At Re:You we are dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date evidence based treatments available, and are able to discuss a number of pharmacological therapies to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Your Re:You doctor may consider weight-loss medications for you if you haven't been able to lose weight through diet and exercise alone. Before selecting a medication for you, your doctor will consider your health history, possible drug side effects and potential interactions with medications you're already taking.
Pharmacological therapies may also be used following bariatric surgery if your weight loss has plateaued prematurely or you have started to regain weight.
So where does medication fit in?
Whilst the weight loss with pharmacological therapies may look modest, it is important to recognise that sustained weight loss of just 5 to 10 percent of total body weight can have significant health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, blood sugar and triglyceride levels.
There are four medications currently approved for use in Australia for weight management. These medications all have slightly different mechanisms of action. These mechanisms include:
Reduction of absorption of fat from the stomach and intestine
Central effects on the hypothalamus to control hunger and improve satiety
Reduced gastric emptying
Central effects on the craving centres in the brain
In addition to these there are a number of other medications which are not specifically approved for obesity management, but do have a desirable effect on weight. Some of these medications or combinations of medications have already been used for weight management for many years in other countries.
Your individual situation is unique, and your bariatric GP will be able to guide you in choosing the best pharmacological therapy for you. They will help you to use this therapy as an effective tool, enabling you to gain better control and implement the lifestyle changes which will assist in the maintenance of your weight loss.
R.R Wing et al Benefits of Modest Weight Loss in Improving Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2011 July; 34(7): 1481–1486.
National Health and Medical Research Council. Clinical practice guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in adults, adolescents and children in Australia. Melbourne: NHMRC, 2013.
Apovian CM, Aronne LJ, Bessesen DH, et al. Pharmacological management of obesity: An endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2015;100(2):342–62