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  • Dr, Tuesday Pearson

Unlocking Sustainable Weight Management: Science, Strategies, and Success

Updated: Oct 10, 2023



Weight loss medication targets people who are overweight and obese but aren't able to do sustainable weight management by natural means. We don’t even realize the importance of weight management until we start experiencing health problems. Your healthcare professional analyzes your height in relation to your weight to determine if you're overweight.


Based on the following factors, your doctor will determine if you will benefit from weight loss medications and what strategy to follow along with taking medicines to lose weight:

  • a BMI of 30 or greater

  • a BMI of 30 or greater, and also have other health problems like type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

Not every doctor recommends weight loss medications to people with higher BMI. Moderate changes to your existing lifestyle can also help you lose weight comparatively.


How Do Sustainable Weight Management Medications Work?


Weight loss medications that your doctor prescribes work in several ways to help you lose weight. They work as suppressants to make you feel hungry and help you feel fuller even after less quantity of food than usual. Some medications work in a way that they don't let your body absorb fat from the foods you intake.


Can Children With Obesity Take Medications?


Yes, children and teenagers with weight management problems take medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Children aged 12 and older can get these medicines prescribed by their doctor:

  1. Orlistat (Xenical)

  2. Liraglutide (Saxenda)

  3. Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)

  4. Semaglutide (Wegovy)

Before taking these medications, make sure to find out the root cause of your obesity and aim to lose weight by natural methods. There's one more medication that children age 6 years and older who have rare genetic disorders causing obesity can take: setmelanotide (IMCIVREE).


How Long Should I Take Weight Loss Medications For?


It totally depends on the outcome of those drugs for your weight management if those medications for weight loss have helped you without any severe side effects.


Once you achieve your desired weight with the help of medicines, exercise, and a healthy diet, try quitting them for a while and maintain that lifestyle without medications. If you start to experience an apparent change in your weight again, you can resume those medications after consulting a specialist.


Tips to Follow for Weight Management Medication

  • Please consult with your healthcare professional before taking any medication, and follow the instructions they tell you.

  • Buy the drugs from an authorized pharmacist or online distributor only, as many unauthorized drugs are circulating in the market.

  • Follow a sustainable weight management diet plan along with taking medications.

  • If you're pregnant or trying to get pregnant, avoid taking weight loss medication completely. Or consult with a women’s healthcare professional.

  • Consult with a specialist if you're on other medications, too, if you're not seeing any results in a long time.

  • Learn about the side effects of that particular drug you're taking. See if it's even worth it!

  • Increase your workout and include healthier ingredients in your diet.


Will I Regain Weight If I Stop Taking Medications?


The chances of regaining some weight are most likely when you start taking the medications completely. It is mainly because your body got used to those drugs, and it's become an addiction for you. If you want to eliminate the medications and still maintain a healthy weight, follow an expert diet exercise plan and increase your physical activity.


Study shows that at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity 2 days a week of muscle-strengthening activities a week can help you get back to your desired weight and bring flexibility to your body. You can also find many weight loss success stories online where people tell you how they achieved it naturally.


Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Medications?


We aren't sure about all the insurance companies, but some of them do cover the cost of weight loss medications that treat overweight and obesity. You must contact your insurance company in order to find out if they cover the cost before taking the medications. They can be pretty expensive!


When to See a Doctor


You should see a doctor if you have tried everything in your capacity to lose weight naturally and medically, but still, the weighing scale isn't moving. It could signal some underlying health conditions that you're unaware of, related to your weight gain. In that case, a specialist will run some tests on you in order to diagnose the actual cause of persistent overweight.


What Is the Most Effective Weight Loss Drug?


GLP-1 agonists are currently widely popular and effective weight loss medications circulating in the market. This drug has helped thousands of people shed weight with minimal side effects in the long term.


Also, note that only liraglutide (Saxenda) and liraglutide (Wegovy) are officially approved drugs to assist you in weight loss, but other GLP-1 drugs may be prescribed off-label. The chances of finding these medications are less likely, but they have gone short nationwide due to their popularity and effectiveness.


Just remember that what worked for others might not work for you the same, as the results can vary. It is completely based on your daily life, health condition, diet that you eat, and activity ratio.

If you want to maximize the results of these drugs, you must bring some behavior and lifestyle moderation to maintain a healthy weight for a long time.


FAQs


When should you consider weight loss medication?


Severe obesity increases the risk of significant health issues like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Weight loss medications could be considered if traditional approaches like diet and exercise haven't yielded results, particularly when your BMI (body mass index) is 30 or higher.


What are weight loss drugs classified as?


Anorexiants are appetite-suppressing weight loss medications. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies some weight loss medicines as prohibited substances because they include stimulant medication.


What is the most common drug for weight loss?


Phentermine, the oldest and most widely used weight loss medication, was initially for short-term use but is now recommended for long-term therapy, helping some patients lose around 5% of their body weight.


Who can prescribe weight loss medication?


A person can get weight loss medicine from a doctor. If a person has a BMI of 30 or higher or a BMI of 27 or higher with a weight-related health issue such as high blood pressure or diabetes, a doctor can prescribe them.


Takeaway Message


Weight loss medications are meant to encourage people for sustainable weight management and overcome obesity. We don’t recommend you depend solely on drugs but also focus on behavior changes, a balanced diet, and increased physical activity.


Also, remember that the results always take time, as these are not magic pills that’ll work overnight. It will take up to 6 months until you see your desired outcome if you’re maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall.


You must learn the pros and cons of taking weight loss medications before jumping on the bandwagon. Always consult with your healthcare professional before taking any drugs, as they’ll prescribe you according to your health condition.



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