Hermann Wellness has a weight loss clinic that helps patients achieve their weight loss goals through diet, exercise, and in some individual’s prescriptive appetite suppressants. Prescriptive weight loss medications should be used for medical reasons, not cosmetic. Here at Hermann Wellness we prescribe weight loss medications such as Belviq, Contrave, Phentermine, and Qsymia. These drugs work by suppressing appetite in different ways. All of these medications have side effects and contraindications. The best candidates are obese (BMI >30) or overweight patients with medical problems related to weight. All patients prior to being started on a weight loss program at Hermann Wellness receive a thorough history and exam. Most people who lose 5-10% of their total body weight or less can improve their health by decreasing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, glucose levels, etc. Let’s look closer at the prescriptive medications that Hermann Wellness may use in combination with one of our weight loss plans.
Belviq works by activating the serotonin 2C receptor in the brain in return decreasing appetite and increasing feelings of fullness after eating smaller amounts of food. Side effects include but are not limited to nausea, constipation, dizziness, headache, dry mouth and fatigue. Belviq has the potential to raise heart rate therefore should be monitored during treatment. Trials have demonstrated an average weight loss of 3% to 3.7% over placebo.
Contrave is a combination of two drugs naltrexone and bupropion. Naltrexone is a drug used to treat drug and alcohol dependency. The second is bupropion an antidepressant. Contrave increases feeling of fullness and decreases appetite. Side effects include but are not limited to nausea, constipation, vomiting, headache and dizziness. It may cause a possible rise in heart rate and blood pressure, therefore pulse and blood pressure need to be monitored during treatment. Also, there is an increased risk suicidal thoughts and behaviors as well as seizures. Studies have shown, patients taking Contrave lost 2% to 4.1% more weight than those taking placebo.
Phentermine works by stimulating the hypothalamus gland in return affecting certain neurotransmitters to decrease appetite. Phentermine can be habit forming and typically becomes less effective the longer it is used. This medication is usually prescribed for 1-3 months and should be used for short-term management of obesity. Common side effects include but not limited to change in sexual desire, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, mood changes, headache, nausea and/or vomiting, fatigue, and/or unpleasant taste. Your provider should be notified of more serious side effects such as chest pain, rapid heart rate, elevated blood pressure, trouble breathing, fainting, swelling of feet or lower legs, and/or difficulty in carrying out day to day activities.
Qsymia is a combination drug of Topiramate and Phentermine that increases feelings of fullness and decreases appetite. Side effects include but are not limited to dizziness, insomnia, constipation, dry mouth, pins and needles feeling and changes in sense of taste and/or smell. Qsymia like Phentermine has the potential for abuse and is considered a controlled substance. Trials revealed an average weight loss of 6.7% to 8.9% over placebo.
All of these prescriptive appetite suppressants aid in weight loss by decreasing appetite and increasing fullness. However, they all accomplish this by different mechanisms of action. These medications combined with life style change, a low-calorie diet and regular exercise can produce an average weight loss of 5 to 10 percent of total body weight within a year.
If you want help in losing weight and making a lifestyle change, you should contact Hermann Wellness to meet with a health care provider familiar with these drugs for evaluation.