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Medical Weight Management: Weight Loss Medication FAQs

If you’ve struggled to lose weight with just diet and exercise, you might benefit from an evaluation with one of the Wentworth-Douglass Center for Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery’s board-certified obesity medicine physicians.

These specialists in medical weight management can help determine if you have a hormone disorder that prevents you from losing weight, such as type 2 diabetes, thyroid disease, insulin resistance, or another condition. If such a disorder is discovered, they can help guide your treatment, optimize your weight loss, and determine if weight loss medication is right for you.

Here our obesity medicine specialists – Dr. Amulya Siram, Dr. Dylan Thomas and Dr. Sue Taylor, answer common questions about weight loss medication.

Am I a candidate for medications for weight loss?

If you have a BMI of 27 kg/m2 with other chronic medical problems such as diabetes, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, or high cholesterol, or have a BMI of 30 kg/m2 without any chronic problems, you are a candidate for weight loss medications.

If I take weight management medications, do I still need to eat healthy and exercise to lose weight?

Yes. Weight loss medications are prescribed to you as part of a comprehensive weight loss program that includes lifestyle modification with advice on diet and physical activity. Diet recommendations are determined by your existing medical problems.

Are weight management medications safe?

The FDA has approved several weight loss medications for long-term use. Weight loss medication is safe for most people. Some people may have conditions or use other medications that prohibit the use of weight loss medications. Your physician will work with you to select a weight management medication that is safe and effective for you.

How much weight can I expect to lose with lifestyle modification and weight management medications?

Approximately 5-15% of your weight. For example, if you weighed 200 pounds, you could expect to lose 10-30 pounds.

How long should I expect it to take to lose 5-15% of my weight with lifestyle changes and weight loss medication?

The goal would be to achieve this 12-16 weeks. However, if you are not achieving adequate weight loss on your current weight management medications, the physician will reassess your clinical situation and determine if another medication may be right for you.

Does 5-10% weight loss improve my health?

There is scientific evidence that 5-10% weight loss improves many obesity-related conditions including diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

Once I lose weight, can I stop my weight management medication?

No. Weight loss medications are meant to be used long term. If you stop your weight loss medication, you most likely will regain weight.

Will my insurance cover weight management medications?

Insurance coverage for weight loss medications varies. You should check with your insurance carrier to find out which weight loss medications they cover. If your insurance does not cover weight loss medications, you may choose to pay out of pocket for them.

To make an appointment with an obesity medicine specialist, call Wentworth Health Partners Endocrinology and Diabetes Consultants at (603) 742-1143. 

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