What to Know About Medicines for Weight Loss

What to Know About Medicines for Weight Loss


This podcast episode is for people who are living with obesity or overweight, or anyone who's interested in learning more about your weight and your health. The goal of this episode is to inform patients about medicines that can help with weight loss.

You will learn about:

  • What kinds of medicines are available for weight loss

  • How they work

  • How are they taken

  • What their side effects are

  • Tips for talking to your doctor about medicine as part of your weight management plan

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What to Know About Medicines for Weight Loss

At some point in your weight loss journey, you may talk with your doctor about adding medicines to help you lose weight. There are currently about 6 medicines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) available. Some of them work in the gut, some of them work in the brain, some are available as pills or injections. The key is that these medicines work best when you take them while having a healthy diet and plenty of physical activity. Another option is bariatric surgery, which is for people with severe obesity.

If you are wondering if medicines are right for you, you can start the conversation with your doctor by saying something like “I’ve tried diet and exercise, but I’m still not seeing any changes. Can we talk about which medicine is right for me?”

Drs Donna Ryan and Robert Kushner talk about medicines that can help with weight loss – how they work and what to expect if you take them.

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Authors and Disclosures


Donna H. Ryan, MD

Professor EmeritaPennington Biomedical Research CenterBaton Rouge, Louisiana.

Disclosure: Donna H. Ryan, MD, has the following relevant financial relationships:Consultant or advisor for: Altimmune; Amgen; Boehringer Ingelheim; Calibrate; Carmot; Epitmoee; Gila Therapeutics; ifa Celtic; Lilly; Novo Nordisk; Real Appeal (United Health); Scientific Intake; Wondr Health; Xeno Bioscience; Ysopia; Zealand. Speaker or member of speakers bureau for: Academy of Continued Healthcare Learning; Continuing Ed Co.; Encore Meded; Medflix; Medical Learning Institute; Novo Nordisk; Peerview; Peer Voice; Potomac Center for MedEd; PSL group; Tarsus Cardio; Vindico. Stock options from: Calibrate; Epitomee; Roman; Scientific Intake. Other: Data Safety Monitoring Board for IQVIA

Robert F. Kushner, MD

ProfessorDepartments of Medicine and Medical EducationNorthwestern UniversityFeinberg School of MedicineChicago, Illinois.

Disclosure: Robert F. Kushner, MD, has the following relevant financial relationships: Consultant or advisor for: Altimmune; Lilly; Novo Nordisk; Pfizer; Weight Watchers. Research funding from: Epitomee (former)


Asha P. Gupta, PharmD, RPh

Medical Education Director, Medscape, LLC.

Disclosure: Asha P. Gupta, PharmD, RPh, has no relevant financial relationships.


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