There is some good news about the change in how obesity is viewed as a disease by the medical community. It may now be easier for you to have access to medical weight loss and weight management treatments covered by insurance, if you and your doctor feel it is the best choice for you. There are many different prescription diet pills that your doctor can prescribe and find the best one to help you reach a healthy weight. The other news is that now YOU have to educate yourself on these prescriptions so you can be an educated patient. It’s a little extra work on your part, but the payoff is worth it, especially because some past pills have had negative side effects and were taken off the market. Here are 4 prescription diet pills that you should know about. (Talk to your doctor about these drugs so that you have all the info you need since this is just an overview.)
Qsymia is one of the new hybrid prescription diet drugs that have come on the market that combine two or more prescription drugs to create one pill to address obesity. In Qsymia the combination contains phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine is a popular appetite suppressant and topiramate is an anti-convulsing. In combination with diet and exercise, Qysmia is most often prescribed to those with weight issues that are related to diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. The fact that Qysmia includes an anti-convulsant should be a sign that this is a diet drug that is not meant for anyone. There is a risk of potential addiction due to the phentermine ingredients and you should not suddenly stop taking Qysmia as there can be a risk for seizures. Qysmia should not be taken by people with a history of glaucoma or thyroid disorders and should not be taken if you are pregnant or nursing. There is a potential for complications from drug interactions and increased stress on your liver and kidneys so make sure to check with your doctor that this is the right diet pill for you.
Orlistat can be confusing to people as it is also sold under the name Xenical and Alli. The last branding of the drug does not require a prescription due to it being a much smaller dose than is clinically indicated for weight loss. Orlistat works by blocking fat absorption from food. It can block almost 20% of the fats taken in as a meal and the excess fat is passed from the body through regular bowel activity. Orlistat is generally combined with a reduced calorie diet and has a successful track record in morbidly obese patients that are at risk or have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or arteriosclerosis. The main concern with Orlistat beyond the typical ones of drug interaction lies with a unique form of vitamin deficiency that can occur while on the drug. In blocking the fat from being absorbed, Orlistat also blocks the body’s ability to absorb vitamins A, E, D and beta-carotenes from the fat, so a multi vitamin is recommended. Orlistat has a specific warning on it about interaction with many blood thinning drugs.
Xenical is one of the brand names that the weight loss drug Orlistat is sold under. Unlike the other branding, Alli, Xenical maintains the clinical recommended dosage of 120mg per dose which is why it requires a prescription and alli does not. The dosage amount in Alli is not suggested to be of benefit to those who are morbidly obese. While Xenical is considered safe to take, there are some risks for side effects involved. Some people have experience hives, sweating, rashes or rapid breathing while taking Xenical. It is recommended that it is taken with a reduced calorie diet and a multi-vitamin as it blocks the natural absorption of some key vitamins from food as well as blocking fat absorption.
Phentermine is one of the best known of the prescribed diet pills and can be hugely effective when combined with a reduced calorie diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. It is a psychostimulant drug and is similar in composition to an amphetamine. It is used medically as an appetite suppressant and has been extensively studied. One of the biggest cautions about phentermine is that it can have addictive properties for people. The other main concern is that it can interact with other drugs in the same family, many of which are available without a prescription. If you are taking any antihistamine, decongestants or cold medicines be sure to let your doctor know. Phentermine is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing.