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Although medications are not typically the first option for treating obesity, healthcare providers may recommend drugs for weight loss. There are a few classes of approved medications, such as appetite suppressants and lipase inhibitors. There are also a number of "off-label" weight loss drugs that a healthcare provider may prescribe, such as antidepressants.

Weight Loss Drugs: An Overview

Several different options are available for treating obesity. The options your healthcare provider recommends will depend on several factors, such as your:
Although medication is not usually the first obesity treatment recommended, a healthcare provider may recommend it in some cases. Weight loss drugs are available in prescription and non-prescription forms.

Specific Drugs for Weight Loss

There are a few different classes of weight loss medications approved for treating obesity. One class is known as appetite suppressants; the other is known as lipase inhibitors.
Appetite Suppressants
Appetite suppressants make up the majority of weight loss drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These drugs promote weight loss by decreasing appetite or increasing the feeling of being full. These drugs make you feel less hungry by increasing one or more chemicals in the brain that affect mood and appetite.
Examples of appetite suppressants approved as drugs for weight loss include:
Some of these medications can act as stimulants, raising your heart rate and blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure (hypertension) or a heart condition, these medications may not be right for you.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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