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Drugs That Make You Lose Weight


On Wednesday, Sahil went for his routine check-up. There he came to know that his weight had increased more than expected. The doctor asked him to consult a dietician and come back after two months.

Sahil went to see the doctor again, two months later. In between, he maintained a proper diet together with exercises. But he found out that he still weighed the same. Then the doctor told him, “There are some drugs that make you lose weight; I am prescribing them to you.” Then Sahil tried the prescribed drugs for nearly three months. And finally, he became that old Sahil he used to be!

What Drugs Should You Consume To Lose Weight?

Doctors prescribe weight loss drugs under certain circumstances, such as-

  • When you cannot lose weight through diet and exercise.
  • When your Body Mass Index (BMI) goes over thirty
  • When you have high blood pressure or diabetes, the Body Mass Index goes over twenty-seven.

Here is a list of drugs that make you lose weight

  1. Bupropion-naltrexone (Contrave)
  2. Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)
  3. Orlistat (Xenical)
  4. Liraglutide (Saxenda)

Each of these drugs has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

  • Bupropion-naltrexone (Contrave)

This drug is a combination of Bupropion and Naltrexone. Bupropion plays the role of an antidepressant and helps to quit smoking. Naltrexone helps in the treatment of alcohol and opioid dependence. It is capable of increasing blood pressure. Sometimes, this drug results in side effects like- 

  • Constipation 
  • Headache 
  • Nausea

 Hence, at the beginning of the treatment, regular monitoring is required.

  • Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)

Phentermine-topiramate is one of the primary drugs that make you lose weight. It is a combination of Phentermine and Topiramate. Phentermine reduces body weight. Topiramate prevents seizures and convulsions. Phentermine may result in side effects like the following.

  • A rise in heart rate
  • Constipation
  • An increase in blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness

And Topiramate may enhance the chances of defects related to the issue of birth. Combined with Topiramate but Phentermine alone (Adipex-P, Lomaira) can also reduce excessive body weight. 

  • Orlistat (Xenical)

At the time of consuming this drug, make sure that you are on a low-fat diet. Otherwise, this is not going to work correctly. The side effects that these drug offers are-

  • Loose motion
  • Flatulence
  • Liver injuries (rare cases)

Apart from these, Orlistat sometimes can result in gastrointestinal problems.

  • Liraglutide (Saxenda)

In contrast to the other drugs that make you lose weight, Liraglutide is a liquid substance. It is applied to the body through injection. Not only weight loss, but this drug is used for controlling diabetes too. The standard and only side effect offered by it is-

  • Nausea: Based on the vomiting range, the application of this drug should be restricted.


Keep these things in mind

Before or while consuming weight-loss drugs, some essential things should always be remembered, such as:

  1. Consulting a doctor is mandatory. 
  2. Without proper guidance, consuming weight-loss drugs can lead to serious health issues.
  3. Weight loss drugs are costly enough, and sometimes insurance companies do not offer any coverage for them. So, get a clear picture before stepping further by discussing with your insurance company.
  4. Sometimes, quitting weight loss drugs results in regaining some portion of the lost weight. 

Duration of therapy

Taking weight loss drugs depends upon the amount of lost weight. If your body has reached the target of a healthy weight, without any severe side effects, then the medications should be continued on the doctor’s recommendation. 

On the other hand, if your body fails to reduce at the minimum of 5% weight after 3-6 months of proper therapy, then your drug may be alternated by the doctor.


Relying on weight loss drugs to lose weight is not the easiest option available. There come some pros and cons to it. Besides, the drugs that make you lose weight cannot do the job of weight reduction all alone. Lifestyle changes are required to make it happen. But it is always advisable to consult a doctor before jumping onto these things.



Do weight-loss drugs have side effects?

Yes, they have. But the side effects caused by weight loss drugs are not that much severe. However, there are some pretty rare exceptions. The common side effects include constipation, loose motion, and nauseous feeling. Sometimes they increase the heart rate and blood pressure too.

How long should weight-loss drugs be taken?

The duration of weight loss drug intake depends on the range of lost body weight. In general, doctors prescribe them for at least three months. But if within 3-6 months, the bodyweight does not get reduced by 5% at the minimum, then some other drugs can be prescribed accordingly.

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