Does Weight Loss Medication Work?
For many of us, losing weight is never easy. Many who struggle on their journey consider using weight loss medication to help them start living that healthier lifestyle that they desire. If this sounds like you, you might have many questions. How does weight loss medication work? Do I need to get a prescribed medication from a medical professional? How do I choose the right medication for me?
While weight loss drugs can be effective and aid in losing those extra pounds, they are not something that should be taken casually. Read on to learn about how weight loss medications work, the benefits of these medications, the different options available on the market, and how our team at the Weight Loss and Wellness Center can help you with your weight loss journey.
How Do Weight Loss Medications Work?
Currently, there are five different prescription weight loss medications available in the United States. They work to either suppress your appetite or make it so that your body absorbs fewer calories. Both of these options lead to less food being ingested.
It is important to note that you can’t start taking weight loss medication as a catch-all solution to start losing weight. These medications are intended to be used by those who are also working to lose weight with a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine. When it comes to medication, you should always be working alongside a certified weight loss doctor to make sure that your weight loss is conducted healthily, safely, and in a way that meets your personal needs.
Benefits of Weight Loss Medication
The biggest benefit of weight loss medication is, of course, losing weight! The right prescription can help you achieve your weight loss goals that previously seemed unattainable by just adjusting your diet and exercise. Losing those additional pounds can be the first step to a healthier life overall; you’ll be able to do and achieve things that you’ve only dreamed of previously.
Weight loss also reduces the risk of disease, many of which can shorten your life expectancy. Weight management can reduce the impacts of serious conditions such as:
- Type 2 Diabetes;
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea;
- High Cholesterol;
- High Blood Pressure; and
- Joint Pain.
What is the Best Weight Loss Medication for Me?
If you’re considering using weight loss medication, you’re probably wondering which of the 5 available options is the best choice for you. This isn’t a decision that you should make alone. It is important to work alongside a certified weight-loss professional when you begin taking weight loss medication, as there is a myriad of side effects that should be monitored.
Below is a short overview of the 5 options that you have for weight loss medication. Consult with the team at the Weight Loss and Wellness Center to see if any of them are aligned with your weight loss goals. It is also important to note that the average weight loss listed below is not guaranteed and individual results vary due to many different factors.
- Wegovy (semiglutide) is the newest weight loss medication approved recently by the FDA. Taken once a week as a shot, this medication increases your insulin levels which leads to increased energy levels and reduced appetite. While this injection is meant to complement a healthy diet and regular exercise, it can help you lose a higher percentage of your body weight than other medications. Common side effects, which typically subside, include nausea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Orlistat (Xenical) is a pill that is taken alongside a meal three times per day. This medication limits fat absorption and helps to control blood sugar, making it a preferred option for some patients with Type 2 Diabetes. This pill should be taken alongside a meal, preferably one that is low in fat; a customized meal plan may be required for those taking Orlistat. Common side effects include a sensitive digestive tract and bowels.
- Contrave (naltrexone-bupropion) is a tablet that reduces hunger, which reduces the amount of food ingested. Contrave is known for aiding in rapid weight loss; you can expect to lose up to 25 lbs with regular use. However, it is essential that you are regularly checking in with a medical professional when taking Contrave, as it can cause serious mental health issues.
- Saxenda (liraglutide) is a medication that is injected once daily through a pen injector. Saxenda helps to produce a hormone called GLP-1, which works as an appetite suppressant. Common side effects include nausea and vomiting, which typically subside with regular use.
- Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate) is a tablet that is taken once per day in the morning; because of its effect on energy, it is discouraged to take it at night, as it can cause insomnia. This medication decreases appetite and increases your energy levels, which can also improve your capacity for exercise. Qsymia can be addictive; it is important that your dose is continually managed alongside your doctor.
Begin Your Weight Loss Journey
If you’re considering weight loss medication, it’s likely that you’ve tried many times to lose weight yourself and have found it impossible to do alone. The most effective way to lose weight is receiving individualized, custom treatment based on your body and lifestyle. Dr. Majid and her team at the Weight Loss and Wellness Center are here to help. Regain control of your life and become your healthiest self with the support of Dr. Majid, a renowned expert in surgical and non-surgical weight loss solutions.
When you book your consultation, your specific needs will be evaluated so we can find the weight loss option that works best for you, whether that be through using medication or other methods. Contact us to request a consultation today, or give us a call at (973) 795-7955, to begin your weight loss journey with the experts on your side.
If you’re looking for any further resources on Weight Loss Medications, read this helpful guide by the NHS’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for more information.
Dr. Saniea F. Majid, MD, FACS, FASMBS, is our founder, director, and award-winning surgeon with more than 10 years of experience treating patients. She is the President of the New Jersey state chapter of ASMBS, a member of the Board of Directors at New Jersey Doctor-Patient Alliance, and Chair of the Post Operative Weight Recurrence Task Force (POWER). Dr. Majid has devoted her life to helping people like you lose weight and transform their lives and not only started and directed the Metabolic and Bariatric Center at Saint Michaels Medical Center but also achieved the National Center of Excellence. Dr. Majid is one of only three bariatric doctors and surgeons featured in the 2023 Healthy Living magazine published by NJ Top Docs. She is also a regular guest speaker for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) where she trains bariatric surgeons on the latest methods and techniques.