People with a high appetite often struggle with weight loss and obesity. You can eat more than necessary if your appetite is unusually high.

Some people use over-the-counter or prescription medications to suppress their appetite. Prescription appetite suppressants can help you eat less to lose weight and live a healthier life. However, many of them come with cautions and drawbacks.

What is an appetite suppressant? Let us find out what these pills are, what they do, and how they work.

What Are Appetite Suppressants?

Appetite suppressants are diet pills, injections, or other forms of medication aimed to help overweight and obese people lose pounds. Some diet pills influence your urge to eat by controlling your hunger pangs. Others can make you feel full for longer, even after eating less food.

Prescription appetite suppressants ensure that you eat fewer calories for optimal loss of weight. The pills can benefit persons struggling with excess weight and finding it difficult to burn calories.

When you use them in conjunction with healthy lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and eating a nutritious diet, you’re likely to shed more weight.

Diet pills are categorized as either over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for approving either kind of weight loss pills.

Efficacy and Use of Appetite Suppressants

A combination of a healthy lifestyle and prescription appetite suppressants can possibly help you lose up to 3% to 9% of your body weight.

Anyone with a body mass index (BMI) above 27 and who has received a diagnosis of hypertension or diabetes, and otherwise those with a BMI above 30, may benefit from using diet pills.

FDA-approved prescription diet pills include:

  •       Orlistat (Xenical is prescription-only; a lower dosage, Alli, is available OTC)
  •       Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)
  •       Naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave)

Other medications that are available by prescription for injection only include:

  •       Setmelanotide (IMCIVREE)
  •       Semaglutide (Wegovy)
  •       Liraglutide NIH external link (Saxenda)

The FDA has approved several prescription appetite suppressants for short-term use for up to 12 weeks. These include

  • Phentermine
  • Benzphetamine
  • Diethylpropion
  • Phendimetrazine

Side Effects of Appetite Suppression Drugs

Some common side effects of weight loss pills include:

  •   Liver disease marked by jaundice, typically with yellowing eyes or skin
  •     Liver damage, on rare occasion
  •     Constipation
  •     Headache
  •     Fatigue
  •     Dizziness
  •     Cough
  •     Nausea and vomiting
  •     Increased heart rate or blood pressure
  •     Changes in your sense of taste
  •     Dry mouth
  •     Insomnia or sleep problems

The side effects of appetite suppressants often stop when you end your usage of them.

How Appetite Suppressants Work

Also referred to as anorectics, appetite suppressants trigger brain signals that indicate you’re full. The pills work in any of the following three ways:

1)      Block or suppress hunger feelings. The drugs target the adrenal gland to prevent the brain from transmitting hunger signals to various parts of your body.

2)    Make you full faster and longer to reduce your food intake.

3)      Increase serotonin (the “feel good” hormones) levels in your body, tricking your brain into thinking that you are already full.

Hunger suppressants can interact with anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications and can worsen some health conditions. Breastfeeding and pregnant women should not take weight loss medication.

Avoid using appetite suppressants if you have been diagnosed with heart disease, glaucoma, liver disease, and an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism.

Some health insurance providers cover diet pills for the treatment of obesity. Find out if your insurer covers weight loss meds.

Contact us today at MediPlan Diet Services in Tennessee or Mississippi at (901) 362-7546 to learn more about healthy strategies for weight loss.