What are the top 10 prescription diet pills that work fast? As obesity has become a real issue of late (more than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese), sometimes people might require a medical intervention to address the excess body weight, which is why drug companies have jumped in and released a whole bunch of strong prescription pills. Now, there’s an obvious question that arises: why don’t people use more prescription drugs and instead choose to spend thousands of dollars on gym memberships, various programs like Weight Watchers? Since these are prescription drugs, they have been approved by the Food and Drug administration and, therefore, it has been scientifically proven that they work. Right?
When it comes to prescription weight-loss drugs, no drug has ever reached sales of $1.0 billion. And there are several reasons why they haven’t caught on. First of all, it’s that their results are somewhat weak. For a drug to be approved by the FDA as a weight loss aid, it has to show that patients can lose 5% more weight than those on placebo, or that more than 35% of the patients taking the drug lose more than 5% of their weight and prove that this is twice the weight lost by subjects taking placebo. However, it’s a well known fact that obese people lose weight faster, so to lose between 5% and 10% of the weight (usually the amount required for a person to stop being obese), doesn’t require that much dieting and exercise (although some effort is required anyway).
In addition, there are some rather serious side-effects that may outweigh the results of taking such drugs. One of the most serious side-effects can be addiction, since many weight loss drugs have ingredients similar to amphetamines and are classified as controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Administration. In fact, one of the first prescription weight loss drugs was methamphetamine and in the 1950s, doctors didn’t have any issue prescribing them, which led to a surge in the number of addicted people. Plus a more nasty side-effect of taking weight-loss drugs can be oily stools, since the drugs, basically, led to the fat being eliminated from the body instead of being absorbed.
So, whether or not to take prescription diet pills is a decision that has to be made by a doctor and after a thorough analysis of the ingredients and side effects. It can be really less hustle to get some weight loss aid that is available over-the-counter (see 7 most popular diet pills that work fast without exercise), since they work in the same fashion as prescription ones: mainly reduce appetite and increase metabolism. Moreover, over-the-counter diet pills have similar ingredients to the prescription ones, but are weaker and can have fewer side-effects and they also often contain ingredients that are natural instead of chemical. In any case, with prescription or over-the-counter diet pills, a change in lifestyle and regimen will be mandatory for most people willing to lose weight (with exception for people with some special conditions like type 2 diabetes), so one might just start with that one and see how it goes.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the top 10 prescription diet pills that work fast.
Qsymia went on sale in September 2012 by VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) and was the first weight-loss drug to be introduced in over a decade. It works mainly as an appetite suppressant and contains two active ingredients: phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine is an ingredient that will be mentioned several times throughout the article and it is responsible for suppressing appetite (it is similar to amphetamine). Topiramate is a medication for treating seizures, but here it works also as an appetite suppressant (apparently it makes food less appealing). However, one of the side effects is that it could cause seizures if the patient suddenly stops taking it.
Belviq, the next one on the list of top 10 prescription diet pills that work fast made by Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA), is another drug that went on sale right after Qsymia in 2012. And it is also an appetite suppressant, with the main ingredient lorcaserin altering chemical signals in the brain that control appetite, thus making the patient feel full after less food intake. Arena Pharmaceuticals also released Beliviq XR in 2016 (XR stands for extended release), which can be taken as one tablet per day instead of twice-daily for regular Belviq.
Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX)’s Contrave was approved by the FDA in September, 2014. The drug contains two main ingredients, bupropion and naltrexone. Bupropion is considered an antidepressant, while naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that helps to prevent cravings of alcohol and narcotics, as well as food. In combination, both drugs cause a loss of appetite and increase energy output.
Adipex-P is produced by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA) and it’s main component is phentermine, which was mentioned earlier. Because of phentermine’s similarity to amphetamines, Adipex-P is a controlled substance and is only prescribed for short-term, due to serious side-effects. However, there are many alternatives to phentermine available over-the-counter, such as Phen375, which contains only natural ingredients.
Next in line in our list of top 10 prescription diet pills that work fast is Xenical. Xenical is the brand name of the drug orlistat marketed by Roche. It acts as a lipase inhibitor, so it prevents fat from being absorbed by the body. Orlistat is also available over-the-counter under the name Alli and is sold by GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK). However, Alli has only half the strength of Xenical.
Saxenda, the next one on the lis of top 10 prescription diet pills that work fast was approved in 2014 and its main ingredient is liraglutide. It’s different from the other drugs in the list, because it’s not a pill, but is administered as a daily injection. Saxenda is a higher dose of a type 2 diabetes drug and it imitates a hormone (glucagon-like peptide-1), which tricks the brain into thinking that the stomach is full.
At 7th place on our list of top 10 prescription diet pills that work fast we have Desoxyn that is one of the most dangerous weight loss prescription drugs, because its main ingredient is methamphetamine. It’s the only drug in this list that is a DEA Schedule 2 substance and has a high potential to cause an addiction. Desoxyn suppresses appetite, but it is also used for the treatment of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.
Diethylpropion, the next on our list of top 10 prescription diet pills that work fast is another diet pill that is similar to amphetamine. It acts as an appetite suppressant in the same way as amphetamines, but is less strong to minimize side effects. Nevertheless, Diethylpropion is a DEA Schedule 4 controlled substance. It is marketed under the brand names Tenuate and Tepanil.
9. Bontril PDM
We are continuing our list of top 10 prescription diet pills that work fast with Bontril PDM that is another anorectic (appetite suppressant), whose main ingredient is phendimetrazine, another amphetamine analogue. Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), which markets the drug, also has Bontril SR (sustained-release), which is sold as capsules. Phendimetrazine is also marketed under the brand names Adipost and Melfiat.
Didrex is the brand name of a drug called benzphetamine, which is also similar to amphetamine, thus acts as an appetite suppressor. The drug is manufactured by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE). Benzphetamine is also marketed under the brand name Regimex.
These are the top 10 prescription diet pills that work fast. As you might have noticed most of the drugs act as appetite suppressors, which is why they have to be taken in combination with a diet and exercise. In addition, because the drugs are similar to amphetamines and have a risk of causing addiction and abuse, most of them are considered controlled substances, which is why they only have to be taken if and as prescribed by a doctor after an examination.