Prescription Medications for the Treatment of Obesity

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Nelson Vergel

Health care providers often use the body mass index (BMI) to help decide who may benefit from weight-loss drugs. BMI estimates overweight and obesity based on your height in relation to your weight. Your doctor may prescribe you a medication to treat your obesity if you are an adult with

a BMI of 30 or greater OR

a BMI of 27 or greater and you have obesity-related medical problems, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol

Note: BMI can be misleading if you have a lot of muscle mass.

Prescription drugs for the treatment of obesity work in different ways. For example, some drugs may help you feel less hungry or feel full sooner. Others may make it hard for your body to absorb fat from the foods you eat.

Here is a great review of currently approved obesity medications in the United States:

FDA Approved Prescription Diet Pills - 2015 Update
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Nelson Vergel

Cardiovascular implications of newer obesity medicationsWithdrawal of antiobesity medications from the U.S. market (eg, fenfluramine, dexfenfluramine, sibutramine) has been primarily associated with drug-related adverse CV events. Until recently, the only medications approved for weight management include sympathomimetic amines (eg, phentermine) and orlistat (Alli, GlaxoSmithKline; Xenical, Hoffmann-La Roche), a lipase inhibitor. We review the CV implications of four newer agents approved for chronic weight management since 2012.


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Prescription meds for obesity will do good good only if you are taking them the whole life. Once you are off, all weight comes back. Fitness and healthy eating never let anybody down!

Nelson Vergel


Nelson Vergel

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