You may be a good candidate for a weight-loss medication if you have a body mass index (BMI) higher than 30, which is considered obese. In some cases, health conditions other than obesity influence which medication your doctor will prescribe. As a general rule, you must lose at least 5 percent of your weight within three months in order to keep taking a particular weight-loss drug.
Because weight-loss medicines have not proven dramatically effective, and because some new medicines have caused serious health problems, many doctors think it is a pipe dream to believe we will ever have a drug that safely and powerfully helps us to lose weight.
Managing Your Cholesterol offers up-to-date information to help you or a loved one keep cholesterol in check.
Harvard Health Publications is the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, providing the general public with authoritative, trustworthy, and accessible health information. To submit your own health question to Doctor K for consideration in a future column, click here. The contents displayed within this public group(s), such as text, graphics, and other material ("Content") are intended for educational purposes only. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your healthcare provider or 911 immediately.

The information you share, including that which might otherwise be Protected Health Information, to this site is by design open to the public and is not a private, secure service. On average, they help people lose about 5 percent of their body weight over a period of six to 12 months. If you don’t, your doctor may prescribe a different drug, or a combination of two or more drugs. Scientific research in the past 20 years has made major advances in understanding the body chemistry that controls weight and appetite. Anthony Komaroff is a practicing physician, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Editor in Chief of Harvard Health Publications.
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Diet and exercise are always the first steps toward controlling excess weight and other heart disease risk factors. It wouldn’t surprise me if that research leads to powerful and safe weight-loss drugs in the next 20 years.

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When lifestyle changes aren’t enough, doctors often prescribe medications, like statins for high cholesterol.
Finally, you may need weight-loss drugs if you are overweight and have been unable to lose weight despite eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. On the other hand, a person with a fast heartbeat shouldn’t take phentermine (Adipex-P, Ionamin). Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in a public group(s). As with any public forum on any site, this information may also appear in third-party search engines like Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc.

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