Which Weight-Loss Drug is the Best?

If you are planning to lose weight, you may be interested to know some of the most common weight-loss drugs in the market today. There are many published studies in medical journals that compared the efficacy of the popular weight-loss drugs.

The authors of a recently published article in the Journal of American Medical Association said that the US Food and Drug Administration approved five drugs which are taken for long-term weight loss.  But as of now their effectiveness has not been extensively studied.  In fact, only few patients are reported to be taking them.

According to the study, some patient reported that they loss a significant amount of weight of more than five pounds on a particular drug.  While some patient’s loss varying amount of weight on different drugs.

The researchers from University of California, San Diego, Siddharth Singh and his colleagues conducted a 28 randomized clinical trial with more than 29,000 participants.  The median age of the participants was 46 years old.  About three-quarters of the participants are mostly female with a median weight of around 222 pounds and median body mass index of 36.1.

The study showed that patients who take Phentermine-topiramate or Qsymia by Vivus have the highest possibility of losing significant amount of weight.  Qsymia contains phentermine-topiramate. Among the weight loss drugs, Qsymia help patients to lost more pounds than the average weight loss. The percentage of weight loss is around 75%.

Next to Qsymia, the list is followed by Liraglutide or Saxenda drug by Novo Nordisk’s with 63% weight loss, then Naltrexone-bupropion or Contrave drug by Orexigen with 55% weight loss, Lorcaserin or Belviq  with 49% weight loss, Arena’s Orlistat or Xenical with 44% weight loss.  Xenical by Roche is sold over-the-counter by GlaxoSmithKline in United Kingdom and United States.

The researchers noted that Contrave and Saxenda were not continued by the patient after experiencing an adverse effect. The serious side effect noted by the patient was the signal used to stop the treatment.

The authors stressed a “note of warning” that says, “given the drug differences in terms of response to therapy, efficacy and safety, the best approach to weight loss must be highly individualized.  It is important to identify appropriate candidates for behavioral interventions, pharmacotherapy and surgical interventions”.

More so, aside from the drugs studied by the researcher, patients were given other alternatives in losing weight including a controversial device that is used to pump food out of the person’s stomach. It is an FDA approved device that helps cut off calories. The controversial device is called AspireAssist developed by Aspire Bariatrics.

Despite the alarming increase of obesity, many doctors still hesitate to prescribe weight loss drugs because of concern regarding the drug’s long-term safety profile. More so, some patients do not seek weight loss drugs because of the same reasons.

This was confirmed by an article published in Pharmacy Times last April.  The author noted that most obese Americans are not taking FDA approved weight loss drugs because of the fear of its potential long term side effects.

Are weight loss drugs really effective?

Some weight loss drugs seem to work better than the other drugs. The result showed that there are particular drugs that can effectively help obese or overweight individuals to lose weight. But it is important to note that every drug has its side effect. It is a fact in pharmacotherapy.  Thus, for people planning to lose weight, it is best to discuss their weight loss options to their physicians.


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