For those who are not eligible for surgical weight loss or who don’t want weight loss surgery, medical weight loss can help you achieve your weight loss goals without surgery. At Iowa Weight Loss Specialists, we combine prescription weight loss medications with professional weight loss support to help patients lose weight in a safe, healthy, and effective manner.
Weight loss medications can help increase weight loss by up to 5-10% of a person’s total body weight and in some patients, even more. 5% may not seem like much but can have a big impact on a person’s overall health. Just 5% of weight loss can decrease the chances of a person developing diabetes by greater than 50%!
Weight loss medicines are effective weight loss aids that can help by decreasing appetite, decreasing food cravings, increasing satiety (fullness), and/or decreasing absorption. Weight loss prescription medications from a medical weight loss center are often overlooked as helpful tools to help patients with obesity.
Some of the common questions we get in our clinic about weight loss medication prescriptions include:
Q: “Are weight loss medications safe?"
A: When prescribed by an experienced practitioner, medications to lose weight are safe, although not all medications are appropriate for everyone. All anti-obesity medications must show at least a 5% reduction in weight and pass a safety profile to be approved by the FDA.
The FDA also needs to see the medication show improvements in blood pressure, blood sugars, and cholesterol. Many patients have tried over-the-counter weight loss supplements that have not been tested or verified by the FDA and have no data supporting effectiveness. Non-FDA-approved weight loss pills can have harmful side effects and are not a proven, long-term option for healthy weight loss.
Q: “My PCP says they don’t prescribe weight loss medication."
A: Unfortunately, not all primary care providers have adequate resources or comfort to treat weight-related disorders. The medical weight management providers at Iowa Weight Loss Specialists understand obesity as a disease that is best treated with a comprehensive approach. It is important to have experienced weight loss providers with a comprehensive team comprised of dietitians, mental health clinicians, and bariatric surgeons to address the multifactorial disease of obesity.
Our team approach and expertise ensure the best possible outcomes for those who are under our care. Each patient is provided an individualized weight loss plan, and we are happy to work with your primary care provider or other specialists to help improve your overall health.
Q: “What weight loss medications are available and how do they work?"
Contrave: a combination medication of bupropion and naltrexone. Contrave can help with decreasing appetite and works in the reward center of the brain to help control food cravings.
Orlistat (Xenical): reduces the absorption of fat in the gut.
Phentermine: the most prescribed anti-obesity medication. It is a stimulant medication that suppresses appetite and may have other metabolic effects. As an appetite suppressant, it also can help with food cravings.
Qysmia: a combination medication of Topiramate and Phentermine. Qysmia can help decrease appetite and food cravings. It may also change the taste of some foods making it easier to stick to dietary changes.
Saxenda/Wegovy: works on specific hormones in the body to help reduce appetite, increase feelings of fullness, and reduce fat storage.
Plenity: A non-medication dietary aid taken before meals to take up space in the stomach and promote fullness.
As an accredited weight loss clinic, the providers at Iowa Weight Loss Specialists are educated and experienced in using all of the available weight loss medications. We stay up to date on the latest developments and non-surgical weight loss treatments available to our patients.
Since every patient is unique, our weight loss programs are personalized to fit the specific needs and goals of each patient. Our providers may also consider the use of other medications to help promote weight management. Careful consideration is made with each patient to determine the best weight loss medications and supporting weight loss services for them.
*Cost and coverage of medications can vary. Our staff is dedicated to advocating for the best possible options for our patients.