Prescription Medicine Bottles

Why Medical Weight Loss Drugs Aren’t Made Equal

The best choice is the one recommended by your doctor, for your specific situation.

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As obesity rates soar worldwide, more and more people are looking for effective ways to shed their excess weight.

In the last few years, one of the most popular weight loss interventions that has emerged in the mainstream is medical weight loss drugs.

Unlike diet supplements, these drugs are FDA-approved and only available for patients deemed eligible by doctors.

These medical weight loss drugs have caught so much attention recently that recent KFF weight loss surveys found that 1 in 7 adults are interested in them.

This is especially true among those who want to lose over 20 pounds and have struggled with traditional weight loss methods.

Despite this interest, many people are unfamiliar with the nuances behind the various drugs on the market.

To understand some of the most pressing differences in today’s most popular weight loss drugs, read on.


Price range


First and foremost, medical weight loss drugs are not cheap.

On average, taking these prescription drugs can cost up to $1,000 per month.

Given that these drugs are meant to be taken long-term, patients can expect to shell out a hefty amount over their weight loss journey.

That said, some drugs are more affordable than others.

Let’s take a look at a Qsymia weight loss plan.

The very first oral weight loss medication approved by the FDA, Qsymia uses a combination of phentermine and topiramate to send signals to the brain that increase feelings of fullness.

While it can result in up to 11% of total body weight lost in just a year, this drug is significantly more affordable than its peers.

To compare, while Wegovy costs about $1,400 per month without insurance, Qsymia can cost as little as $80 a month without insurance.

This is due to many factors, but a likely one is that there is less of a shortage for Qsymia that may pad prices.




Second, while all weight loss drugs can help a person lose weight, some can bring in more significant results.

For instance, an Everyday Health weight loss article reveals that tirzepatide can result in more weight loss than semaglutide.

In particular, a tirzepatide like Mounjaro can lose up to 12% of total body weight.

Meanwhile, a semaglutide such as Rybelsus saw patients lose a more modest 5% of total body weight.

The efficacy of a drug largely varies because of the various mechanisms by which it can work.

Some drugs work by reducing appetites, therefore preventing binge eating.

On the other hand, some drugs can increase metabolisms, meaning direct fat burning is faster and more efficient.

These differences also mean that the way the drug works on a person can be more or less affected by outside factors like a patient’s activity level or nutrition program.


Side effects


Just like all drugs, medical weight loss medications are not totally risk-free.

For instance, Zepbound injectable medications can cause a range of complications.

These can range from something as minor as irritation at the injection site to something more significant like hair loss.

On the flip side, medications with other active drugs, like stimulants, can cause other effects, such as heightened blood pressure.

These side effects also differ based on whether a drug is specifically made for weight loss or is being used off-label.

Either way, it’s not wise to assume all drugs carry the same risks.

With this in mind, some patients and doctors are more keen to prescribe certain medications over others.

Patients with a family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) cancer, for example, are not likely to be given Ozempic as it can increase the risk of thyroid cancer.

Again, this is why medical weight loss drugs are only safe when given by a doctor since they’ll be the ones to ascertain which drugs are most suitable per person.

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