Prescription medications

Your healthcare professional may recommend medications as part of your obesity management plan, alongside behavioural changes. Before starting a new medication, your healthcare professional will discuss and consider a number of different factors such as your health history, BMI, other complications of obesity, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure and possible side effects.

In Canada, there are currently two prescription medications for the treatment of overweight and obesity. Talk to your healthcare professional to see if prescription medications could be a part of your obesity management plan.

Saxenda® (liraglutide)

GLP-1 (or glucagon-like peptide-1) is a hormone that is found naturally in your body that has effects on appetite and food intake. Saxenda® is a GLP-1 therapy that is similar to the natural GLP-1 found in your body. Saxenda® is thought to help patients lose weight by decreasing appetite and the amount you eat. Studies with Saxenda® have also shown that it may also improve other health factors beyond weight, including waist circumference, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Saxenda® comes in a prefilled pen that you can use to self-inject.

Xenical® (orlistat)

In order for fats from foods you eat to be absorbed into the body, they need to be broken down by enzymes called lipases. When Xenical® is taken with meals, it prevents these enzymes from working and causes a decrease in the amount of fat your body absorbs from your food. When you absorb less fat, you take in fewer calories, leading to weight loss. Xenical® does not decrease or change your appetite. Studies with Xenical® have also shown that it may also improve other health factors beyond weight, including waist circumference, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Xenical® is administered as a capsule during or just following each main meal.

This page was printed from the Canadian Obesity Website (www.obesitynetwork.ca)