Obesity often requires long-term treatment to promote and sustain weight loss. As in other chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, use of prescription drugs may be appropriate for some people. While most side effects of prescription weight loss drugs are mild, serious complications have been reported.
Keep in mind that these drugs are not a cure-all for obesity. The use of weight loss drugs should be combined with physical activity and improved diet to lose and maintain weight successfully over the long term. 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, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Appetite suppressants promote weight loss by tricking the body into believing that it is not hungry or that it is full. They decrease appetite by increasing serotonin or catecholamine — two brain chemicals that affect mood and appetite.
Fat absorption inhibitors work by preventing your body from breaking down and absorbing fat eaten with your meals. This unabsorbed fat is eliminated in bowel movements.