Most weight-loss medicines for obesity work by making you feel less hungry or making you feel full sooner. They are used together with healthy eating habits and exercise.
Medicine is generally used only for those who have a Reference body mass index (BMI) Opens New Window of 30 or higher. But they sometimes are used for those with a BMI of 27 or higher who are at risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea.Reference 1
- Reference Orlistat (Xenical) is a prescription medicine that prevents some of the fat calories you eat from being absorbed in your intestines. Also, orlistat (Alli) is available over the counter. Alli contains half of the medicine that is in Xenical.
- Reference Appetite suppressants like phentermine suppress your appetite. They are approved only for short-term use. Phentermine is no longer sold in Europe because of a possible link with heart and lung problems.
- Lorcaserin (Belviq) is a prescription medicine that you take twice a day. It can help you eat less and feel satisfied with eating smaller amounts of food.
- Phentermine/topiramate (Qsymia) is a prescription medicine that combines the drugs phentermine and topiramate. Taking it once a day can help you eat less.
Prescription orlistat is the only weight-loss drug that is approved for children. It is meant to be used only in children over the age of 12. The over-the-counter form of orlistat is not meant for use by anyone under 18 years old.
What to think about
Medicine doesn't work for everyone. And medicine alone is not as effective as when combined with healthy eating habits or activity.
Reference Nonprescription weight-loss products aren't recommended. Some have dangerous side effects, and others have no proven benefit.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 16, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator