Eating less and moving more are the basics of weight loss that lasts. For some people, prescription weight loss drugs may help.
You'll still need to focus on diet and exercise while taking these drugs, and they're not for everyone.
Before you get a weight loss drug prescription, tell your doctor about your medical history. That includes any allergies or other conditions you have; medicines or supplements you take (even if they're herbal or natural); and whether you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to get pregnant soon.
How it works: Blocks your body from absorbing about a third of the fat you eat.
Approved for long-term use? Yes.
These side effects are generally mild and temporary. But they may get worse if you eat high-fat foods.
Rare cases of severe liver injury have been reported in people taking orlistat, but it's not certain that the drug caused those problems.
What else you should know: You should be on a low-fat diet (less than 30% of your daily calories from fat) before taking orlistat.
Also, take a multivitamin at least 2 hours before or after taking orlistat, because the drug temporarily makes it harder for your body to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Orlistat is the only drug of its kind that's approved in the U.S. All other prescription weight loss drugs curb your appetite, including the following.
How it works: Curbs your appetite.