What is weight loss medication?

Medically Reviewed by Checkmark Medically Reviewed By: Sheela Krishnaswamy

According to the NIH, “Weight management medications are meant to help people who have health problems related to overweight or obesity. Prescription medications to treat overweight and obesity work in different ways. For example, some medications may help you feel less hungry or full sooner. Other medications may make it harder for your body to absorb fat from your foods.”

Not everyone can be prescribed weight management medications. If a person is overweight or is obese, altering his/her lifestyle and dietary habits can help in losing weight.

The FDA in the US, has approved five of these drugs—orlistat (Xenical, Alli), phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia), naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave), liraglutide (Saxenda), and semaglutide (Wegovy)—for long-term use. A sixth approved drug, setmelanotide (IMCIVREE), is limited to people who have been diagnosed with one of three specific rare genetic disorders, which must be confirmed by genetic testing. Drugs like sibutramine and rimonabant have been banned in most countries.
Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Wegovy (semaglutide) injection (2.4 mg once weekly) for chronic weight management in adults with obesity or overweight with at least one weight-related condition (such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol), for use in addition to a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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