FDA-approved weight loss: A guide to the best options

 What are FDA-approved medications for weight loss?

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of people struggling with obesity, weight issues, and related health conditions. While traditional methods such as diet and exercise can be effective for weight loss, these methods may not work for everyone. However, there are alternative treatments for obesity, weight issues, and related health conditions. While starting out exclusively being a treatment for diabetes, FDA-approved weight loss drugs have emerged as promising treatments to help anyone struggling with obesity, weight issues, and related health conditions

Medications for weight management are designed to assist individuals who are dealing with health issues linked to excessive weight or obesity. Healthcare professionals utilize the Body Mass Index (BMI) as a tool to assess whether weight management medications could be beneficial in your case. If you’re an adult with:

  • A BMI of 30 or higher
  • A BMI of 27 or higher, along with weight-related health concerns like hypertension or type 2 diabetes
  • To calculate your BMI, the formula is (your weight in pounds x 703) ÷ (your height in inches x your height in inches)

If your BMI is elevated, your healthcare provider may recommend an FDA-approved weight loss medication as part of your treatment plan. It’s important to note that weight management medications are not suitable for everyone with an elevated BMI, always consult your physician prior to beginning your weight loss journey.

FDA-approved weight loss drugs


Ozempic is part of the GLP-1 receptor agonist class. The active ingredient in Ozempic is Semaglutide. While Semaglutide was developed to target weight loss and weight-related health issues specifically, Ozempic was designed to treat and target symptoms of type 2 Diabetes. However, the FDA approved Ozempic as a treatment for chronic weight management in March 2021, specifically in adults with a BMI (body mass index) of 27 or greater or, those who have at least one weight-related condition, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. As a treatment for weight loss, its administration and benefits are similar to Semaglutide, as it is a brand name for the same medication.


Semaglutide injections can aid in weight loss through their effects on appetite control, digestion, and metabolism. By reducing hunger and increasing feelings of fullness, it helps to limit calorie intake. It also slows down gastric emptying, leading to a prolonged sense of satisfaction after meals. Over a 6-week period, patients may experience gradual weight loss results. However, individual results may vary depending on factors such as adherence to treatment, diet, exercise, and overall health.


Wegovy is an under-the-skin dose that is the first certified drug for chronic weight management in adults who are obese or overweight since 2014. The drug is determined for chronic weight management patients in sufferers with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 kg/m2 or greater who have at least one weight-related ailment or in patients with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or more. Wegovy works by mimicking a hormone named glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) that concentrates on areas of the brain that monitor appetite and drink consumption. The drug dose must be raised evenly over 16 to 20 weeks to 2.4 mg weekly to decrease gastrointestinal reactions.


Trulicity, also known as Dulaglutide is a medication utilized in conjunction with diet and exercise for managing type 2 diabetes. In the United States, it is also sanctioned for reducing major adverse cardiovascular events in adults with type 2 diabetes who have existing cardiovascular disease or multiple cardiovascular risk factors. This medication is administered once weekly via injection. Its primary side effects commonly include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite.


Saxenda® (liraglutide) injection 3 mg is a prescribed injectable medication intended for adults dealing with overweight concerns (BMI ≥27) accompanied by weight-related medical conditions or individuals with obesity (BMI ≥30). It is also suitable for adolescents aged 12-17 years whose body weight exceeds 132 pounds (60 kg) and who are grappling with obesity, aiming to facilitate weight loss and its maintenance. The recommended usage of Saxenda® involves combining it with a calorie-restricted diet and an elevated level of physical activity.

How to stay safe while taking FDA-approved weight loss drugs

FDA-approved weight loss drugs may pave a safe and effective path toward achieving weight loss goals for individuals struggling with obesity, weight issues, and related health conditions. FDA-approved weight loss drugs have undergone rigorous testing to ensure their safety and efficacy in helping people lose weight. When used under healthcare professional supervision, and in conjunction with lifestyle adjustments such as a balanced diet and regular physical activity, these drugs can assist in curbing appetite, increasing feelings of fullness, or altering how the body absorbs the nutrients you consume. While these methods are not a standalone solution and should not replace healthy lifestyle routines, FDA-approved weight loss medications can be a valuable tool for individuals seeking a comprehensive approach to managing their weight and improving their overall health. It is essential, however, to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable treatment plan and to monitor potential side effects.


With the continuous rise of folks struggling with obesity, weight issues, and related health conditions,  has promoted physicians to delve deeper into weight loss methods as sometimes exercise, a balanced diet, and a balanced life routine may not suffice. This is why the FDA has begun the movement to approve weight loss drugs, as these drugs in addition to exercise, a balanced diet, and a balanced life routine may not suffice. Folks have been seeing success in combining FDA-approved drugs with exercise, a balanced diet, and a balanced life routine in order to transform their bodies and lives. If you are wondering whether or not you should try weight loss drugs, analyze your lifestyle choices, calculate your BMI, and most importantly consult with your physician. If you are interested in learning more about weight loss drugs, read here.

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