IN THIS ARTICLE
Medical treatment of obesity focuses on lifestyle changes such as eating less and increasing activity level. There are medications that can promote weight loss, although they work only in conjunction with eating less and exercising more.
Most medications that promote weight loss work by suppressing the appetite. Some medications used in the past have been shown to be unsafe and are no longer available. The newer appetite-suppressing medications are thought to be safe, but they do have side effects and may interact with certain other drugs. They are used only under the supervision of a health care professional.
For more information about weight-loss medications, go to the article Medication in the Treatment of Obesity.
Some weight-loss products are known to be dangerous. The safety of others is in question. This includes certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements. Avoid them.
Some people have tried combining more than one weight-loss drug or combining a weight-loss drug with other drugs for the purposes of losing weight. The safety and effectiveness of such drug "cocktails" is not known.
Gayle M. Galletta, MD, FACEP
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