Medications for weight loss may help you lose weight, but they also may cause side effects. The good news is that these medications are relatively safe and can be used by adults. Typically, they are used alongside a diet and exercise program to help people lose weight.
What is the main key to losing weight?
In the United States, there are four drugs approved for the short-term treatment of obesity. The drugs include phentermine, orlistat, lorcaserin, and bupropion. These medications work to make people feel full sooner, which can help them eat less.
Phentermine-topiramate, or Qsymia, is a prescription weight loss medication that works by suppressing appetite. The medication was approved by the FDA in 2012 for adults. In a clinical trial, people lost about 6 percent of their body weight with Qsymia. This was more than the 2.8 percent average weight loss in the placebo group.
Orlistat, also known as Xenical, blocks the body from absorbing fat. It works by binding to fat cells. Xenical should be used along with a healthy diet and exercise program.
Lorcaserin, or Belviq, is another type of drug used to help people lose weight. This medicine targets the hunger receptors in the brain. Unlike other medications, lorcaserin may help people feel full more quickly, but it may also increase the risk of cancer.
The FDA has also approved a new weight loss medication, semaglutide, for use by adults with a BMI of at least 27. Semaglutide is a once-weekly medication that works well with a healthy diet and exercise program.