ObesityWeek
ObesityWeek
November 03, 2016
6 min watch
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VIDEO: Weight-loss medications can help patients deal with appetite

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NEW ORLEANS — In this video exclusive, Donna Ryan, MD, professor emerita at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, reviews good prescribing practices for obesity medications.

Although five options are now available for helping patients with weight management, less than 1% of appropriate patients receive a prescription, according to Ryan. Patients struggle with hunger and reward eating, and these medications work through regulating appetite or, in the case of orlistat, through reinforcing a low-fat diet — they help patients stick to a diet and lose more weight.

On average, patients prescribed one of these medications lose 5% more weight than those not taking one, Ryan said. These drugs must be used as part of a sensible weight-loss diet, and their effectiveness must be assessed early in therapy.

Ryan said that physicians who do not prescribe appropriate medications “are not really being responsive to your patient’s needs. It’s really not the standard of care to blame the patient for failing at their diet.”