Pills That Can Help You Lose Weight – The examples and perspectives in this article mainly relate to the United States and do not give a general idea of the subject. You can improve this article, discuss the issue on the talk page, or create a new article if needed. (September 2020) (Learn more about how to remove this message template)
Orlistat (Xical), a drug commonly used to treat obesity, and sibutramine (Meridia), a drug that was withdrawn due to cardiovascular side effects.
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Anti-obesity or weight loss drugs are pharmacological agents that reduce or control weight. These drugs alter one of the basic processes of the human body, weight regulation, by altering appetite or calorie intake.
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The main forms of treatment for overweight and obese people are still diet (healthy eating and calorie restriction) and exercise.
Due to potential side effects and limited evidence of small benefits in weight loss for obese children and adults,
It is recommended that anti-obesity drugs be prescribed for obesity only when the therapeutic benefits are expected to outweigh the risks.
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In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration advocates that people with at least a body mass index of at least 30, or a body mass index of at least 27 with at least one weight-related disease, represent an adequately functioning population. High basic health risks warrant the use of anti-obesity drugs.
The first reported attempts to lose weight are those of Sora of Ephesus, a Greek physician, in the second century AD. He prescribed laxative elixirs and purgatives, as well as heat, massage, and exercise. This has been the basis of treatment for over a thousand years. It was not until the 1920s and 1930s that new treatments emerged. Based on its effectiveness for hypothyroidism, thyroid hormone has become a popular treatment for obesity in euthyroid people. It had a modest effect, but caused symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as palpitations and trouble sleeping, as a side effect. 2,4-dinitrofol (DNP) was introduced in 1933; this worked by disrupting the biological process of oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria, causing them to produce heat instead of ATP. The main side effect was a feeling of warmth, often accompanied by sweating. The overdose, although rare, caused an increase in body temperature and eventually fatal hyperthermia. DNP came into use in 1938 because the FDA put pressure on the manufacturers, who voluntarily withdrew it from the market.
Amphetamine (sold as Bzedrine) became popular for weight loss in the late 1930s. They worked mainly by suppressing appetite and had other beneficial effects such as increased alertness. Amphetamine use has increased in recent decades, including Obetrol and ending with the “rainbow diet pill” regimen.
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It was a combination of several pills, all taken throughout the day to help you lose weight. Typical regimens include stimulants, such as amphetamines, as well as thyroid hormones, diuretics, digitalis, laxatives, and often barbiturates to suppress the side effects of the stimulants.
In 1967/1968, a series of diet pill deaths led to a state investigation and the phasing in of greater restrictions on the market.
Although rainbow diet pills were banned in the United States in the late 1960s, they reappeared in South America and Europe in the 1980s.
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Finally, in the 2000s, rainbow diet pills were reintroduced to the United States and caused negative health effects.
In 1959, phtermine was approved by the FDA and fluramine in 1973. The two weren’t more popular than other drugs until 1992, when a researcher reported that combining the two resulted in a 10% weight loss that lasted more than two years.
F-ph was born and quickly became the most commonly prescribed diet pill. Dexfluramine (Redux) was developed in the mid-1990s as an alternative to fluramine with fewer side effects and received regulatory approval in 1996. However, this was consistent with the growing evidence that this complication can lead to valvular heart disease in up to 30% of cases. leading to the withdrawal of F-ph and dexfluramine in September 1997.
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Medical complications include fatal pulmonary hypertension and heart valve damage from Redux and F-ph, and hemorrhagic stroke from filpropanolamine.
Many compounds have been tested since the introduction of drugs to control obesity in the 1930s. Most of them reduce body weight by small amounts, and many of them are no longer marketed for obesity because of their side effects. Of the 25 anti-obesity drugs that came off the market between 1964 and 2009, 23 worked by altering the functions of chemical neurotransmitters in the brain. The most common effects of these drugs leading to withdrawal were metal complexes, cardiovascular side effects, and drug or drug abuse. The deaths were reported to be linked to seven products.
Ephedra was pulled from the U.S. market in 2004 over concerns that it could raise blood pressure and cause stroke and death.
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Some patients find that diet and exercise are not a viable option; For these patients, anti-obesity drugs are the last resort. In the United States, semaglutide (Wegovy) is FDA-approved for chronic weight management.
Some other prescription weight loss medications are stimulants, which are only recommended for short-term use and therefore have limited use for patients who may need to lose weight over months or years.
In 2021, a review concluded that “gut peptide analogues such as semaglutide […] and […] tirzepatide are currently the most advanced in clinical development.”
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In 2022, another review found that these two peptides are “the most promising candidates for the next obesity market battle.”
An article in The New York Times notes the high cost of semaglutide and the potential of tirzepatide, noting that many people “who could greatly benefit from weight loss may not be able to afford such expensive drugs.”
In June 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved semaglutide injection, sold under the brand name Wegovy for long-term weight management in adults.
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Wegovy was approved for medical use (“used in conjunction with diet and exercise”) in the European Union in January 2022.
Specifically, Phase 3 clinical trials found that subjects lost an average of 16% of their initial body weight after 71 weeks.
On May 13, 2022, it was approved as Mounjaro for type 2 diabetes (though not specifically for weight loss).
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Exatide (Byetta) is a long-acting analog of the hormone GLP-1, which the gut releases in response to the presence of food. Among other things, GLP-1 slows gastric emptying and promotes a feeling of fullness after a meal. Some obese people have low GLP-1 levels, and diet also lowers GLP-1.
Byetta is now available as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. Some, but not all, patients notice weight loss while taking Byetta. The disadvantages of Byetta are that it has to be injected subcutaneously twice a day and it can cause severe anxiety in some patients, especially when starting treatment. As of 2015, Byetta was only recommended for patients with type 2 diabetes.
Orlistat (Xical) reduces the absorption of fat in the gut by inhibiting the pancreatic lipase enzyme. Fatty intestinal steatorrhea is a common side effect of taking Orlistat. But when dietary fat is reduced, symptoms often improve. Originally available only by prescription, it was approved by the FDA for online sale in February 2007.
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On May 26, 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an updated label for Xical that contained new safety information about rare cases of serious liver injury reported with the use of this drug.
Cetilistat is a drug designed to treat obesity. It works in a similar way to the older drug orlistat by blocking pancreatic lipase, an enzyme that breaks down triglycerides in the gut. Without this enzyme, dietary triglycerides are not hydrolyzed to free fatty acids and are excreted undigested.
The combination of phtermine and topiramate, brand name Qsymia (formerly Qnexa), was approved by the US FDA on July 17, 2012 as an adjunctive treatment for obesity in addition to diet and exercise.
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In contrast, in October 2012, the European Medicines Agency rejected the combination (Qsiva) as a treatment for obesity, citing concerns about long-term effects on cardiovascular health, metal health and cognitive side effects.
Naltrexone/bupropion is a combination drug used for weight loss in obese or overweight people with certain weight-related conditions. It combines low doses of bupropion and naltrexone. Both drugs individually have shown some evidence of effectiveness in weight loss, and the combination has shown some synergistic effects on weight. In September 2014, a sustained-release formulation of the drug was approved for marketing in the United States under the brand name Contrave.
The combination was approved for use in the European Union in March 2015 under the brand name Mysimba.
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Gelesis100 (sold under the brand name “Plity”) is an oral superabsorbent hydrogel used for weight loss in the treatment of obesity and overweight.
As Gelesis100 absorbs water, it expands in the stomach and small intestine, leading to satiety. Gelesis100 was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in April 2019.
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