If you suffer from a combination of obesity and related health issues and other weight loss methods haven’t worked, you and your doctor may look into prescription drugs to help you. Here are some facts to keep in mind when you’re thinking about starting a prescription to lose weight.

1. Different Drugs Work Differently

There are a few different FDA approved weight loss drug options out there and each works slightly differently. Most of them help you feel fuller and decrease appetite, but reach this goal through different means. For example, Liraglutide is an injectable drug used to manage both weight and diabetes, while naltrexone lessens cravings by blocking opioid receptors in the brain. It’s most commonly administered as a pill and has also been used to treat alcoholism. A low dose naltrexone weight loss regimen will likely require you to take a daily dose, but the craving-curbing effect can work very well with other methods like diet and exercise.

2. They Don’t Work in a Vacuum

Most doctors agree that the best way to lose weight is through a combination of different therapies. Sometimes, this just includes understanding and putting into practice behavioral changes like diet and exercise. Other times, that isn’t enough, and that’s where a prescription weight loss medication can come into play. Most doctors will prescribe a drug in tandem with dietary changes and suggested exercises. You and your doctor should consider different prescription options and their potential side effects and implement a long-term strategy once you find the right medication for your body. Some people stay on medication long-term while others only need it to lose weight and can stop once the goal is reached and can be maintained through diet and exercise.

3. Who Can Be Approved

Like all prescription drugs, you need to be approved to take weight-loss drugs. These drugs are most often prescribed for cases where someone has a serious obesity-related health problem. If you suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease and have a BMI over 27, then your doctor will probably consider you a good candidate for a weight loss prescription. However, you shouldn’t take these drugs if you’re a teenager, a breastfeeding mother or are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

As with any kind of medical treatment or prescription, talk with your doctor about your options and work out the best treatment plan for your health. Weight loss drugs can be a big help, but you need to follow directions and carefully monitor your health while you take them.

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