Weight loss medications are in high demand in the US due to questions about their effectiveness. The use of Ozempic, an antidiabetic and anti-obesity injection, shot up by 57% in 2022 after celebrities and TikTok users showed off dramatic weight loss results on their social media accounts. Similarly, the search traffic and the use of Wegovy blew up after Elon Musk credited it for helping him lose weight.
However, it’s critical to take note that weight loss products may have different effects from person to person. So if you’re interested in taking anti-obesity medications, here’s what you need to know about their mechanism and their effectiveness:
Results That You Can Get From Weight Loss Medications
There’s a good reason why anti-obesity injections are popular on social media. Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy have had the spotlight in recent years because it’s been proven the injections are effective in helping people lose a significant amount of weight. A 2021 clinical trial reported that people who took Ozempic lost nearly 15% of their body weight. Meanwhile, another weight loss injection that could provide similar results as Ozempic is a drug called Tirzepatide. Their recent clinical trial results showed that patients who used Tirzepatide injections were able to lose 34 pounds on average, or about 16% of their body weight.
Weight loss injections may be popular these days, but weight loss pills have actually preceded these medications for decades now. Due to the positive feedback about injections, you may be wondering about this question: do weight loss pills work, or are injections better? The answer is that they’re both effective in producing weight loss. Dr. Robert Kushner, the Medical Director of the Wellness Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, even stated that these medications can produce weight loss results from the start of your intake. However, it’s important to note that the weight loss rate will vary from one person to another and not on the type of medication you will use.
How Do Anti-Obesity Medications Work?
It’s not easy for people to lose 15% of their weight. However, anti-obesity medications can help people achieve this significant amount of weight loss through certain mechanisms. Dr. Amanda Velazquez of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center explains that semaglutide drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic imitate a gut hormone called GLP1 to enhance your gut and your brain’s perception of your appetite. By imitating the gut hormones, it will be easier for you to feel fuller and control your food intake.
Similarly, weight loss pills like Didrex, Tenuate, Bontril, and Adipex-P also stimulate your central nervous system, making it easier to suppress your appetite. However, there are also some weight loss pills with a different mechanism. For instance, long-term weight loss pills Xenical and Alli inhibit the absorption of fats within your body to reduce the amount of weight that you can gain. On the other hand, the weight loss pill Contrave manages the hunger center and reward system of your brain to help you control your cravings.
Though these drugs have promising mechanisms, they can only produce significant and long-term weight loss results when they’re combined with healthy lifestyle practices. It’s critical for people with obesity to regularly do cardio exercises and power workouts that can effectively burn any excess calories and help them reduce their weight. A healthy diet is also important for weight loss because it can help people manage their calorie intake and satisfy their appetites.
People with obesity can greatly benefit from weight loss medications because they can guarantee results. However, one could experience more remarkable weight loss outcomes when they combine anti-obesity medications with the proper lifestyle practices.