Weight Loss Home > Prescription Weight Loss Medications

Prescription weight loss drugs fall into two general categories: appetite suppressants (which help you eat less) and lipase inhibitors (which decrease the amount of fat absorbed through your diet). It's important to have realistic expectations with weight loss medications -- they are not a "magic bullet." However, when used properly and in combination with diet changes, they can help you reach your goals more quickly.

Am I Ready for Prescription Weight Loss Drugs?

Most people don't even consider prescription weight loss medications until they are very serious about losing weight. Maybe you just crossed a threshold on your scale that you thought you'd never cross. Maybe your doctor just warned you where you're headed if you don't lose weight. Maybe you've just simply had enough and you're tired of living in an overweight body.
Have just a modest amount of extra weight? Then prescription weight loss drugs are not for you. For the most part, these medications are reserved for people with quite a bit of weight to lose.

What Are the Options?

There are two general classes of weight loss drugs. The first and largest group is the appetite suppressants. They work in various ways to help you to eat less. The other class is the lipase inhibitors, which work by decreasing the amount of fat you absorb through your diet.
Which is right for you? It depends on several factors. People with high blood pressure, heart disease, an overactive thyroid, a history of drug abuse, or any of several other common medical problems will not be able to take many of the appetite suppressants due to safety issues. If you don't think you'll be successful in limiting your fat intake, the lipase inhibitors are not for you, as you'll experience some very unpleasant side effects, such as leakage of oily diarrhea.
(Please see Weight Loss Drugs for more information about the various products that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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