Is it a good idea to take weight loss pills?

Medications can help in the treatment of obesity, but they are not a magic formula that allows us to lose weight without effort. A small minority of people consider them to be a useful complement to a diet and exercise program. If a medication helps you lose 5% of your weight in a few months without side effects, you'll probably want to continue taking it. However, medicines are not a substitute for lifestyle changes. They work best when used as part of a larger medical weight-loss program.

They should be only part of a lifelong plan that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress. Many weight-loss supplements contain ingredients that are contaminated, ineffective, dangerous, or, in fact, illegal. Some people get sick after taking these products. It can be difficult to get your money back. Worst of all, these products often don't help.

Prescription weight-loss medications, such as GLP-1 agonists, orlistat, and setmelanotide, may be effective for some people. It also includes topiramate, an anticonvulsant that helps reduce appetite and increase satiety (feeling full) to promote weight loss. If you think someone has symptoms because of a weight-loss product, seek help from Poison Control online or call 1-800-222-1222. Keep in mind that weight-loss medications aren't suitable for everyone, including pregnant women, people with certain health conditions, or people taking specific medications. Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best weight-loss diets.

Setmelanotide works by increasing the activation of this receptor, reducing hunger, calorie intake and increased metabolism, all of which could promote weight loss. There are also several dietary supplements, including herbs and stimulants, that have been suggested to be useful for weight loss. Weight-loss supplements, along with other types of dietary supplements, are sold online, in stores, and through television commercials. For this reason, your doctor will consider your medical history to determine which weight-loss pill is best for you.

Some people may lose a lot of weight with a particular medication, while others may lose little or no weight. In addition to prescription drugs, there are also some over-the-counter (OTC) weight-loss pills and supplements available. For example, a person with a BMI of 28 who carries most of the excess weight around their waist (called central obesity) and who also has diabetes is a good candidate for weight-loss pills. Weight-loss supplements made the story even murkier, becoming a $2 billion industry as people looked for alternative ways to lose weight.

In another small study conducted in children, adolescents and adults, setmelanotide was found to significantly improve quality of life just 5 weeks after starting treatment, which may be related to reduced hunger and body weight. Currently, only liraglutide (Saxenda) and semaglutide (Wegovy) are approved for weight loss, although some other GLP-1-related medications may be prescribed in an unauthorized manner.

Colin Wright
Colin Wright

Meet Colin, your dedicated weight loss advocate at With a passion for promoting healthy living and weight management, he shares his knowledge, experiences, and practical insights to help you achieve your fitness goals. Colin believes in the power of realistic approaches to weight loss and is committed to guiding you on a journey towards a healthier, happier you. Join him as he explores the world of fitness, nutrition, and sustainable lifestyle changes to make your weight loss journey a successful and fulfilling one.