What Are Prescription Weight Loss Drugs?

With the growing number of weight management products on the market, it can sometimes become very confusing knowing which type and brand of product or service to go for when trying to lose weight.
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However, it will help a lot to note that all of the weight reduction medications available on the market today can easily be categorized into two different types thereby making the decision process a little bit easier.

A weight loss pill is usually either prescription or non-prescription based. Prescription weight loss drugs, also referred to as ethical drugs, are drugs that cannot be purchased without approval from a registered physician.

In North America for instance, drugs that require a prescription must be first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – the government agency responsible for protecting the general public from unsafe drugs. To be approved by the FDA, a drug must produce certified research results that confirm its safety and proven effectiveness.

On the other hand, to use a prescription weight loss drug, there is the need to visit a physician for the first prescription. Approval for use is only given when the physician is certain after due evaluation that the drug in question will not pose a problem to the health of the patient. Also the physician will need to ensure that the weight management medication will not have any adverse interaction with any other medication the patient might be currently using.

Qualifications for Prescription Weight Loss Drug Approval

Before deciding on using a prescription based weight loss product, it is important to realize that there are certain conditions that must be met before a physician can give his or her approval.

The reason for this is simply because prescription weight management drugs unlike other weight management supplements are certified medications that are specifically manufactured to treat people with chronic and unhealthy body fat.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), being overweight has been found to be associated with a modest increase in risk of coronary heart disease, respiratory illnesses, stroke, hypertension, Type II diabetes, amongst other diseases. Obesity on the other hand has been found to be linked to a steep increase in the risk of the above overweight-related health conditions.

In this regard, the NHLBI has developed regulatory guidelines for all physicians to follow in order to adequately classify, measure, and treat conditions of overweight and obesity in adults. Practicing physicians are therefore required to carry out the following observations in order to determine whether a patient qualifies to use a prescription based weight management drug or not.

1. BMI Determination

To qualify for use of a prescription based weight reduction medication, a patient must be considered as either being (a) overweight (with a BMI of 27 or above) and having an obesity-related condition or (b) obese (with a BMI of 30 or above) and having an obesity-related condition.

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