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If the term “weight loss medication” scares you, we hear you. It’s smart to be careful with deceptive pills that promise a six-pack for the weekend. But unlike the stash of weight-loss supplements at your local pharmacy, the weight-loss medications prescribed by doctors have been tested for years to obtain a seal of approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
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A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association set five medications blessed by the FDA to each other to prove their legitimacy.
The researchers analyzed 28 randomized clinical trials of almost 30,000 overweight adults (yes, that’s pretty solid). They discovered that, on average, each drug helped people lose 5 percent of their body weight after one year (approximately 10 pounds for a 200-pound person). All the medications were equally effective.
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Here, we analyze the five medications that were studied and explain what you should consider before looking for an Rx.
How it works: Orlistat falls under the umbrella of drugs called lipase inhibitors. Basically, medication prevents your intestines from absorbing some of the fat that enters through your system. You may recognize orlistat for the Alli brand, which was approved for over-the-counter sales in 2007.
Eating foods high in fat (think: 30 percent of calories come from fat) while taking the medication could cause some unpleasant side effects. Think: grease stains on your underwear, soft stools and urgent needs to go to the bathroom. Ick. (Start your weight loss diet pills guide journey well without major consequences with the Look’s Naked Training DVD from Women’s Health.)
Who could take it? Orlistat works best for people who need to lose less than 10 percent of their body weight, says Allen Rader, M.D., of Idaho weight loss product sample no shipping Charge. According to the National Institutes of Health, it is also safe for people who have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or heart disease.
Naltrexone and Bupropion
How it works: “Naltrexone is an opioid inhibitor and bupropion is an antidepressant,” says Rader. Bupropion itself may decrease the feeling of hunger, but the medication also increases certain opioids in the brain that block satiety (for example, you will never feel full). But when bupropion joins forces with naltrexone, it blocks the stimulation of these opioids and the suppressive magic of the appetite is produced.
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Side effects: Nausea is a major side effect of naltrex one, says Rader. “It’s hard to be hungry when you feel sick, so it helps with hunger that way,” she says. It is not surprising that the drug also has a high dropout rate (maybe because people do not want to feel like kicking all the time?). Another red flag: Bupropion can cause an increase in suicidal thoughts for young people, according to the creators of Contrave, the brand of these two drugs.
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