All too often, weight loss can feel like an uphill battle, and all the fad diets and trendy health crazes in the world can start to feel hopeless. For those who feel that they’ve tried everything and still face a long-term struggle with weight loss, prescription medication can be the key to losing weight. Still, many are hesitant to use these safe, effective medications simply because the way in which they work can seem unclear.
We here at Found are here to clear up some of the confusion surrounding prescription weight loss medication. We believe that prescription weight loss medication can be the key to safe, healthy weight loss when paired with other components of your weight loss regimen such as proper diet and exercise. Here’s a simple explanation of how some of the medications that we prescribe work, so that you can feel confident in your understanding of just how these medications work with your body to promote weight loss.
1. Reducing cravings
Many weight loss drugs work by signaling to your brain to decrease your appetite. Weight loss drugs known as hypothalamus regulators suppress neurons in the brain that would otherwise stimulate appetite. As a result, your appetite is reduced, which then leads to consuming fewer calories. Over time, consumption of fewer calories leads to a calorie deficit, which then results in weight loss. In one clinical trial, 42% of subjects prescribed these medications lost at least 5% of their body weight over the course of a year, compared to 17% of those who were prescribed a placebo. Other drugs prescribed by Found stimulate the nervous system in order to shrink hunger. This means you can feel more satiated with smaller amounts of food.
2. Making you feel full
Some weight loss drugs can simulate feelings of fullness. In combination with other drugs such as hypothalamus regulators, these drugs can work to not only reduce cravings, but also to make you feel more full from less food. Prescription weight loss medication gets to work immediately, and you should start to see weight loss at an average of a pound or two a week as soon as you begin medication. Most prescription weight loss users will see significant weight loss within 12 weeks.
3. Activating your nervous system
Weight loss medication known as “anorectics,” or appetite suppressants, activate your sympathetic nervous system (otherwise known as “fight or flight” nervous system) to decrease your appetite. This may also have the effect of increasing metabolism, which means you may burn calories from food more quickly.
4. Lowering blood sugar
Some medications that help control blood sugar are also effective in decreasing appetite. Decreased appetite helps aid weight loss by allowing you to eat less. For this reason, these drugs can be especially effective in patients with diabetes or insulin sensitivity. However, this drug doesn’t only work for diabetic patients. It has also been shown to aid weight loss in patients without diabetes.
5. Blocking fat absorption
While many weight loss drugs work by communicating with your brain, another form of medication works by blocking your body’s ability to absorb fat on a cellular level. This medication works in the gut to block ⅓ of the fat you consume from being absorbed in the body. Combined with a lower fat diet, these drugs stop your body from absorbing fat in the foods you eat.
Our medication toolkit
Found offers the broadest range of medications to address biological challenges that make weight loss more difficult. Found doctors prescribe medications to help with the following:
Stabilize blood sugar levels
Below is a list of all medications and combinations offered to new and existing members who qualify. Click on the medication name to learn more.
Metformin is a plant-derived off-label option for weight loss, appetite control, and sugar/carbohydrate craving control. It may help people be more adherent to a low carbohydrate diet for those on that type of plan.
Bupropion is an effective off-label option for weight loss which works by reducing appetite and cravings.
Topiramate is used for many medical conditions such as migraines, seizures, and nerve pain but also is a helpful off-label option for weight loss which works by reducing hunger and cravings. Topiramate can be prescribed alone, in combination with other medication, or sometimes to counteract the weight gain potential of certain medicines.
Naltrexone is an off-label option for weight loss which works by treating cravings and compulsive eating.
Naltrexone and Bupropion is a well studied off-label combination which helps treat binging and cravings and is also helpful for people who feel “addicted to food”.
Zonisamide is an effective off-label medication for appetite and craving control. It can be used alone or in combination with other medications to help target multiple mechanisms of weight loss.
Bupropion and Zonisamide is an off-label combination of medications that can reduce overall hunger, increase fullness, and help with overeating and cravings.
Alli is FDA-approved for weight loss, and it decreases the amount of dietary fat absorbed in the intestines.
Some medications our medical providers prescribe are FDA-approved for weight loss; others are FDA-approved but not for the indication of weight loss (a practice known as “off-label” prescribing). Found affiliated medical providers prescribe these medications off-label only when there is sufficient clinical evidence to support the use of a medicine. The prescription comes after a medical provider has reviewed a member’s health history and determined that the medication is safe for the particular member.
Just like how Found works holistically to help you lose weight, weight loss medications may be prescribed in conjunction with one another to help decrease overall weight. Your Found medical provider will prescribe you either one or a combination of these medications in order to aid your weight loss journey. Combined with your customized diet and exercise plan, medication can be a safe, effective way to help lose weight through Found. If you think prescription weight loss might be right for you, take this short quiz today to learn how Found can help bring you the results you’re looking for.