was removed after leading to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack among users.
Today, there are so many options that are available on the market, but they come with their unique cautions. For instance, you should avoid the ones with Adipex-, Qysmia, or Ionamin, if you have high blood pressure. Topiramate, which is another component of Qysmia, has been reported to have an increased risk of congenital disabilities. Therefore, if you are a woman, using this medication, you should at least try to avoid getting pregnant or instead take special precautions.
If you use a drug, and then it helps you shed 5% of your overall weight in twelve months, you might want to keep using it. However, it would be best if you did not give up lifestyle changes for medications. These medications provide the best results when used as part of broader weight loss programs. It should include making critical changes in your overall lifestyle. Try things such as healthy diets, adequate sleep, regular exercise, and stress reduction.
There is a wide range of weight loss medications. As mentioned, not all of them might be effective for you. It is advisable to seek medical advice before adding weight-loss drugs to your routine. If you develop severe side effects after using a particular medication for some time, you should stop and seek medical attention right away. What works best for someone else might not work the same way for you. Stay safe and do your homework before choosing the right.