When discussing weight loss medications with your doctor, it’s important to be honest about your concerns and goals. They’ll let you know which option is the best for your unique needs.

Are you curious about the idea of using weight loss medications but don’t know how to ask your doctor for them? You’re not alone! But don’t worry! In this guide, you’ll learn how to approach this conversation with confidence.

Here are practical tips to help you discuss the possibility of using weight loss pills with your healthcare provider.

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Photography by Trevor Williams/Getty Images

Talking to your doctor about your weight can be awkward AF. To get the ball rolling, here are some questions to ask:

  • What is a healthy weight range for someone my age and height?
  • What is body mass index, and how does it affect my health?
  • What are the risks of being overweight?
  • Can you help me set some realistic health goals in terms of losing weight?
  • Can you recommend specific foods that will help me lose weight?
  • What are some effective activities or exercises that can help me feel healthier?
  • What’s the best way to keep the weight off?
  • Are any of my meds causing me to retain weight?
  • Is my weight being affected by some other health condition?
  • Should I maybe consult with a dietician, physical therapist, or mental health professional to help me with my weight issues?

PS: Share any activities, lifestyle changes, or diets that you’ve tried.

What if my doctor says no?

If your doctor doesn’t think you’re a candidate for weight loss meds, it’s probably because of your body mass index (BMI). Usually, weight loss meds are recommended for people with a BMI over 30 or those who have overweight bodies alongside high blood pressure or diabetes.

Another reason your doctor might advise against weight loss pills is if you:

  • are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding
  • have a health condition such as hypertension, thyroid disorders, seizures, or gastroparesis

Here’s a quick rundown of the prescription weight-loss medications that have been approved by the FDA:

  • Semaglutide (Wegovy): A weekly shot for tackling obesity, but it can cause an array of side effects like nausea, diarrhea, and headaches.
  • Bupropion-naltrexone (Contrave): It’s a combo drug that is both an antidepressant and an aid to help fight various addictions to smoking, opioids, or alcohol. But watch out for potential blood pressure bumps.
  • Liraglutide (Saxenda): A daily shot, but it might bring along some nausea and vomiting.
  • Orlistat (Xenical, Alli): Helps cut fat absorption, but be ready for possible gas and loose stools. Keep your diet low in fat to help ease those symptoms.
  • Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia): Another combo drug that can feel like a stimulant, so be cautious about increased heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Setmelanotide (Imcivree): A specialized medication that is given for rare inherited obesity conditions. Possible side effects include skin issues, nausea, and emotional ups and downs.

When asking your doctor about these weight loss meds, be sure to go over the pros and cons of each one, as the side effects can differ depending on the specific medication you use.

If you take the full dose for 3 to 6 months, weight loss medication usually helps you lose about 5% of your body weight. If your health continues to improve, your doctor might recommend a longer course of medication.

However, if you’re not achieving your desired results, talk to your doctor about alternative medications or adjusting your weight loss strategy. This could involve consulting with a physical therapist, a dietitian, or a mental health professional for a fresh perspective.

Weight loss pill price

Every insurance plan is different, so some might cover the costs. Also, some of the pharma companies that make these drugs offer discounts or coupons directly from their website. But if you’re paying out of pocket, these meds can add up fast.

When exercise and dieting alone don’t seem to do the trick on the scale, weight loss meds can be a real game-changer.

The first step is having an open and honest conversation with your healthcare provider. Ask them for the pros and cons of each medication to figure out which one suits you best. And remember, you don’t need to be nervous! Your doctor is there to help.

And if none of them seem like the right fit, don’t sweat it. There are other healthy ways to tackle your weight management journey!