The terms "overweight" and "obesity" refer to a bodyweight that is greater than what is considered normal or healthy for a certain height. Being overweight is usually due to extra body fat. However, being overweight can also occur due to excess muscle, bone, or water. People with obesity generally have too much body fat.
The body mass index (BMI) is a way to tell if a person is at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. BMI is a measure based on the weight in relation to height. The higher the BMI, the greater the risk of developing health problems from being overweight and obese.
When are weight loss medications prescribed?
Losing weight can be tough. You may wonder if taking medicine might make it easier for you. Weight-loss medications may help some people who have not been able to lose weight with diet and exercise. But they don't help everyone.
Doctors only prescribe these drugs for patients who are obese or overweight and who have other health problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Some weight-loss products that you don't need a prescription for are appetite suppressants and diuretics. But specialists do not recommend them. Some have uncomfortable or even dangerous side effects. Others have no proven benefit.
What are some examples of prescription weight loss medications?
Orlistat (Xenical) stops the intestines from absorbing some of the calories from fat that you eat. Prescription orlistat is the only weight loss medication that is approved for children. It is intended for use only in children 12 years of age and older. Orlistat is also available over the counter under the Alli brand name. Alli has half the potency of Xenical. It should not be used by anyone under 18 years of age.
Prescription drugs for weight loss generally work in 2 ways. Most work on your body to make you less hungry or full faster. It blocks the amount of fat your body can absorb. Some drugs are approved for only a short time, usually no more than 12 weeks. Others can be used long term.
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