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What Medications Cause Weight Loss (A Complete Guide 2024)

What medications cause weight loss

Most people are struggling with overweight problems. A Healthy diet, regular exercise, and changing lifestyle can help people to lose
weight. But, in some individuals, these lifestyle changes are not enough to help them maintain their weight. Many medications can cause weight gain, but there are also available medicines that help in weight loss. This blog provides you the information on What medications cause weight loss and hope they work in the body to reduce weight in an individual.

However, for many patient populations, weight loss can have significant long-term benefits, including improved health outcomes and reductions in mortality.

In this blog, we will review the current FDA-approved medications to treat weight loss.

What is Overweight?

Being overweight is a common condition in individuals, and refers to having more body weight than what is considered healthy or normal for a particular height. People can determine it with a measurement namely Body Mass Index.

BMI is an index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to identify overweight and obesity in individuals. It is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters. Typically, 18.5 and 24.9 are considered a healthy normal weight. Being overweight is a condition where a BMI ranging from 25 to 29.9. When BMI becomes 30 or more then it is defined as Obesity.

When someone is overweight, they have extra body fat, which increases the risk of many diseases and health problems like high blood pressure, gallstones, sleep and breathing problems, stroke, etc.

Causes of Overweight

There are many reasons for gaining weight or being overweight such as lack of exercise, poor or unhealthy diet, etc. Some other reasons of overweight are mentioned below.

  • Food – Some people eat high-calorie foods that contain fat, added sugar and salt. This imbalance is the highest contributor to weight gain.
  • Genetics – Medical research has shown that genes may contribute to a person’s susceptibility to gain weight.
  • Health conditions – Various hormonal problems may cause overweight and obesity like underactive thyroid, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Cushing syndrome.
  • Stress and getting poor sleep – Some individuals eat extra or more when they feel bored, upset, and stressed. Studies found that people who sleep less, are more likely to be overweight because hormones that are released during sleep help control appetite and the body’s use of energy.

Best 5 Medications That Cause Weight Loss

There are currently a number of medications approved to assist with weight loss. All the following drugs act through different mechanisms and have unique side effects.

1. Orlistat (Xenical) –

It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for weight loss. This medicine is available in capsule form. It is a lipase inhibitor, which blocks the enzyme that breaks down fat, it reduces fat absorption from diet and passes calories through your body.

The suggested dosage of Orlistat medicine is 120 mg thrice a day after each meal. The most common side effects of this medicine are gastrointestinal because it stops the fat absorption it can lead to fecal spotting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

2. Phentermine (Adipex-P and Lomaira) –

Phentermine is a prescription drug that belongs to the class of drugs called anorectics and is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for short-term use. This weight loss medication works by blocking the release of norepinephrine neurotransmitters in the patient’s brain that make people hungry. This is available in tablet form with various dosage strengths. Health care provider recommends the starting and maximum dose. The various dosage strengths are available as Phentermine 15 mg, 30 mg, and 37.5 mg.

The side effects of the Phentermine drug are insomnia, dry mouth, sweating, headache, etc. Rare or severe side effects are kidney and vision problems, cognitive impairment, increased blood pressure, and electrolyte imbalances.

The brand name of this Phentermine drug is Adipex and available in the dosage strength of Adipex-P 37.5 mg.

3. Contrave (Naltrexone and Bupropion) –

It is a combination drug, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for weight loss. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist for opioid dependence, and Bupropion is an antidepressant, It may interact with some medications, so medical consultation with a doctor is required.

This drug works in the patient’s brain to reduce hunger by targeting the appetite regulation center and reward system to reduce the desire for food. The doctor suggests the dose according to the patient’s severity or health condition. Side effects of Contrave weight loss drug are constipation, dry mouth, dizziness, etc.

4. Plenty –

This medicine is an FDA-approved prescription-only weight loss medicine. It is taken as a capsule but it is considered a medical device because of its mechanical action. It is made from natural ingredients such as cellulose and citric acid. When Plenity drug acts in the body, the cellulose combines with water to form tiny crystals called hydrogels.

Because cellulose is a structural component of vegetables and is not digested by the body. These structures provide an increased feeling of fullness. The common side effects of Plenity medicine are bloating, abdominal pain, gas, etc.

5. Qsymia (Phentermine and Topiramate) –

Qsymia contains phentermine combined with a migraine medication, called topiramate. Studies have shown that combining these two drugs may result in higher weight loss than either alone. This FDA-approved prescription medicine is used for for long-term. Phentermine and Topiramate both drugs work together to alter neurotransmitter levels to decrease appetite and cravings. The starting dose of Osymia is 3.75 mg to 23 mg which can be increased slowly to 15 mg to 92 mg, by a physician.

The possible side effects of Qsymia (Phentermine and Topiramate) are constipation, prickling sensation, dizziness, and many others. Avoid taking this medicine if you have certain medical conditions like coronary artery disease, hyperthyroidism, sensitivity to stimulants, and uncontrolled high blood pressure.


If you are taking any medication that causes weight loss should be used under the guidance of your doctor or healthcare professional. In addition, do some physical exercise and eat a healthy diet with your weight loss treatment.

This blog, help you to decide on good medication for controlling and managing your overweight, but before using these above-mentioned drugs ask your physician because all medicines have their own side effects. Your physician or healthcare provider suggests the correct dose which is suitable for you.

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