There are new prescription pills for weight loss on the market. And the Food and Drug Administration says these ones work.
One new diet drug, Contrave, which was approved by the FDA is 2014, has helped patient Carolyn Mills lose 45 pounds since December. Contrave, which combines anti-addiction with anti-depressant medications, is great for people who struggle with binge eating and addiction to carbs.
"It's probably saving my life," Mills said in an interview with WCVB.
Dr. Caroline Apovian of Boston Medical Center says that not only do these prescriptions pills for weight loss work, they can also help patients achieve anywhere from a 5 percent to 12 percent weight loss. That's significant for anyone who happens to be obese, especially if diet and exercise alone have not been working for them.
"Most people don't see obesity as a disease," Apovian said. "And even the patient thinks, 'I can do this on my own. I can lose this 100 pounds.'"
But for people interested in trying this weight loss pill, Apovian said patients eligible are at least 20 to 30 pounds overweight and have a body mass index that's more than 30 (or a BMI that's more than 27 if they happen to have another health complication).
However, Contrave isn't for everyone. Patient Jodi Gold, for example, was prescribed Qsymia, another new weight loss drug, instead. Though this one offers a more modest weight loss, it has fewer side effects, so it's great for patients that have high blood pressure or diabetes.
And in two years, Gold has lost more than 60 pounds, which she credits to the weight loss pill along with incorporating diet and exercise into her routine. And Gold said it has changed her life.
"I'm able to kind of go through my day without making food a focus, so it's helped me create a different lifestyle," Gold said.
If these weight loss pills sound appealing to you, be sure to consult with your doctor about the best option. Apovian said she has to know so much about a patient before she can decide which weight loss pill they should try first.
Learn more about these prescription pills for weight loss and their side effects in the video below.