Do people gain weight from a lack of exercise? Or do they gain weight simply from eating too much?

It’s typically the latter. Food, obviously, plays a significant role in our daily lives. But more than simply eating for energy to fuel our daily activity, many people eat for other reasons. Some use food to cope with stress or emotional upheaval. Others eat simply because of the environment they’re in. Others simply eat the wrong foods and put on weight due to those choices.

For most people, dieting is a seesaw affair. They lose some weight on a new diet, but the diet isn’t realistic, so they gain the weight right back when they revert to a normal food.

Exercise is a simple solution, or so it would seem. Burn more calories than you eat, and you will lose weight. That is certainly true, but it’s not easy for many people to stick with exercise regimens to achieve the success they hope for.

For these cases, at Affirm Health Center, we may opt to create a weight-loss program that involves prescription appetite suppressants. These medications are used in combination with dietary changes and exercise in a three-prong weight-loss program.

What drugs are used for medical weight loss?

The FDA has approved four drugs for long-term use for weight loss: bupropion-naltrexone (brand name, Contrave), liraglutide (Saxenda), orlistat (Xenical), and phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia).

  • Bupropion-naltrexone is a combination drug. Naltrexone is used to treat alcohol and opioid dependence. Bupropion is an antidepressant and aid in smoking cessation. Common side effects include nausea, headaches, and constipation.
  • Liraglutide is also used to manage diabetes. Unlike other weight-loss drugs, liraglutide is administered by injection. Nausea is a common complaint, and vomiting may preclude its use for some patients.
  • Orlistat can cause bothersome gastrointestinal side effects, such as flatulence and loose stools. With this drug, patients need to follow a low-fat diet. There is a reduced-strength version of orlistat (Alli) that is available over the counter.
  • Phentermine-topiramate is a combination of an anticonvulsant (topiramate) and a weight-loss drug (phentermine). Phentermine has been known for its potential for abuse as an amphetamine-like drug. Other possible side effects include an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, constipation, and nervousness.
  • Phentermine is also used alone for weight loss (brand name, Adipex-P). This is one of four approved drugs for short-term use for weight loss. Phentermine is the most popular of these.

If you’re struggling with weight loss, please call us at Affirm Health Center, (417) 823-3901. We have various strategies for successful weight loss, including the use of the prescription appetite suppressants listed above.

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