The following information provides science-backed and proven advice for losing weight, deemed effective by people like you!
● Weight loss is not a short term objective; weight loss takes time, so be sure to attend and maintain a consistent follow-up schedule with your doctor.
● Always take medications as prescribed.
Even if you experience mild side effects, continue taking the prescribed medication and allow time for your body to adjust. Oftentimes, mild side effects will resolve themselves after a week or so. If you have moderate to severe side effects, stop taking your medication and contact your doctor.
● All diets work, yet all diets fail.
Patient adherence is the best predictor of long term success. Diets are only temporary, and are not reasonable for long term effectiveness, so we do not encourage dieting. In order to lose weight and prevent gaining the weight back, a lifestyle change is necessary.
Why is Medication Used as an Obesity Treatment?
● Anti-obesity medications offset the physiological adaptations that drive weight loss resistance and promote weight gain.
Weight loss can trigger a complex set of neuroendocrine and physiologic responses which may intensify as you continue to lose weight. These mechanisms often act in a counterproductive manner; meaning they may slow or even halt weight loss. In some cases, the response may actually induce weight gain.
● Anti-obesity medications can counteract the driving forces behind cravings and unhealthy eating behaviors.
Some patients also experience difficulty resisting cravings, therefore prescribing a diet and behavior modification alone may not provide the best solution.
Common Medications Used to Treat Obesity
● Qsymia, a combination of phentermine and extended-release topiramate, is FDA-approved for long term usage. Qsymia is not typically covered by insurance and costs approximately $98 per month.
To lower the cost for our patients, we prescribe separate doses of phentermine (one half tablet in the morning) and topiramate (one tablet in the evening). Dosages may be adjusted overtime. Topiramate will not cause headaches or seizures, but Topiramate may be used to treat migraine headaches and seizures. Many studies show that Topiramate can decrease sugar cravings.
There is an extended-release form of Topiramate with lessened side effects, however, it can be more expensive and is not typically covered by insurance.
● Metformin is an FDA-approved treatment for Type II diabetes. Metformin has also been used to treat obesity, insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Metformin regulates blood sugar level, but will not cause low or high blood sugar. Common side effects include nausea, constipation, and/or diarrhea. It is recommended that patients take Metformin with food to avoid experiencing side effects. An extended-release form of Metformin may be prescribed to patients experiencing side effects with the normal release form.
● Ozempic is an FDA-approved, weekly injection, used to treat Type II diabetes. Ozempic is also used for treating obesity, however, it can be expensive and may not be covered by all insurance providers.
● Contrave (Bupropion/Naltrexone)
● Liraglutide (Saxenda) is an FDA-approved injection, similar to Ozempic. However, Liragutide is taken daily.