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Ultimate Checklist for FDA Approved Weight Loss Options

Discover the ultimate checklist for FDA approved weight loss options to safely and effectively manage obesity and overweight conditions.

Finding the Best FDA Approved Weight Loss Options

FDA approved weight loss medications are key tools in managing obesity and chronic weight management. Here are some of the top FDA approved weight loss medications and their benefits:

  • Wegovy (Semaglutide): GLP-1 receptor agonist, significant weight loss.
  • Zepbound (Tirzepatide): Dual GLP-1 and GIP receptor agonist, enhanced blood sugar control.
  • Saxenda (Liraglutide): Daily injectable, aids in satiety.
  • Contrave (Naltrexone-Bupropion): Combines opioid receptor antagonist and antidepressant.
  • Qsymia (Phentermine-Topiramate): Appetite suppressant combo.
  • Plenity: Hydrogel capsule for increasing satiety.
  • Xenical and Alli (Orlistat): Inhibits fat absorption.

Understanding FDA Approved Weight Loss

Obesity and being overweight are not just about appearance but are linked to serious health conditions like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Achieving and maintaining a healthier weight is challenging due to several factors, including body metabolism and hormone imbalances. FDA approved weight loss medications can play a crucial part in a comprehensive weight management plan by helping to regulate these factors.

These medications undergo rigorous testing to ensure they are safe and effective. They work in various ways like suppressing appetite, enhancing satiety, or inhibiting fat absorption, supporting long-term weight management.

I’m Dr. Mark Anton, Founder and Medical Director at Slimz Weight Loss Clinic. With over 30 years of experience, I have helped many patients navigate the complexities of FDA approved weight loss medications to achieve lasting results.

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FDA Approved Weight Loss Medications

Wegovy (Semaglutide)

Wegovy is a GLP-1 receptor agonist developed by Novo Nordisk. It mimics a hormone that regulates appetite, helping you feel full.

Cardiovascular Benefits: Recently approved to help prevent heart attacks and strokes in adults with obesity or overweight and cardiovascular disease. In a study of over 17,600 people, Wegovy reduced major cardiovascular events by 1.5% compared to placebo.

Weight Loss Efficacy: In clinical trials, Wegovy users lost an average of 12.4% of their initial body weight. About 70% of users lost at least 10% of their body weight.

Side Effects: Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation. Serious side effects can include pancreatitis and thyroid tumors.

Zepbound (Tirzepatide)

Zepbound is a GLP-1 and GIP receptor agonist from Eli Lilly. It targets two hormones to reduce hunger and improve insulin sensitivity.

Weight Loss Efficacy: In trials, Zepbound users lost up to 22.5% of their body weight over 72 weeks. This is higher than the weight loss achieved with Wegovy.

Side Effects: Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. More serious risks include pancreatitis and thyroid tumors.

Dosage: Administered as a weekly injection, starting with a low dose and gradually increasing to the target dose.

Saxenda (Liraglutide)

Saxenda is a daily injectable GLP-1 receptor agonist. It helps reduce hunger signals and increases feelings of fullness.

Weight Loss Efficacy: Users can lose 5-10% of their body weight, especially with higher doses.

Side Effects: Side effects include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and headache. It is contraindicated in patients with a history of medullary thyroid carcinoma.

Contrave (Naltrexone-Bupropion)

Contrave combines an opioid receptor antagonist and an antidepressant. It targets the brain’s reward system to reduce cravings and control appetite.

Weight Loss Efficacy: Studies show that Contrave users can lose 5-10% of their body weight.

Side Effects: Common side effects include nausea, constipation, headache, and dizziness. It may also increase the risk of suicidal thoughts.

Qsymia (Phentermine-Topiramate)

Qsymia is a combination of an appetite suppressant and a medication used for epilepsy.

Weight Loss Efficacy: Users can lose 5-10% of their body weight.

Side Effects: Side effects include dry mouth, dizziness, and constipation. It is not recommended for pregnant women due to the risk of birth defects.


Plenity is a hydrogel capsule that expands in the stomach to create a feeling of fullness, helping to reduce calorie intake.

Weight Loss Efficacy: In clinical trials, users lost an average of 6.4% of their body weight.

Side Effects: Side effects are generally mild and include bloating, abdominal discomfort, and changes in bowel habits.

Xenical and Alli (Orlistat)

Orlistat is a lipase inhibitor that prevents the absorption of dietary fat.

Weight Loss Efficacy: Users can lose about 5-10% of their body weight.

Side Effects: Common side effects include oily stools and flatulence. These often decrease as the body adjusts to the medication.

weight loss medication - FDA approved weight loss

These FDA approved weight loss medications offer various mechanisms to help manage obesity and weight-related health conditions. Always consult your healthcare provider to determine the best option for you.

Criteria for Prescribing FDA Approved Weight Loss Medications

Choosing the right FDA approved weight loss medication involves several key factors. Let’s break them down:


Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure used to determine if a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

  • BMI ≥ 30: Medications may be prescribed if your BMI is 30 or higher, indicating obesity.
  • BMI ≥ 27 with weight-related conditions: If you have a BMI of 27 or more and suffer from conditions like type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, you might also qualify for these medications.

Weight-Related Conditions

Weight-related health issues can make you a candidate for weight loss medications. Conditions include:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Sleep Apnea

These conditions can be significantly improved with weight loss.

Patient Health Issues

Your overall health plays a big role in determining if a weight loss medication is right for you. Factors include:

  • Medical history: Your doctor will review your medical history to ensure the medication won’t interfere with any existing conditions.
  • Current medications: Some weight loss drugs can interact with other medications you’re taking.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: These medications are not recommended if you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Medication Cost

Cost is a significant factor. Weight loss medications can be expensive, and not all insurance plans cover them.

  • Insurance Coverage: Check with your insurance provider to see if they cover the medication.
  • Out-of-Pocket Costs: Some medications can cost $900 to $1,200 per month if not covered by insurance.

Side Effects

All medications come with potential side effects. Common ones for weight loss drugs include:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Serious side effects can also occur but are rare. Always discuss potential side effects with your healthcare provider.

Next, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about FDA approved weight loss medications, including their effectiveness and how they should be used with other treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions about FDA Approved Weight Loss

How effective are FDA approved weight loss medications?

FDA approved weight loss medications can be quite effective when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Let’s look at some statistics:

  • Wegovy (Semaglutide): Clinical studies have shown that this GLP-1 receptor agonist can lead to an average weight loss of 12% of body weight over a year.
  • Zepbound (Tirzepatide): This dual GLP-1 and GIP receptor agonist has demonstrated even more impressive results, with participants losing up to 22% of their body weight in a 72-week trial.
  • Saxenda (Liraglutide): Users typically see a 5-10% weight loss.
  • Qsymia (Phentermine-Topiramate): This combination drug can result in a 5-10% weight loss.
  • Orlistat (Xenical, Alli): Helps reduce fat absorption, leading to about a 5% weight loss.

These medications are most effective when combined with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.

What is the strongest FDA approved weight loss medication?

In terms of weight loss efficacy, Tirzepatide (Zepbound) stands out. Clinical trials have shown that it can lead to an average weight loss of 22% of body weight over 72 weeks. This makes it one of the most effective options currently available.

Semaglutide (Wegovy) is also highly effective, with studies showing an average weight loss of 12% of body weight over a year.

However, the “strongest” medication can vary depending on individual factors, including health conditions and how well a person tolerates the medication.

How should FDA approved weight loss medications be used in conjunction with other treatments?

For the best results, FDA approved weight loss medications should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes:

  • Diet: Adopting a reduced-calorie, nutritious diet is crucial. Medications like Orlistat work by inhibiting fat absorption, so a low-fat diet can enhance its effectiveness.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity is essential. Aim for at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. This helps maintain muscle mass and boosts metabolism.
  • Behavioral Therapy: Understanding and changing eating behaviors can support long-term weight management.
  • Medical Supervision: Regular check-ins with a healthcare provider ensure that the treatment is working and allows for adjustments based on side effects or efficacy.

Combining these elements helps preserve metabolic rate and prevents weight regain, making the weight loss more sustainable.

Next, let’s explore the criteria for prescribing these medications and who might benefit the most from them.


At Slimz Weightloss, we understand that losing weight is more than just numbers on a scale. It’s about improving your overall health and well-being. That’s why we offer FDA approved weight loss medications as a part of our comprehensive program.

Safety is our top priority. All medications we provide are thoroughly evaluated and approved by the FDA, ensuring they meet the highest standards for safety and efficacy. Medications like Wegovy (Semaglutide), Zepbound (Tirzepatide), and Saxenda (Liraglutide) have been shown to be effective in clinical studies, helping many achieve significant weight loss.

We also focus on convenience. With options for virtual consultations and medications delivered directly to your door, you can manage your weight loss journey from the comfort of your home. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to stay on track.

Support is another key element of our approach. Our team of medical professionals provides continuous monitoring and guidance. Whether it’s adjusting dosages or offering nutritional advice, we are here to support you every step of the way.

Our approach is personalized. We tailor treatment plans to fit your unique needs, combining medications with lifestyle changes. This holistic approach addresses not just the physical aspects of weight loss, but also the emotional and behavioral factors.

Ready to take the next step? Schedule your consultation with us today and start your journey towards a healthier, happier you. Together, we can achieve lasting results.

Transform Your Life with Slimz Weightloss - FDA approved weight loss

Sustainable weight loss is not just about the medication. It’s about a comprehensive, supportive, and personalized approach. At Slimz Weightloss, we are committed to helping you succeed.

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