Weight Loss with FDA approved Medications

FDA approved medications may be a useful adjunct for achieving or maintaining weight loss

In limited cases, FDA approved medications may be a useful adjunct for achieving or maintaining weight loss. Medications for weight loss are offered only to patients who are active in our program and who have made a good faith effort to lose weight through our nutritional programs. Individual decisions about appropriate treatment and choice of medication are at the discretion of Dr. Berkeley. She will discuss your available options as well as potential risks and benefits and will monitor your treatment. Medications are an adjunct to our treatment programs and will not be used as sole therapy.

Most of the currently available medications either suppress appetite, increase feelings of fullness, or decrease interest in food.  When combined with nutrient‐dense foods, medication can sometimes be a helpful weight loss tool.   We most commonly offer treatment with either phentermine (Adipex), bupropion/naltrexone (Contrave), loracaserin (Belviq) or phentermine/topirimate (Qsymia).

Who is a candidate for weight loss medication?

Weight loss medications are typically recommended for people who have struggled with obesity for a long period of time, and for whom traditional diet and exercise programs have not been successful.  While weight loss medications can enhance temporary weight loss, they do not replace the need to make healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle.

By Ohio law, medications are limited to those who meet the following criteria:

  • Have a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 30, or BMI of 27 with co-morbid conditions
  • Have struggled to lose weight through traditional diet and exercise programs
  • Do not have any history or drug of alcohol addiction

In Ohio, the use of appetite suppressant medications like phentermine is limited by law to a three month period.  All decisions about use of medication are made by Dr. Berkeley after consultation with each patient.

In general, we believe that it is our job to decrease the number of medicines our patients take rather than add to them.  For this reason, we use weight loss medicines judiciously and rarely.