5 Popular FDA Approved Weight Loss Medications

What Are the Most Popular FDA Approved Weight Loss Medications – Overview

Obesity is a complex condition that involves excessive body fat. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 20.6% of adolescents may have this condition.

Obesity can raise the risk of developing several serious conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and digestive problems. Obesity, at a very early age, can cause psychological issues like depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

What Is Weight Loss Medication?

Anti-obesity or weight loss drugs are prescribed to reduce food cravings and appetite. The US Food and Drug Administration, also known as the FDA, has approved several weight-loss drugs that help manage your appetite and food intake.

These drugs can make you less hungry and control compulsive eating as well. In addition, it can help you control your daily calorie intake to reduce your weight.

You can start losing weight with regular consumption of these medicines. However, it will not happen overnight. It is a time-consuming process.

Top 5 FDA Approved Weight Loss Medications

What Are the Most Popular FDA Approved Weight Loss Medications

Top 6 FDA Approved Weight Loss Medications

Over time, the FDA has approved multiple medicines depending on your age and condition.

1. Phentermine

Phentermine has similar properties to amphetamines. It can stimulate your central nervous system and increase your blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, it can reduce your appetite. Experts can prescribe this medicine to control your diet. They use this for the treatment of obesity.

You can consume phentermine with your mouth. It has been available in the market since the 1970s. You must consult your doctor before starting this medication. This may have several side effects for certain conditions.

This medicine can be harmful to you if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, high cholesterol, or coronary artery disease. Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers are strictly not allowed to take this medication. If you have any history of drug abuse, it is better to avoid phentermine.

2. Topiramate

Topomax or topiramate can help you to control binge eating habits. Binge eating is consuming a large amount of food in a shorter time. It can promote weight gain and cause obesity.

Topiramate can help you manage your binge eating and help you to lose weight. It is an anticonvulsant drug. It is also used in the treatment of seizures and even migraines.

Overdose of this drug can cause severe harm. Therefore, you must not consume these pills without a doctor’s permission, and you should start with a smaller dose of this medication.

3. Contrave

Contrave is generally made up of bupropion HCL or naltrexone HCL. Experts use bupropion HCL for the treatment of depression. Naltrexone HCL is mostly used for the treatment of opiate addiction.

Together, these two medicines can help to reduce your appetite and control your food habit. This medication can also help you to deal with your cravings.

Contrave can help in the treatment of obesity or overweight problems in adults. However, you should exercise and eat healthfully while taking this medication for the best results. Any underlying medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, cannot be treated with Contrave.

4. Victoza

Victoza (Liraglutide) is primarily approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Saxenda, also based on Liraglutide but at a different dosage, is the form approved specifically for weight loss. It’s important not to confuse the two, as they are prescribed for different conditions despite being the same drug at different doses.

This is because it resembles some of the body’s natural hormones regulating insulin, blood sugar, and digestion.

Exercise and a balanced diet with this medication can accelerate the process of weight loss. In addition, experts can prescribe this medicine to children older than ten years of age with type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

Victoza does not have any effect on type 1 diabetes. However, Victoza can also help to reduce the probability of developing serious heart conditions in adults, like stroke or heart attacks.

5. Saxenda

Saxenda is an injectable drug that can reduce your appetite and help you to lose weight. It can also help you to deal with your food cravings. Saxenda contains the same active ingredient as Victoza (Liraglutide), but is specifically dosed and approved for weight loss, whereas Victoza is approved for treating type 2 diabetes. The FDA approved this as a weight loss medicine in 2014.

Experts use this medicine for the treatment of chronic weight management. You must not consume Saxenda and Victoza together. Using this medication without a doctor’s advice can also cause severe harm.

How Long Does It Take to Work?

The effectiveness of weight loss medications varies among individuals. While some may experience significant weight loss, others may find them less effective. The average weight loss observed in clinical trials can vary; not all individuals will lose one to two pounds per week. If you keep up with your diet and exercise routine, these medications will function at their peak.

Most people can start losing weight after taking this medication for a few weeks. However, you should consult your doctor if you do not lose at least 5 percent of your body weight within 12 weeks. That means these medications are not working for you.

To modify your treatment plan if necessary, your doctor may need to determine whether something is wrong.


Obesity or being overweight is not just a cosmetic problem. It can cause several serious problems in your body. FDA-approved medications can really help you deal with this condition and reduce weight healthily. However, you must consult your doctor before starting these medications.

See Also

FDA Vaccine Approval Process

FDA-Approved Medications for Pediatric Anxiety

FDA Grants

Breast Reduction Weight Requirements

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

Weight Loss Surgery Grants

Current Version
November 3, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover

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