Are there prescription drugs that help with weight loss?

Yes. There are two main categories of prescription drugs. The first are appetite suppressants – these help reduce your appetite so you don’t feel so hungry and are more successful at eating less. The second are nutrient inhibitors (or blockers), which actually prevent the body from absorbing certain nutrients, namely fat. If your body doesn’t absorb it, it does not contribute to your Calories or your fat storage. There are side effects associated with both categories. With appetite suppressants, the most common side effects are dry mouth, insomnia, constipation and headache. With fat inhibitors (blockers) common side effects include urgent bowel movements, diarrhea, and gas with oily spotting.
Craig B. Primack, MD
General Practice

Prescription weight-loss drugs are nothing new; one has been on the market for over 50 years,  says bariatric medicine specialist Dr. Craig Primack. To learn more about this long-lived weight loss medication, as well as about prescriptions drugs that can cause weight gain, watch this video.

Prescription weight-loss drugs do not guarantee success, but physicians do prescribe them under certain circumstances.

Current medical guidelines stress that a lifestyle weight-loss program should always be the primary treatment for obesity. Medications, if used, should be a secondary treatment, with their use limited to obese individuals (or individuals who are overweight and have weight-related health complications). Consult a physician experienced in treating obesity.

Continue Learning about Antiobesity Agent

Are there any side effects of phentermine?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
Side effects may include insomnia, restlessness, dizziness, headaches, mood changes, high blood pres...
More Answers
What is orlistat?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
While a number of weight-control drugs can help change the circuitry in your brain to help you contr...
More Answers
Which drug should I take for long-term treatment of obesity?
Piedmont Heart InstitutePiedmont Heart Institute
The Food and Drug Administration has approved one medicine for long-term treatment of obesity:Orlist...
More Answers
Are There Prescription Drugs That Help with Weight Loss?
Are There Prescription Drugs That Help with Weight Loss?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.