Using prescription weight loss drugs to treat obesity should be used as an option for the following individuals:
- People with a body mass index of 30 and above with no obesity-related conditions.
- A person with a BMI of 27 and above with obesity-related conditions.
Types of prescription diet pills
The active ingredient in appetite suppressants most is phentermine hydrochloride or phendimetrazine, which are sympathomimetic amines. These chemicals affect appetite control centers in the brain, causing you to eat less. Phentermine-based diet pills include the generic form of the drug, as well as Meridia, Bontril, Ionamin, and Adipex. Another appetite suppressant is Didrex, which uses the active ingredient benzphetamine hydrochloride as an anorectic agent.
Tenuate uses a different active ingredient, diethylpropion. Diethylpropion is a sympathomimetic amine that stimulates the central nervous system, increasing the heart rate and blood pressure while decreasing appetite, which promotes weight loss.
Prescription fat blockers
Many prescription drugs are used as diet aids even though that was not their intended purpose. Some antidepressants are used "off-label" as diet aids because they have been shown in studies to help patients lose weight and keep it off for several months. Researchers are also studying certain drugs normally used to treat epilepsy and diabetes for their weight loss potential.
Currently, most available weight loss medications approved by the FDA are for short-term use, meaning a few weeks or months. Meridia and Xenical are the only weight loss drugs approved for longer-term use in significantly obese people, although the safety and effectiveness have not been established for use beyond 2 years.
Do prescription diet pills really work?
There is no one correct dose for these medications. Your doctor will decide what works best for you based on his or her evaluation of your medical condition and your response to treatment. Patients generally experience a maximum weight loss within six months of starting medication treatment.
Over the short term, weight loss from prescription drugs may reduce a number of health risks in obese people. There are currently no studies to determine and prove the effects of these medications over the long term.
Possible risks and side-effects of prescription diet pills
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Excessive thirst
- Stuffy nose
- Dry mouth
Abdominal cramping, passing gas, leakage of oily stool, increased number of bowel movements and the inability to control bowel movements. People taking Xenical should take a multivitamin at least 2 hours before or after taking the medication because Xenical reduces the absorption of some vitamins. Meridia (Sibutramine)
Increased blood pressure, dry mouth, headache, insomnia, and constipation. Meridia is not recommended for people with poorly controlled high blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heartbeat, or a history of stroke.
Adipex-P (Phentermine) - Nervousness, sleeplessness, mood changes.
Discussing prescription weight loss drugs with doctor
The doctor will ask you about any existing allergies that you may have, and whether or not you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Existing medical conditions may also affect the use of these drugs. It is imperative to inform the doctor in case you are suffering from any of the conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, epilepsy, kidney disease, glaucoma, alcohol or drug abuse, overactive thyroid, depression or other mental illness, migraine headaches requiring medication, planning for a surgery requiring general anesthesia.
People who are prescribed weight loss pills should follow the prescription carefully. Because appetite suppressants may cause drowsiness or lightheadedness, it is important to know how you respond to these medications before you attempt to drive or operate machinery.
Keep in mind that some health insurance plans don't cover weight loss prescription drugs. So, contact your health insurance provider if you're unsure of your prescription coverage.