Weight Loss Medications: Solutions, Types, and Effects

Weight Loss Medications

Weight gain is often associated with bad health and for good reasons. Fat accumulation and weight gain increase the body's risk of developing health problems such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and cancer. 

Although diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes remain the best options for losing extra pounds, there are weight loss medications that could help expedite the way fat is processed in the body or prevent efficient absorption of fat. 

Here are some of the most widely used medications, therapies, and treatments for weight loss:

  • Note: All the information in this article is from our personal research. We don't recommend using these drugs until your doctor confirms the matter.

Fat Blockers

Medicine1Fat blockers are some of the most popular weight loss medications. Orlistat (Alli) is an over-the-counter drug that blocks the absorption of fat from food and is mainly used for overweight adults. Chitosan, which is sourced from shellfish exoskeleton, acts like dietary fiber but doubles as a fat absorber. 

The chitosan-absorbed fat is then eliminated through the digestive system through a bowel movement. When used under the supervision of a doctor, fat blockers can be effective weight loss medications. 

However, care must be taken when using these drugs, especially for people who are taking any other medications or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • Side Effects:

There are a few adverse side effects associated with fat blockers such as Orlistat. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, oily stools, and liver damage.

Carb Blockers

Medicine2Carb blockers, sometimes called starch blockers, are formulated to block the efficient absorption of carbohydrates. Carb blockers are not prescription drugs and are available as food supplements. 

These weight-loss medications are made with wheat germ or bean extracts (white kidney beans are the most common source). They are developed to inhibit an enzyme in the digestive system that breaks down carbohydrates from food such as pasta, bread, and potatoes. 

As a result, carbohydrate food sources may be ingested but not absorbed efficiently by the body. Instead, they are passed through the digestive system and eliminated through a bowel movement.

  • Side Effects:

Carb blockers can lead to uncomfortable and even embarrassing side effects that include gas, sudden diarrhea, heartburn, and deficiency in vitamin absorption.

Appetite Suppressants

Medicine3Appetite suppressants are drugs used to suppress appetite and control food intake. Appetite suppressants are usually a combination of drugs that interact with brain chemical signaling and hormonal processes to control hunger and create the feeling of fullness. Belviq is a prescription-only appetite suppressant. 

It works by enhancing the activities of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that makes a person feel full. Belviq can aid effectively in weight loss. However, the drug is not recommended for pregnant women or those who want to get pregnant and should be taken with precaution by those using medications for depression.

  • Side Effects:

There are several side effects associated with appetite suppressants. For one, they could decrease in efficacy as you lose weight, which means that you could gain your old appetite back. 

These medications could also cause side effects such as dizziness, insomnia, dry mouth, constipation, stomach upset, hallucinations, and trouble breathing.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

SurgerySurgery is usually recommended for people who are morbidly obese and those who have failed to lose weight even after using weight loss medications. 

There are many forms of gastric bypass surgery. Of these, the Roux-en-Y procedure is the most common, used in 80% of surgeries performed for weight loss in the U.S. 

In general, the surgery is done to control the amount of food that can be contained in the stomach. To do this, the stomach is divided into a large portion and a smaller portion by sewing or stapling the organ. 

With a smaller stomach, the patient can only eat about a cup of food and will feel fuller sooner. With regular restriction of the food amount, lesser calories are ingested and weight loss occurs.

  • Risks:

As with any major surgery, there are risks and side effects associated with gastric bypass surgery. These include infection, blood clots, gastrointestinal leaks, vomiting, hernias, gallstones, and rarely, death.

  • Note: All the information in this article is from our personal research. We don't recommend using these drugs until your doctor confirms the matter.

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