Weight Loss Medication Quick Reference Table
There is a variety of prescription weight loss medication approved to treat overweight and obese patients. The key is finding the right medication for you. Your medical history, medical problems, current prescriptions, age, gender, weight loss goals, and blood test results are all factors in making that determination. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to matching a weight loss medication – or a diet plan – to a patient. We always get better results when we consider the individual patient.
Below is a quick reference table for the most commonly prescribed weight loss medication. It includes new drugs like Qsymia and Belviq, and older medications such as phentermine. The information in this table is just a starting point to give you an idea of each drug’s effects. To learn more and find out which weight loss medication is right for you, make an appointment at my Miami office.
|Weight Loss Medication||Approved For||How it Works||Common Side Effects||Warnings|
|Appetite Suppressants:||Adults||Increase chemicals in your brain to make you feel you are not hungry or that you are full.||
||Do not use if you have heart disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, or glaucoma. Tell your doctor if you have severe anxiety or other mental health problems.|
|Naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave)||Adults||A mix of two medications: naltrexone, which is used to treat alcohol and drug dependence, and bupropion, which is used to treat depression or help people quit smoking. May make you feel less hungry or full sooner.||
||Do not use if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, seizures or a history of anorexia or bulimia nervosa. You should not take Contrave if you are dependent on opioid pain medications or withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. Do not use if you are taking bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban).
MAY INCREASE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS OR ACTIONS.
|Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)||Adults||A mix of two medications: phentermine, which decreases your appetite, and topiramate, which is used to treat seizures or migraine headaches. May make you less hungry or feel full sooner.||
||Don’t use if you have glaucoma or hyperthyroidism. Tell your doctor if you have had a heart attack or stroke, abnormal heart rhythm, kidney disease, or mood problems.
MAY LEAD TO BIRTH DEFECTS. DO NOT TAKE QSYMIA IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR PLANNING A PREGNANCY. Do not take if you are breastfeeding.
|Lorcaserin (Belviq)||Adults||Acts on the serotonin receptors in your brain. May help you feel full after eating smaller amounts of food.||
||Tell your doctor if you take antidepressants or migraine medications, since some of these can cause problems when taken together.|
|Liraglutide (Saxenda) – Available by injection only||Adults||May make you feel less hungry or full sooner. At a lower dose under a different name, Victoza, liraglutide is FDA-approved to treat type-2 diabetes.||
||May increase the chance of developing pancreatitis. Has been found to cause a rare type of thyroid tumor in animals.|
Available in lower dose without prescription (Alli)
|Adults and children ages 12 and older||Works in your gut to reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs from the food you eat||
||Rare cases of severe liver injury have been reported. Avoid taking with cyclosporine. Take a multivitamin pill daily to make sure you get enough of certain vitamins that your body may not absorb from the food you eat.|