Obesity treatment with medical drugs can be very important and effective in cases of severe obesity when diet and exercises are not enough.
Obesity treatment – Xenical (Orlistat, Alli weight-loss pill)
Xenical can help only about 1/3 of obese patients with modest weight loss and can help in long-term maintenance of weight loss. It works in the digestive system by blocking the digestion of about 30% of dietary fat that you eat (by slowing the absorption of fat in the intestine). The undigested fat is then eliminated in bowel movements. The undigested fat will cause changes in your bowel movements. They will increase in frequency and number. You may be unable to control your bowel movements. They may also be oily in consistency. These effects will be more pronounced if your meals contain more than 30% fat.
The average weight-loss attained is around 6 lbs (2.7 kg) with use of this drug. However, many people regain a significant portion of this weight within 2 years. While it does not work for all patients, Xenical may delay or even prevent the onset or progression of diabetes, and improve cholesterol levels, regardless of weight loss.
In general Xenical is prescribed if your weigh more than 30% over healthy body weight or have a BMI greater than 30 (check your BMI).
It was discovered that over 1 year, people treated with Xenical in addition to a reduced fat and calorie diet lost an average of 13.4 pounds. A comparison group that used diet only without Xenical lost an average of 5.8 pounds.
Xenical prevents fat absorption from food, also increases the risk of not absorbing important nutrients from food while using it. The FDA recommends taking a daily multivitamin supplement when using these drugs because Xenical is able also block digestion of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Xenical can cause gastrointestinal problems and may interfere with absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E and other important nutrients. The most unpleasant side effect is leakage of oily feces from the anus. Restricting fats can reduce this effect. People with bowel disease should probably avoid it. In spite of these side effects, most patients are able to tolerate this agent.
Obesity treatment – Xenical
Xenical should not be used in following cases:
- People with chronic problems absorbing food
- Anyone with gallbladder problems
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Obesity treatment – Meridia (Sibutramine)
Meridia helps balance the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine. This helps increase metabolism, causes a feeling of fullness, and increases energy levels. It may be particularly useful for binge-eaters. Studies indicate that meridia is effective in achieving weight loss, although the weight loss slows considerably after the first 3 months. The average one-year weight-loss using this drug is around 9 lbs (4.1 kg). The drug also appears to improve cholesterol and lipid (fat) levels, and it may have other effects that benefit the heart.
Side effects of merisia include dry mouth, constipation and insomnia. Many patients discontinue the drug only because of side effects. There have been reports of increases in heart rate and blood pressure while taking this medication.
Clients who have a history of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, or arrhythmias should not take this drug. People taking decongestants, bronchodilators (such as for asthma), monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or serotonin reuptake inhibitors should also avoid meridia.
Obesity treatment – Meridia
Meridia is recommended for people who are more than 30 pounds overweight (check your BMI). Unlike phentermine, meridia is a non-amphetamine appetite suppressant that could also have antidepressant effects.
- This drug may increase blood pressure, so regular monitoring is essential.
- It affects levels of 2 brain chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine, which control mood and appetite.
- In clinical trials, the average weight loss was 5-10% of body weight, when combined with a reduced calorie diet. It may also help to maintain weight loss.
- Meridia may cause serotonin syndrome, a rare but serious condition.
Meridia should not be used in following cases:
- Persons younger than 16 years;
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women;
- People taking depression drugs (such as Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil);
- Anyone taking other prescription or over-the-counter diet aids;
- People taking prescription pain relievers such as Demerol, Duragesic, or Talwin.
Obesity treatment – Phentermine
Obesity treatment – Phentermine
Phentermine suppresses appetite. Phentermine is approved only for short-term use (few weeks) in addition to calorie restriction, exercise, and behavioral modification. Phentermine is no longer marketed in Europe because of a possible link with heart and lung problems.
Phentermine works by increasing the amount of the catecholamine norepinephrine in the brain. This stimulates the nervous system, suppressing appetite and possibly increasing the number of calories burned.
Many people taking this drug complain of palpitations (rapid heartbeat), nervousness, restlessness, insomnia, shakiness, or feeling anxious.
Phentermine should not be used following cases:
- Anyone taking a MAOI medication,
- Advanced atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries),
- Cardiovascular disease,
- Moderate-to-severe high blood pressure or uncontrolled high blood pressure,
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