With weight loss being one of the biggest struggles many of us face throughout the United States, the most prescribed obesity medications are being used by millions of Americans every day. The reason is that many people find the challenge to overcome their obesity to be too great to be able to manage alone.
Belviq is a prescription brand name diet medication that is also known by its generic name Lorcaserin. Approved by the FDA in 2012 as a treatment for weight loss, Belviq was initially manufactured by Arena Pharmaceutical until it was sold to Eisai Inc., a Japanese pharmaceutical company, in 2016.
About Belviq and How it Works
This weight loss drug is prescribed by doctors and meant to be used with exercise, diet and behavioral changes to help aid in the loss of excess weight and help keep it off. It is typically prescribed to obese adults with a body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2 or adults with a BMI ≥27 kg/m2 who have excess weight and also have a weight-related medical problem (e.g. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.).
Lorcaserin is the active ingredient in Belviq. It works by affecting chemical signals in the brain responsible for controlling appetite. More specifically, it triggers serotonin, a neurotransmitter that generates feelings of fullness and satisfaction. Its primary function is to help you feel full when you consume smaller meals.
Belviq is an oral medication that should be taken exactly as it has been prescribed. Typically, the 10 mg tablets are meant to be taken twice per day. They can be taken with or without food. It is important to use this medication regularly and consistently to get the greatest benefit from it.
This means that you should try to take it around the same time every day for as long as it is prescribed. It also means that you should not alter the dose (increase and decrease) without first consulting with your doctor. One of the main reasons for this is that Lorcaserin can be habit forming. Increasing your dose or doubling up on it will only boost your risk of side effects. It will not help you to lose weight faster.
The Strongest Diet Pills Often Have Strong Side Effects
For a prescription weight loss medication, Belviq is one of the strongest diet pills. As such, it should come as no surprised that it can cause unwanted adverse effects. The most common side effects associated with this weight loss medication include:
- Dry mouth
More serious side effects may include:
- Mental or mood changes (e.g. depression, confusion, thoughts of suicide)
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Enlarged breasts or abnormal breast milk production
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- Unexplained fever
- Swelling of the hands/ankles/feet
- Shaking, twitching, muscle spasms, etc.
Inform your doctor right away if you experience these or any other side effects not listed.
It should also be noted that individuals who take Belviq and who have diabetes may also be at risk of certain adverse effects such as fatigue, headaches, back pain, low blood sugar and cough.
Although Belviq may be helpful to some adults seeking weight loss and weight management, this medication may not be ideal or safe for everyone. As such, let your doctor know your full medical history. Inform him or her of any past or present medical conditions as well as if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are nursing. You should also let them know about any medications or dietary supplements you may be taking to avoid the potential of negative drug interactions.
Update November 2020
As of February 13, 2020, Belviq has been voluntarily withdrawn from the market by Eisai at the request of the FDA. The obesity medication was withdrawn after a safety clinical trial revealed that taking lorcaserin may increase an occurrence of cancer.
That being said, it should be noted that it is not yet known if lorcaserin does increase the risk of cancer. Further investigation is required. Still, as a precaution, the drug has been withdrawn from the market and those who have been prescribed it have been advised to stop taking it and to return the remaining drugs to a drug take back location.
If you are someone who has recently stopped taking Belviq or have taken this drug in the past and you are concerned or have questions, it is recommended that you talk with your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can not only address your concerns, they can also help you explore alternative weight loss medications and other weight management programs if necessary.
There are quite a few different diet medications currently available by prescription only and among the most commonly prescribed is Adipex, also known as Adipex-P. This brand name medication contains the drug phentermine hydrochloride, which is a form of stimulant known as an anorectic that functions by suppressing the appetite of the user so that he or she will not be inclined to eat as much or as frequently.
Phentermine is believed to work by boosting neurotransmitter levels in the brain, such as norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. When these three chemicals are increased, feelings of hunger decrease. This appetite suppression effect may help to lower the number of calories a person eats. Over time, this can lead to weight loss.
Adipex is Taken as Part of a Complete Weight Loss Program
Adipex is different from many of the weight loss supplements currently on the market in that it is designed specifically for individuals – both men and women – who have been diagnosed with obesity, and as a result of this condition are also at risk of serious health risks such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and/or high blood pressure. It is not a supplement. It is a prescription drug.
Adipex is not a solution for weight loss all by itself but is instead a part of a complete program that includes a healthy well balanced and portion-controlled diet, as well as a proper daily exercise regimen.
For this reason, it is important to keep regular appointments with a doctor throughout the use of the pill in order to ensure that it is being used properly and the appropriate lifestyle changes are being maintained. These appointments will also help you and your doctor to work together to assess your progress and be confident that this drug is working well for you and that the dosage is correct.
Be Vigilant About Using this Drug Carefully
It is also important to take this medication as it has been prescribed. You need to remember that if it is prescribed to you, your doctor believes that the benefits of taking this medication outweigh the potential risks associated with it. Therefore, if for any reason you feel that you should increase your dose, lower your dose, or stop taking this medication altogether, you should first inform your doctor about your concerns.
Likewise, keep in mind that Adipex is a short-term obesity treatment. Some people who take this medication may build up a tolerance to its appetite-suppressing effects within a few weeks of taking it. In such cases, the dosage of the medication is not increased, and the patient is taken off the medication.
Is Adipex Right for You?
Only you and your doctor can decide whether Adipex is right for you. Start by informing yourself by reading about this medication and checking out some more Adipex reviews than you may already have read. This will help you to understand the medication and know what questions you’d like to ask your doctor.
Your physician will only prescribe Adipex as a part of an obesity treatment or if you are quite overweight and the extra body fat is contributing to a health condition or risk factor. If these don’t apply to you, the odds are that you’ll receive a prescription for another medication, or you’ll be instructed to create a different type of weight loss strategy altogether.
This drug will also likely not be appropriate for you if you are already taking other medications or supplements that will interact with it. There are also a number of medical conditions that can make the use of this medication dangerous, so it’s very important to discuss your medical history with your doctor if they are considering prescribing Adipex.
Common Side Effects
As a prescription drug, Adipex is associated with a number of potential side effects. Among them are:
- Impaired thinking
- Extreme tiredness
It is important to understand that these are only a few of a longer list of side effects that are possible with the use of this drug.
Dieters who are allergic to stimulants will not be able to take this drug. Moreover, it should not be taken by people with an overactive thyroid gland, glaucoma, or alcoholism.
Some health issues that can occur through the use of this drug include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Blurred vision
Among the advantages of Adipex is the fact that you must obtain a doctor’s prescription in order to purchase it. Therefore, this means that it is better regulated than many other forms of supplements and products meant for weight loss.
Furthermore, it means that your doctor will have considered your unique health situation including your medical history, any conditions you have, and any other medications you will be taking at the same time. This helps to ensure that you will be taking the right product for you.
Some of the disadvantages include the side effects and that you cannot obtain it without having obtained the permission of a licensed doctor. Also, it is not meant for people who are simply seeking cosmetic weight loss. Only individuals with obesity and certain health risks will obtain a prescription.
If Adipex is not appropriate for you because you are not treating obesity, then you may want to think about whether a non-prescription diet pill might suit your weight loss strategy more effectively. Consider options from established, well reputed manufacturers or brands. Make sure you’re only looking at products in which every ingredient has undergone clinical research.
This will help you to feel confident that the benefits you’ll enjoy will suit the type of efforts you’re making in the name of weight loss. It will also help you to overcome the specific challenges you may be facing along your journey to your goal weight.
Among the most common challenges are fatigue, lack of drive, dwindling focus or alertness, and a slow metabolism. In these cases, look for a product that will support you through benefits such as energy boosting, focus enhancement, improved alertness, and healthy metabolic rate support. These will all ease your challenges and make it easier for you to establish your habits and stick to them.
If you’ve looked into the weight loss options that are available to you today, you’ve likely heard a lot about a prescription obesity treatment drug known as Phentermine.
Although Phentermine is not for everyone, it is still considered to be typically safer than weight loss surgery. It is also thought to be more effective for weight loss when used in conjunction with dieting, exercising and behavioral changes compared to attempting conventional weight loss methods on their own. Since it was approved for medical use in the US back in 1959, Phentermine has become one of the best medications proven to help patients lose weight.
What is Phentermine?
Phentermine is a drug that is prescribed along with exercise, diet and behavioral changes in order to help treat obesity.
In particular, it is mostly prescribed for patients who are struggling with conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
It is a stimulant drug which functions in a way that is similar to amphetamines by affecting the nervous system to suppress the appetite.
It is Only Legally Available with a Doctor’s Prescription
Phentermine is a prescription drug, so it is legally available only with a doctor’s permission, and should be taken only according to the prescribing doctor’s directions, as will be printed on the bottle for the pills.
You should never purchase this medication online or anywhere without a prescription. Any store or seller that would sell you this medication without requiring a doctor’s approval is disreputable and engaging in illegal practices. Taking Phentermine without it being prescribed to you and without your progress being monitored by a medical professional while you are taking it, is dangerous.
This medication works most effectively when it’s taken on an empty stomach ahead of eating breakfast, or at least within two hours of having already eaten breakfast. As this is a stimulant, it can lead to sleep difficulties. In order to combat this effect, it is important that the drug be taken no later than 6:00pm every evening.
If you should feel that your medication is not working properly, or if hunger should increase instead of being suppressed, speak to your doctor about your experience or concerns.
It is important to note that taking more of this drug does not increase its efficacy, it only increases the risk of potentially dangerous side effects. Never change the dosage of this medication or stop taking it without first talking to a doctor.
Most Common Side Effects
Although many people who take this weight loss medication do not experience serious adverse effects, it is not without the potential of unpleasant side effects. The most common of these include (but are not necessarily limited to):
- Unpleasant taste
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain
- Changes in libido
If you experience these or any other side effects, inform your doctor or pharmacist. If you should experience a severe allergic reaction (e.g. hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, tongue, throat, etc.) seek medical attention immediately.
Also, it is important to avoid the consumption of alcohol while using Phentermine because it will worsen the effect of the alcohol – impairing your judgment and thinking – and will increase some of the side effects of the drug.
The Effects Do Not Last Forever
Phentermine is a drug that is designed to be taken only for a short period of time. This usually consists of a month and a half. One of the goals of taking this medication is to allow the dieter to learn the proper habits for weight loss without having to experience as many of the unpleasant symptoms associated with that effort, before they continue without the assistance of the drug.
Over time, the effectiveness of Phentermine will decrease. It is vital not to continue taking Phentermine any longer than has been prescribed as unpleasant side effects can result. Addiction may also be experienced by some users. That being said, the use of Phentermine should also not be stopped suddenly without the direction of a doctor, to ensure that withdrawal symptoms do not occur.
A missed dose of Phentermine should be taken as soon as it is remembered, but if the next dose is approaching, the missed one should be skipped altogether. The dose should never be doubled to make up for a missed one. Remember, do not alter your dose unless you are directed to do so by your doctor.
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Xenical is a weight loss drug that is available only by prescription from a licensed doctor or other healthcare professional. It is manufactured by the Roche pharmaceutical company. It is typically prescribed for individuals who are obese in order to help them to lose weight when they have been struggling to do so.
How Xenical Helps with Weight Loss
As a drug meant only for obese individuals, Xenical will be prescribed to patients whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 30, and whose weight puts them at greater risk of conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Without the proper BMI, you will not be prescribed this drug. This is because there is a risk of serious and potentially life-threatening consequences if it is taken by individuals who are not significantly overweight.
Xenical helps with weight loss because its active ingredient, Orlistat, blocks the absorption of up to a third of the fat that is consumed in foods. Orlistat works by stopping the enzyme that breaks down fats in your diet from doing its job. As such, dietary fats cannot be broken down into smaller pieces for the body to absorb. The fat that is not absorbed during digestion as a result of the use of this drug is expelled from the body with the rest of its waste.
That being said, it should be noted that while fat may be blocked, orlistat does not prevent the body from absorbing calories from sugar and other non-fat foods. Therefore, while taking Xenical, you will still be required to restrict your total intake of calories. In fact, this prescription diet drug is meant to be used in conjunction with doctor-approve exercise, reduced-calorie diet and behavior change.
This product has been proven effective in clinical studies. Orlistat’s high performance in clinical studies makes many doctors and patients confident of the efficacy of this drug.
Not Without Side Effects
Unfortunately, as a prescription drug, Xenical is also associated with some unpleasant potential side effects. These include:
- Abdominal pain
- Trapped wind and flatulence
- Low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia)
That being said, the most common side effects of Xenical are related to changes in bowl function. These effects occur and are a risk for anyone who takes this medication due to its ability to block unabsorbed fat. Unpleasant changes in bowl function include (but are not necessarily limited to):
- Fatty/oily stool
- Oil spotting
- Intestinal gas with discharge
- Feeling as though you need to have a bowel movement immediately
- More frequent bowel movements
- Poor bowel control
The best way to prevent or reduce these side effects is to take this medication as prescribed, including carefully following all your doctor’s directions in regard to diet. If you eat more fat than you should, these effects are likely to worsen. That being said, if you do experience the above side effects and they persist or worsen, notify your doctor right away.
Listen to Your Doctor’s Recommendations
As Xenical works by blocking the absorption of some fat by the body, there is a risk that some nutrients will not adequately be absorbed, either. This is because many vitamins and minerals are fat soluble and are therefore absorbed by the body through fat digestion. Therefore, your doctor will likely advise you to take a form of multivitamin on a daily basis along with the use of this medication.
Your doctor will also likely recommend a lower-fat diet while you take Xenical because the more fat you eat, the more will be sent out of the body through defecation. Excess fat in the stool can lead to the side effects relating to gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. For this reason, it is advised that you carefully follow the doctor’s instructions for taking this pill, and consult him or her if you need advice relating to the foods that should be consumed and those that should be avoided.
Saxenda is an FDA-approved brand name prescription weight loss medication. Unlike other prescription weight loss medications for obesity treatment, Saxenda is not an oral pill. It is an injectable medication that is administered via a pen injector.
The active drug in Saxenda is liraglutide. This is similar to a hormone in the body that is created in the intestines, known as GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide). It works by controlling appetite. However, unlike other popular diet drugs like Phentermine, Adipex, Qsymia, etc., Saxenda does not function like an appetite suppressant.
Instead, it sends a signal to your brain that you are full. It also helps beta cells normalize blood sugars. These cells produce and release insulin when blood sugar is high. That being said, Saxenda is not a treatment for type-2 diabetes. Its purpose is to regulate appetite and decrease calorie intake to help with weight loss and ongoing weight management.
It is primarily prescribed to adults who are obese (BMI of 30+), or who are excessively overweight (BMI 27+) and are also at risk of weight-related medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Saxenda is meant to be used in combination with a calorie-controlled diet and regular exercise program.
Saxenda is typically administered once daily via pen injection. Pen injectors are given to patients prefilled and, those who are prescribed this medication, will be taught how to use it by their healthcare providers. That being said, even after you know how to self-administer this medication, it is important that you take it precisely as it has been prescribed to you. Adhere to your doctor’s advice and directions. If, for whatever reason you feel that your dose should be altered, always speak to your medical practitioner first.
Although most people can take Saxenda without side effects, adverse effects have been linked to this diet drug. Among these effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, headache, low blood sugar, fatigue, decreased appetite and dizziness. More serious reactions may also occur, including gallbladder problems, kidney problems, inflammation of the pancreas, elevated heart rate, low bloods sugar in people who take type-2 diabetes medications, and serious allergic reaction.
Additionally, it is important to note that, in some people, Saxenda may cause mental or mood changes, including depression and even thoughts of suicide. Inform your doctor immediately if you experience these or any or the other symptoms listed above, as well as symptoms not mentioned in this review.
Finally, remember that Saxenda is not safe for everyone to take. Tell your doctor if you are treating a health condition with prescription, OTC or herbal products, if you have an existing or past medical problem, or if you are pregnant, nursing or planning to become pregnant.
Contrave is an FDA-approved prescription-only weight loss pill. This diet drug is typically prescribed by doctors to patients who are excessively overweight or obese and who are at risk of health problems (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease) due to their extreme weight. It is a medical treatment for obesity, designed to assist with weight loss by helping to suppress appetite by reducing feelings of hunger and curbing cravings.
Contrave is a brand name prescription drug that combines two medications: bupropion and naltrexone. Bupropion is an antidepressant medication, which can also lower appetite. Naltrexone is typically used for treating addiction problems and can block the effects of narcotics or alcohol. That said, like bupropion, it can also work to reduce hunger. The belief is that Contrave works on two areas of the brain: the hunger center and the reward system. In other words, it helps to reduce hunger and helps to control cravings.
According to three long-term (56 weeks) studies that have been conducted on Contrave, study participants who took this diet drug lost approximately 2 to 4 times more weight compared to diet and exercise alone.
That being said, you should know that not everyone responds well to Contrave. Common side effects associated with this Rx diet pill include: nausea, constipation, vomiting, headache, stomach pain, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, increased sweating, dry mouth and flushing. A strange taste in the mouth may also occur. If any of these side effects should persist or become worse, notify your doctor immediately.
Although less common, in some cases serious side effects may occur, such as mental or mood changes, uncontrolled movements, fainting, irregular heartbeat, eye pain, redness or swelling, etc. If you should notice these or any other severe side effects, contact your doctor immediately.
It should also be noted that bupropion may boost the risk of suicidal thinking in children, adolescents and young adults. Even adult patients should be monitored by their doctor for suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
Moreover, keep in mind that Contrave may not be safe for everyone to take. It could interact poorly with other medications or it could have a negative effect on certain medical conditions. As such, you need to let your doctor know about any past or present health conditions you may have as well as any medication (e.g. prescription, non-prescription or supplements) you may be taking. You should also inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, nursing or planning on becoming pregnant.
This medication should be taken exactly as it has been prescribed and it is meant to be used in conjunction with a calorie-controlled diet and regular exercise.
Reductil is a weight loss medication that had once been sold in countries worldwide through prescriptions from licensed doctors. This drug was also known under its generic form, which was sibutramine. In January 2010, many countries – including the United States – stopped making that drug available.
It was at that time that sibutramine (including brand name reductil) had its approval revoked by many countries which then decided to ban it. Among the countries in which this diet drug is now banned are: the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the complete European Union, Australia, New Zealand, India, China, and Thailand.
While this had originally been quite a popular obesity drug, the approval was taken away from Reductil when it was determined that people were having some reactions that could be considered to be quite dangerous. The severe side effects became much more common than had initially been believed.
At the same time, it remains an important name for dieters to know, as many unscrupulous companies have tried to continue selling it online, illegally, or have attempted to replicate its effects using other ingredients, using an altered version of its name to fool people into buying it. Any company that claims to be selling the original Reductil should be considered to be unreputable and they are either lying about the substance that they are selling, or they are illegally selling a banned substance.
It is also illegal to purchase Reductil from other countries. Equally, it is not safe to do so. The reason is that the medication, itself, has been deemed dangerous and taking it puts you at risk of severe and hazardous side effects. However, even if the company selling the pills is lying about the medication being in the pills, there is no way to know what is actually in them, which is also not safe.
Overall, while there had been some dieters that benefitted from the use of Reductil as a part of an overall weight loss program, the potential drawbacks are not worth the benefits that can be achieved. This is particularly true when taking into consideration the number of other approved prescription weight loss drugs that are available, as well as the hundreds of different over the counter alternatives that many people use every day across the country.
If you are looking for an alternative to using Reductil, it is a very good idea to speak with your doctor to find out what type of options are available to you.
Bontril is a type of prescription diet drug that has been created to help obese individuals to lose weight more quickly and easily than they are capable of doing on their own. This is a medication that is available in capsule form and that is used daily to help to increase energy levels and decrease the appetite. It is not a weight loss program in itself, but is meant to be combined with proper healthy food consumption and regular daily exercise in order to decrease the levels of stored fat in the body.
Bontril works by affecting the central nervous system in the brain in a way that tricks your body into thinking that it is more “full” than it actually is. That way, you will not only be satisfied more quickly by smaller meals, but you will also maintain that level of satisfaction for longer periods of time, and you will have a reduction in the cravings that you experience, so that you are less likely to snack, especially on fatty, salty, or sugary foods that could derail all of your careful weight loss efforts.
As a prescription drug, Bontril is only legally available with a doctor’s approval. It is not a pill that is meant for everyone, as it was designed specifically for individuals who are obese, with a high body mass index, and who do not have certain other health conditions or take certain other medications. As effective as it may be for many people, it is a serious and powerful diet drug. It is associated with certain side effects. These are typically mild and will go away within the first few days, but if it is taken by someone who is not adequately overweight, these side effects could be very dangerous to the individual’s health.
When used by the right individual, and when combined with both healthy diet and exercise every day, Bontril can make it much easier for a dieter to shed a significant amount of weight within a short period of time. It is designed only for short term use, in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms when it comes time to stop using it. However, within that time, it can make a notable difference to the user’s weight, and can teach that individual the right lifestyle habits that are required to continue losing weight on their own without the drug. This can then be carried over to the proper behaviors for maintaining the goal weight when it has been achieved.