What are the different drugs present in weight loss pills?

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October 15, 2019

Obesity is a global health issue. A person is said to be obese if he is having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more. If obesity is not treated in time it can lead to the development of several health disorders such as heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, etc.

A proper diet and regular exercise can help a person to lose weight. However, if that does not work out, people can take weight loss pills. The FDA has approved five weight loss pills- Xenical, Contrave, Belviq, and Qsymia. These weight loss pills contain Orlistat, Phentermine, Lorcaserin, Naltrexone, Bupropion, and Topiramate as the active constituent.


Orlistat is available on prescription under the trade name Xenical and is sold without prescription under a brand named Alli. It is one of the widely prescribed weight loss medication. It is a lipase inhibitor, which inhibits the absorption of fats from the fats than human consume. This medication is not recommended for use in pregnant ladies and breastfeeding mothers.

 The side effects observed with this medication include loose stools, flatulence, and urgent bowel movements. The effect of this medicine can be seen within 24 to 48 hours post oral consumption. Its action continues for a period of 48 to 72 hours. This medication is not approved for any one below 12 years of age. This medication can be taken with food or up to one hour after having food.


 It is prescribed for a short period. It is generally recommended for use up to 12 weeks. However, major weight loss is observed within a week. Phentermine is a schedule IV drug. It is available on prescription and it acts by suppressing appetite. It encourages weight loss by reducing your hunger and keeping you full for longer. 

The commonly observed side effects of this medication include rapid heartbeats, insomnia, dizziness, and restlessness. It is also available in combination with drug topiramate and is sold under the brand Qsymia. Topiramate is a drug, which has weight loss as a side effect.


It is sold under the brand name Belviq. This medication was developed by Arena pharmaceuticals. It is known to decrease the appetite by stimulating a receptor in the brain that is responsible for controlling appetite. This medication is considered safe for long-term use. As per literature, at least 5 percent of weight loss was observed after consuming this medication for at least three months. This medication can be taken with or without food.

Naltrexone and Bupropion 

The combination of Naltrexone and Bupropion is used for obesity or overweight. Both drugs have individually shown to produce some weight loss. The low dose combination of these drugs has shown to have synergistic effects on weight. This combination is available under brand Contrave. This combination is not safe for use in pregnant ladies and those with a history of seizures. This medication acts by reducing your appetite.  

All the weight loss pills should be consumed only after consulting a physician. These pills are available both at online pharmacies and local pharmacy shops. Just remember to order them from a genuine pharmacy store.