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This is the time of the year were everyone is chasing a healthier life and trying to make healthier choices. I’m one of those people who believe weight loss is a lifestyle change. There is definitely a place for supplements and medications, but we must recognize they aid the weight loss process.

I do offer weight loss medications at my clinic, but I always discuss the importance of nutrition and fitness. My weight loss programs are based on sustainability, and if a weight loss medications is used it is always started at a low dose and titrated.

Today we are going to discuss some of the most popular weight loss medications. We will discuss:

How they work in the body?
Side effects?
Who should and shouldn’t use the medication?

PHENTERMINE: aka Adipex. This is one of the most popular weight loss medications. Phentermine is a stimulant drug, it activates the “fight or flight” mechanism in your body. It also interacts with certain receptors in your brain to decrease hunger.

Side effects:

Phentermine: Should only be used short term for about 12 weeks. Is is a stimulant so I can cause problems sleeping. Phentermine can also cause:

Trouble Sleeping
High Blood Pressure
Addictive forming
Dry mouth
Changes in libido

Who should take Phentermine?

Phentermine is a great short term options for obese people looking to lose weight. I typically don’t like to use phentermine in people who don’t have a BMI over 27. They should also have other health issues: type 2 diabetes or elevated cholesterol.

Who shouldn’t take Phentermine?

People who have a history of substance abuse. Phentermine can be habit forming. People who have a history of heart disease or high blood pressure. Phentermine is a stimulant can cause an increase in blood pressure. Patients with a history of stroke. People with thyroid issues primarily hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone). Phentermine should never be given to someone pregnant or nursing. If a female is taking a Phentermine I like to have documented birth control.

NALTREXONE (low dose naltrexone): Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist. It was created to block dependence on alcohol and opioids. Research found that at lower dosages (8 mg) naltrexone could help reduce hunger and food cravings.

Naltrexone is best used in combination with other drugs. Bupropion is an anti-depressant commonly prescribed with naltrexone.

Side effects of naltrexone:

Abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting
Trouble Sleeping
Depression or other mood changes (rare)

Who should take naltrexone?

People at risk for opioid withdrawal. You shouldn’t have take opioids within 7-10 days of taking naltrexone.

People with liver issues.

People with risk of opioid or alcohol overdose. Because it blocks the effect of opioida and alcohol you want to make sure your not a risk to overdose.

Who should take low dose naltrexone?

People who want to reduce cravings. Want to improve their mood and have better sleep. I love to use this medication in people who say they crave sweets and sugar. It is also a great medication for smokers and drinkers who are also looking to decrease their habits.


Was and is still used as an anti-depressant. It is used in combination with naltrexone as a weight loss medication. Side note: Bupropion can be used to help stop smoking. Bupropion is a a NDRI which means it increases the amount of dopamine and adrenaline, this causes weight loss.

Side effects:

Dry mouth
Nausea and vomiting
Serious side effects include: Seizures, high blood pressure, and hallucinations.

People who should not take bupropion:

People who have seizure activity or people who take seizure medications

People who at a risk to hurt themselves. Suicidal ideation.


People who bupropion may be helpful for:

People who want to lose weight but also suffer fr depression. This medication is a great add on for naltrexone. Naltrexone and Wellbutrin have been shown to help lower weight, and maintain weight loss.


L-Arginine: Natural Amino acid found in meats and dairy products. Helps improve performance, weight loss, and muscle development. L Arginine has been shown to help improve fat metabolism. This means it helps your body burn fat and reserve muscle. One of the biggest fat reserves in your body is your stomach fat. This makes L arginine a great thing for people looking to burn belly fat.

Side effects of L Arginine

Low Blood Pressure
Abdominal cramping

People who should take l Arginine

People who could benefit from a stimulation on growth hormone.

People with high blood pressure.

People with ED

People who should not take L arginine

People who suffer from bad asthma or allergies. It may be smart to avoid it if you suffer from cold sores or herpes. Individuals who suffer from Low blood pressure may want to avoid l Arginine.


Hormone Replacement is the replacement of testosterone in males and estrogen or testosterone in women. As we age our hormone levels can decrease. As these hormone levels decrease they can cause weight gain and a decline in muscle mass. Optimizing these hormone levels may aid in weight loss.

Side effects of hormone replacement:

In men a decrease in fertility and testicle atrophy (shrinking of testicles). If estrogen is not balanced alongside testosterone in men, you may see signs of elevated estrogen (nipple sensitivity, breast tissue growth, moodiness, and sexual dysfunction).

Increase in blood viscosity (thickness) for both men and women. Increase risk for baldness.

In women who start testosterone replacement side effects include deepening of voice, hair growth, clitoral enlargement.

Who should start therapy?

Someone looking to boost their energy, muscle mass, decrease fat tissue, someone looking to aid their weight loss. I do not see hormone replacement as a weight loss medication, but it definitely can help with weight loss.

Who shouldn’t start therapy?

Those individuals who have a history of prostate cancer, uterine cancer, breast cancer, or uterine cancer.

These are just a few medications that can be used for weight loss. I have given you a little information to help you make a decision. As always consult a health care provider before starting any supplements or medications. Man of Health’s information is not to be considered health consultation.