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Belviq continued...

Approved for long-term use? Yes.

Side effects: The most common side effects in people who don't have diabetes are headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, dry mouth, and constipation.

The most common side effects in those who have diabetes are low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), headache, back pain, cough, and fatigue.

People taking some depression medications with Belviq need to be monitored very closely for a rare but serious reaction that includes fever and confusion. 

Women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant shouldn't take Belviq.

What else you should know: If you don't lose 5% of your weight after 12 weeks of taking Belviq, you should stop taking it, because it's unlikely to work for you, the FDA says.

Contrave

How it works: Contrave is a combination of two FDA-approved drugs, naltrexone and bupropion, in an extended-release formula. Naltrexone is approved to treat alcohol and opioid dependence.  Bupropion is approved to treat depression, seasonal affective disorder, and help people stop smoking. 

Approved for long-term use? Yes.

Side effects: The most common side effects include nausea, constipation, headache, vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, dry mouth, and diarrhea. Contrave has a boxed warning about the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors associated with bupropion. The warning also notes that serious neuropsychiatric issues linked to bupropion have been reported. Contrave can cause seizures and must not be used in patients who have seizure disorders. The drug can also increase blood pressure and heart rate.

What else you should know: If you don't lose 5% of your weight after 12 weeks of taking Contrave, you should stop taking it, because it's unlikely to work for you, the FDA says.

Phentermine

How it works: Curbs your appetite.

Your doctor may prescribe this under the names Adipex or Suprenza.

Approved for long-term use? No. It's approved for short-term use (a few weeks) only.

Side effects can be serious, such as raising your blood pressure or causing heart palpitations, restlessness, dizziness, tremor, insomnia, shortness of breath, chest pain, and trouble doing activities you've been able to do.

Phentermine may make you drowsy, hampering your ability to drive or operate machinery. As with some other appetite suppressants, there's a risk of becoming dependent upon the drug.

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