Non-surgical weight loss: A guide to effective weight loss medication

Until recently, many medical treatments for weight loss were costly and invasive. Now, a new generation of medication is here to change the way we lose weight for good. These non-surgical solutions are typically prescribed to people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or those with a BMI of 27 or higher with obesity-related conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Non-surgical weight loss medications operate on different principles, ranging from appetite suppression to altering the absorption of nutrients. Let’s take a look at the most common treatments.


This medication reduces the absorption of dietary fat by inhibiting the action of lipase enzymes in the digestive tract. It’s usually taken with meals containing fat and can lead to weight loss over time.


These injectable treatments work by increasing the release of insulin from the pancreas, particularly in response to meals, which helps lower blood sugar levels. They also inhibit the release of glucagon, a hormone that raises blood sugar, and slow down the emptying of the stomach, promoting a feeling of fullness. Popular medications include exenatide, liraglutide, dulaglutide, tirzepatide and semaglutide. They’re available as either a daily or weekly injection, depending on the specific medication.


This medication is a stimulant that works by suppressing appetite. It’s often prescribed for short-term use and can be effective in jumpstarting weight loss efforts.


Also known as Contrave, this drug combination is thought to regulate hunger signals in your brain. This promotes feelings of fullness and enhances your energy expenditure.


This combination targets both appetite suppression and increased feelings of fullness. It’s prescribed for people with a BMI of 27 or higher who have at least one weight-related condition.

Before starting on a weight loss treatment, you should consider several factors:

  • A thorough health history assessment by a healthcare professional is crucial to determine your eligibility and potential risks associated with specific medications.
  • Medication alone is not a guaranteed solution. Sustainable weight loss requires a comprehensive approach, including dietary changes and increased physical activity.
  • Understanding potential side effects is essential. Common side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. Serious side effects are rare but should be discussed with a healthcare provider.
  • Weight loss medications often require long-term use for sustained results. You should be committed to your entire treatment plan and regular follow-ups with your healthcare provider.

While non-surgical weight loss medications have proven effective for many people, success stories are often accompanied by lifestyle changes. Medications can provide a helpful boost, but they are not a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise. Realistic expectations are crucial; gradual and steady weight loss is generally more sustainable than rapid, drastic changes.

Learn more about non-surgical weight loss solutions at Levity:

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