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Comparing Appetite Suppressant Medications

Health Blog

The MSN Healthcare Health Blog offers news and analysis on weight loss, fatigue, personal health, and health news. It includes contributions from Dr. Mark Neumann and others. Click now.


Comparing Appetite Suppressant Medications

Mark Neumann

Appetite suppressant pills can have great results for those struggling with weight loss, but they aren’t all created equal. Which appetite suppressant pills work and which ones are dangerous? New weight loss drugs hit the market on a regular basis, and it’s hard to know which ones are effective and which ones might be unsafe. Here are a few of the most common weight loss pills so you can decide what’s right for you.

Orlistat (Xenical)

Orlistat keeps your body from absorbing about a third of the fat from foods you take in. You can get the prescription strength from your doctor. Non-prescription versions are only half the strength and are sold under the brand name Alli. You can take it as long as you want, but you may experience abdominal cramps, gas, and abnormal bowel movements. Some patients taking Orlistat experienced severe liver injury, but there was no connection established between the liver damage and Orlistat.


Belviq makes you feel more satisfied by affecting serotonin levels in the brain. Common side effects include headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and constipation. If you’re diabetic, this medicine might affect your blood sugar. Don’t take it if you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant. Belviq needs to be monitored closely for rare but serious reactions.


This prescription appetite suppressant is one of the most commonly prescribed. According to a 2015 study published in Obesity, phentermine helps control hunger better and promotes more weight loss than similar weight loss drugs. Phentermine has been around since the 1950s and stands out as a safe drug for weight loss.

Sometimes when people are stressed, they seek comfort in food. Over time, their brains begin to send hunger signals for reasons other than a need for nutrition. This makes it hard to lose weight. When people alter their eating habits, they experience hunger and stress at the same time.

Phentermine works on the brain’s hypothalamus to block signals the body sends out when its hungry. It triggers the brain to release small amounts of adrenaline and epinephrine. Patients control hunger, and their body begins to break down stored fat so they can effectively lose weight.

Consult your doctor before you start a weight loss program. A qualified medical weight loss physician like Dr. Neumann can recommend a diet and exercise program that’s right for you and talk about your choices for prescription weight loss help.

Please let us know how we can help you on the weight loss journey. Dr. Neumann is happy to discuss custom non-surgical weight loss options in more detail during your consultation. Call the office at 734.847.4700 today.