Nowadays, there are a variety of options that you and your doctor can consider when trying weight loss medications. Here we will discuss some prescription drugs for weight loss and compare them to phentermine.
Do all prescription drugs for weight loss work the same?
No. Medications do help you lose more weight efficiently, but each one works differently. For example, phentermine stimulates the central nervous system, reduces appetite, and activates your metabolism by simulating a "defense or flight" response. On the other hand, Belviq activates serotonin receptors to provide a feeling of being full earlier, and Xenical slows down the absorption of fat in the intestine.
All weight-loss medications affect the brain and body differently. They are all designed to help you achieve your goal. Regardless, all weight-loss drugs work best when combined with a low-calorie diet and regular physical activity.
1. Belviq (lorcaserin)
Belviq, approved by the FDA in 2012, is a reasonably popular weight loss medication, it helps you eat less by promoting the feeling of being satiated with food earlier. It is produced by Arena Pharmaceuticals GmbH, which also produces BelviqXR.
The active ingredient in Belviq is lorcaserin that isn't in phentermine. In the case of phentermine or Adipex, they contain phentermine HCI as an active ingredient. Lorcaserin activates serotonin receptors so they can more quickly recognize circulating molecules. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that we usually associate with happiness, but, also, it also helps the brain to send the signal to be satiated to our body. Therefore, Belviq helps the brain to detect serotonin more quickly and send the satiety signal to our body sooner. In this way, the medication enables you to eat less and lose more weight.
The dose of Belviq is also different from that of phentermine. The recommended dose is 10mg of Belviq twice a day or one 20mg pill of BelviqXR. The phentermine dose can range from 8mg to 37.5mg and is taken one to three times a day.
Like phentermine, Belviq is a controlled substance by classification. It is neither a narcotic nor a stimulant, but can only be obtained by prescription.
Like phentermine, Belviq can also cause side effects. The common effects are similar, but the severe side effects of Belviq are different from those of phentermine. Severe consequences of Belviq include serotonin syndrome, valvular heart disease, decreased blood cells, painful erections, or increased prolactin (the hormone that produces milk during lactation).
The most common side effects are similar to those of phentermine, such as headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, cough, low blood sugar in the case of people with type 2 diabetes, and back pain.
2. Contrave (naltrexone and sustained release of bupropion)
Contrave, approved in 2014 by the FDA, is another drug to lose but quite common. It helps you eat less by reducing your appetite and controlling your cravings. It is a combination of naltrexone and sustained release of bupropion. Naltrexone is typically used to manage alcohol or opioid addiction, and bupropion, on the other hand, is an anti-depressant used to quit smoking. Contrave does not contain phentermine.
One of the most significant differences between these two weight loss medications is the mechanism of action. Contrave focuses on two separate parts of the brain, the hypothalamus, and the mesolimbic pathway. Bupropion works in the hypothalamus reducing appetite, while naltrexone affects the mesolimbic pathway to control cravings. These effects differ from the stimulating effect of phentermine.
Contrave dosage is also different from phentermine. With Contrave, increase the dose gradually over 12 weeks, and you should take pills in the morning and evening after the first week. Unlike phentermine, which is only approved for short-term use, Contrave can be taken (and is taken) for more than three months.
Contrave is not a controlled substance.
Like Phentermine, Contrave is intended for people with a BMI of over 27 who have a serious problem related to being overweight, or for people with a BMI over 30. It is not recommended to take this medicine if you are pregnant or in period of breastfeeding, have uncontrolled blood pressure, have an eating disorder, have a history of seizures, and/or are taking opioids, alcohol, or seizure medications, or have recently stopped taking any of the three.
Both weight loss medications carry the risk of serious side effects, and they also have some common side effects. Contrave's effects include suicidal or manic thoughts or actions, increased risk of epileptic seizures, increased risk of opioid overdose or sudden opioid withdrawal syndrome, severe allergic reactions, increased blood and heart pressure, liver damage, or Hepatitis, vision problems, and low blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. Like phentermine, the most common side effects are nausea, constipation or diarrhea, headache, dizziness. , insomnia, and dry mouth.
Saxenda, approved by the FDA in 2014, is the only drug on the list that comes as an injection. Unlike other weight loss medications, Saxenda mimics the effect of a natural hormone (GLP-1) to suppress appetite. Just like the above two drugs, you can buy Saxenda online. However, you'll be required to answer general questions about your health before you can have it shipped to you. It's a prescription-only weight loss injection for weight-loss treatment, and hence each customer/patient's health information is reviewed by clinical staff online before an order is shipped.
The main difference between these two prescription drugs is how you take them: Saxenda is an injection, and Phentemine is a pill. When you are first prescribed Saxenda, your doctor must teach you how to inject the medication. Unlike phentermine, which is usually prescribed as a half dose or the full dose from the start, the amount of Saxenda medication is taken as a daily injection. It gradually increases every week until reaching the full dose in the fifth week.
Another big difference is the effects of the medication. While phentermine acts as a stimulant, Saxenda mimics the effect of the glucagon-like peptide hormone GLP-1. The medicine works in the hypothalamus to reduce appetite and slow down the absorption of glucose in the digestive system. It is similar to the medications used to treat diabetes. However, Saxenda has not been approved to treat type 2 diabetes and should not be combined with other GLP-1 agonists (such as Victoza) or with insulin.
Saxenda (liraglutide) is not a controlled substance. The injection has been approved by the FDA for long-term use.
Both medications carry the risk of serious side effects, and they also have some effects in common. Serious side effects of Saxenda include thyroid tumor/cancer, acute pancreatitis, gallstones, hypoglycemia in people with type 2 diabetes, a racing heart, kidney problems, depression or suicidal thoughts, and a severe allergic reaction. As with phentermine, there are more common side effects such as nausea, constipation or diarrhea, dizziness, stomach pain, tiredness, and changes in lipase levels.
The producer claims that nausea is the most common side effect and that it decreases over time. However, a Saxenda Risk Assessment and Mitigation Strategy is being carried out given the severity of possible side effects of this drug.
If you want to know more about Saxenda, you can find more information from London Slimming Clinic. From them, you can also buy Saxenda weight loss injections at the lowest price online. All you need to do is to take the online consultation for their clinical staff to review your responses, understand better, and treat your condition. It's very similar to visiting a GP but without leaving home. If the clinical staff finds you're not eligible for Saxenda, then no payment is taken.
That ends this discussion over here. So, these are the popular alternatives to phentermine.