Prescription weight-loss drugs

Prescription drugs are medicines that your health care team prescribes to manage your obesity. Please be aware that in addition to your prescription weight-loss drugs, you will also need dietary instruction and coaching for a healthy diet as well as exercise.

Who can take weight-loss drugs?

We may suggest the use of a weight-loss drug for you. These drugs are used if you haven’t been able to lose weight through diet and exercise and your weight is in one of the following categories:

  • Body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30, called obesity.
  • BMI is greater than 27. You also have a serious medical problem linked to obesity, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Before choosing a medicine for you, your we will discuss with you the pros and cons of prescription weight-loss drugs. These drugs aren’t for everyone. For example, you shouldn’t take these drugs if you’re trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or are breastfeeding.

How well do weight-loss drugs work?

Prescription weight-loss drugs that are used for more than 12 weeks, are called long-term use. Some of these drugs lead to major weight loss compared with placebo. The combination of weight-loss medicine and lifestyle changes leads to greater weight loss than do lifestyle changes alone. Please discuss the potential side effect and limitations of these drugs with us. If you’ve lost enough weight to improve your health and you haven’t had serious side effects, we may suggest that you take the drug long term.

Weight-loss drugs can be expensive and aren’t always paid for by the insurance companies. Ask your insurance company or visit the pharmaceutical websites and find out about your coverage.

If you haven’t lost at least 5% of your body weight after taking the full dose of a drug for 3 to 6 months, your health care provider will probably change your treatment and may switch you to a different weight-loss drug.

IMPORTANT Information on Weight Loss Medications