What You Need to Know About Appetite Suppressants

Appetite suppressants help people lose weight by controlling hunger and making you feel full faster. But, its buyer beware!  There are many supplements that are sold over the counter and online that are not FDA approved and can be completely ineffective, or even worse, have dangerous side effects. Appetite suppressants definitely have a place in weight loss, but should be FDA approved and prescribed by a physician.

At Physicians Premier Weight & Wellness Center, Dr. Trupti Patel and her team recognize that we have come a long way from some of the old weight loss medications that we had in the past. Many, such as Phen-Fen, were taken off the market due to adverse side effects.  In fact, over the years, many of the weight loss medications have unfortunately gotten a bad reputation.

In today’s blog, we are discussing some appetite suppressants, or weight loss medications that can safely and effectively be incorporated into a comprehensive weight loss program.  These are medications that are FDA approved and have excellent safety data behind them.  Keep in mind though that none of them are the “magic pill” when it comes to weight loss. By themselves, they are usually not very effective. But, when combined with a really good eating plan, they can be extremely beneficial. Why? Because they decrease hunger and cravings making it easier to follow a specific eating plan. 

Dr. Patel finds that patients are often a bit leery about incorporating weight loss medication into their program. Many people feel that if they take them, it is a sign of weakness. But in reality, this is absolutely false.  It’s not weakness, but rather it’s physiology. Weight loss struggle is real, it’s not just due to lack of commitment or effort. When you are feeling hungry and craving something, you are up against a number of powerful hunger hormones that can cause you to overeat.

So, let’s talk about a couple of specific weight loss medications that are often prescribed.

The first one is phentermine. Many people have heard of this medication. It is probably the most popular appetite suppressant worldwide. It was FDA approved in 1959 as an appetite suppressant. It decreases your hunger and makes you feel full faster. This medication is a mild stimulant and is therefore a controlled substance.  But when taken under a physician’s care, it can be a beneficial addition to your weight loss program.

Another newer weight loss medication is Contrave. It was FDA approved in 2014. Like phentermine, it reduces hunger and makes you feel full faster. But it also significantly helps control cravings and temptations. It helps to take your focus off of food. Contrave is a combination of two very old medications – Wellbutrin (an antidepressant) and naltrexone (a medication used to reverse an opioid overdose). 

There are a handful of other FDA approved appetite suppressants that are used and there are many more that are currently being studied.  Look out for many safe and effective options to come out in the near future.

If you have questions or desire a customized weight loss plan in a supportive environment, Dr. Trupti Patel and her experienced team are skilled and ready to help!  It is time for you to meet or exceed your weight loss goals and create healthy habits you can live with for life.

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