Weight loss medications are an important component of a complete treatment plan for adults with obesity (BMI > 27) or overweight (BMI > 24) with increased adiposity complications. The benefits of weight loss medications include: appetite control, improvement of eating behavior, and slow progression of weight gain and regain. If a drug helps you to lose 5% of your weight within a few months without side effects, you will likely want to continue it. But medications are not a substitute for lifestyle changes. They work best when used as part of a broader medical weight-loss program. They should be just one part of a lifelong plan that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress reduction.
Obesity medications are intended for long-term use, as obesity is a chronic disease. They improve health, quality of life, and body weight in patients with overweight and obesity. Medications for weight loss are only one component of a comprehensive treatment plan that also includes nutritional, physical activity, and behavioral therapies.
The medicines currently available are appetite suppressants in some form. They help control hunger and cravings, so you can stick to your nutrition and exercise plan. There are prescription medicines that help with weight loss which are only available through a prescription from a healthcare provider. Each type has certain indications based on the doctors medical evaluation. The remainder of over-the-counter products are considered supplements. They are not regulated by the FDA and do not have proper studies to confirm their safety and effectiveness. Obesity is a chronic disease that is caused by multiple factors and is the leading risk factor for numerous other medical conditions. Therefore, it is important that your healthcare provider works with you to ensure you are on the safest and most effective medication.