U.S News & World Report Reveals 4 Effective Diet Options

Three Prescription Pills for Weight Loss

U.S. News & World Report recently offers what you need to know about 4 effective diet options that really that do work…with some caveats to them.


According to a recent article in U.S. News & World Report penned by writer Katherine Hobson, there’s actually good news for the approximately two-thirds of Americans who at the very least are clinically classified as being overweight (possessing a BMI of 30 or more)—an increase in medical prescription options for dieters in need of effective diet pills and injections that do work.

In the past, the only prescription drug available for long-term use weight loss was Orlistat―sold over the counter as Alli and by prescription as Xenical. The mechanism of action of this drug is to curtail fat from digested food being absorbed into the bloodstream.

Four newer prescription weight loss options―Belviq, Qsymia, Contrave and Saxenda―however, work by targeting regions of the brain involved with appetite and satiety, and thereby interfere with hunger signals so that the dieter will feel less inclined to eat and be better able to resist the temptation to snack.

These four drugs are based on older drugs used to treat addiction, depression, and even diabetes, that when combined can help control the urge to eat. For example, Qsymia is a combination of two older drugs, phentermine and the anti-seizure medication topiramate; Contrave is a combination of naltrexone (used for treating drug and alcohol addiction) and bupropion (prescribed as Wellbutrin for depression and as Zyban for smoking cessation); and Saxenda, is actually a higher dose of the diabetes drug Victoza.

And while not every option works equally well with everyone who tries them, writer Katherine Hobson quotes one patient who testifies that taking one of the 3 diet pills made all the difference in the world for her.

"It was almost like a switch was turned off," says Bonnie Pagliuca, 55, who lives in Saugus, Massachusetts, and is a veteran of multiple diets and gastric bypass surgery. Nothing worked, she says, until she was prescribed Belviq. Before, she couldn't walk by a sleeve of Oreos without emptying it, she says. "Now, when I see the same cookies, I don't have that draw." Tamping down her sensations of hunger helped her lose a few pounds, a huge motivator to get serious about eating healthfully, walking in the morning and joining a gym to strength-train with a personal trainer.

So what are the caveats to taking these drugs for weight loss? As it turns out none of these are a free ride to thinness, nor will the journey be without some bumps―if not outright roadblocks―to better health.

Dieting Prescription Drug Caveats


Caveat #1.There will be side effects―some of which will be relatively mild, bordering on being unpleasant; however, other side effects that may be experienced include suicidal thoughts, seizures, hypertension and even possibly cancer.

Caveat #2. These drugs are for life―If you want to lose weight and then keep it off, it is likely you will have to stay on the drug for the rest of your life. The significant downsides to this is that you will have to deal with the side effects as well for many years and have to pay some substantial pharmacy bills chipping away at your savings.

Caveat #3. Not everyone will experience weight loss― "The piece we don't understand is which drugs will work for which patients," says Caroline Apovian, director of the nutrition and weight management center at Boston Medical Center and Pagliuca's physician.

Caveat #4. These are not miracle drugs―In order to achieve weight loss success you will have to integrate exercise and a portion-controlled healthy diet with the weight loss drugs. The drugs are only an aid, not a cure for obesity.

For more about weight loss options and diet pills, here are some select articles to consider for more information:

8 OTC Diet Pills You Need To Know About for Successful Weight Loss

Consumer Reports Advises Against Taking Diet Pills

Dr. Oz Tests Diet Pill and Placebo on Viewers

Reference: U.S. News & World Report “The New Obesity Drugs: an Rx for Weight Loss?”