Review of diet pills

Welcome to W8MD’s review of the various prescription weight loss medications or diet pills. 

Review of Diet Pills

As the United States fights an epidemic of obesity, the pharmaceutical industry and the US FDA have been trying to catch up with it. As of 2016, as many as 39.8% of the adult population or about 93.3 million of US adults in 2015~2016 according to the CDC.

The prescription weight loss medications fall in the following three categories

  1. New prescription diet pills
  2. Older prescription weight loss medications
  3. Off label use of medications approved for other uses

Let us review these medications in detail.

New prescription diet pills

Since June of 2012, the US FDA approved 4 new weight loss medications starting with Belviq in June of 2012, Qsymia in July of 2012, Contrave and Saxenda in September and December of 2014 respectively.

Of these, which one is the most effective? Which one is the least expensive and which one is the safest?

The most expensive is definitely the injection weight loss medication called Saxenda or liraglutide costing about $1200.00 monthly.

The most effective weight loss medication is, however, the combination of Phentermine and Topiramate (Qsymia) as revealed in a large JAMA diet pill comparison study with 30,000 patients that compared these diet pills. See the actual study findings here.

Here is a list of the new prescription diet pills

  • QSYMIA (Phentermine and Topiramate)
  • BELVIQ (Lorcaserin)
  • CONTRAVE (Bupropion Naltrexone)
  • SAXENDA (Liraglutide)
  • Xenical (Orlistat), or OTC Alli
  • Ozempic (liraglutide once a week)

Traditional prescription diet pills

  • PHENTERMINE (Adipex P)
  • Phendimetrazine (Bontril)
  • Diethylpropion (Tenuate)

Off label use weight loss medications

  • Metformin
  • HCG
  • Victoza

Non-prescription supplements that are used, but not proven, to help with weight loss

  • Caffeine
  • glucomannan
  • garcinia cambogia extract
  • pyruvate
  • green tea extract
  • conjugated linoleic acid
  • Hydroxycut

List of weight loss prescription medications or diet pills

Weight-loss medication Approved for How it works Common side effects Warnings
Orlistat (Xenical)

Available in lower dose without prescription under the name All

Adults and children ages 12 and older Works in your gut to reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs from the food you eat
  • diarrhea
  • gas
  • leakage of oily stools
  • stomach pain
Rare cases of severe liver injury have been reported. Avoid taking with cyclosporine . Take a multivitamin pill daily to make sure you get enough of certain vitamins that your body may not absorb from the food you eat.
Lorcaserin (Belviq) Adults Acts on the serotonin receptors in your brain.

May help you feel full after eating smaller amounts of food.

  • constipation
  • cough
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • feeling tired
  • headaches
  • nausea
Tell your doctor if you take antidepressants or migraine medications, since some of these can cause problems when taken together.
Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia) Adults A mix of two medications: phentermine, which lessens your appetite, and topiramate, which is used to treat seizures or migraine headaches. May make you less hungry or feel full sooner.
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • taste changes, especially with carbonated beverages
  • tingling of your hands and feet
  • trouble sleeping
Don’t use if you have glaucoma or hyperthyroidism. Tell your doctor if you have had a heart attack or stroke, abnormal heart rhythm, kidney disease, or mood problems.


Naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave) Adults A mix of two medications: naltrexone, which is used to treat alcohol and drug dependence, and bupropion, which is used to treat depression or help people quit smoking. May make you feel less hungry or full sooner.
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • insomnia
  • liver damage
  • nausea
  • vomiting
Do not use if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, seizures or a history of anorexia  or bulimia nervosa . Do not use if you are dependent on opioid pain medications or withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. Do not use if you are taking bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban).


Liraglutide (Saxenda)

Available by injection only

Adults May make you feel less hungry or full sooner. At a lower dose under a different name, Victoza, FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes.
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • abdominal pain
  • headache
  • raised pulse
May increase the chance of developing pancreatitis. Has been found to cause a rare type of thyroid tumor in animals.
Other weight loss medications that curb your desire to eat include

  • phentermine
  • benzphetamine
  • diethylpropion
  • phendimetrazine
Adults Increase chemicals in your brain to make you feel you are not hungry or that you are full.

Note: FDA-approved only for short-term use—up to 12 weeks

  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • difficulty sleeping
  • dizziness
  • feeling nervous
  • feeling restless
  • headache
  • raised blood pressure
  • raised pulse
Do not use if you have heart disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, or glaucoma. Tell your doctor if you have severe anxiety or other mental health problems.

What is the best diet pill?

  • With so many diet or weight loss medications, which one is the best diet pill?

  • Which is the most effective weight loss medication?

  • What is the most cost effective diet pill?

While the answer depends on your individual situation as best determined by a weight loss doctor, if you do not have contra-indications, the best weight loss medication is not one but a combination of medications.

W8MD weight loss shakes
W8MD weight loss shakes

Belviq Doctors

The new weight loss medications tend to be combination of two different medications is because the brain has up to 50 different neurochemicals that influence the appetite center.

Unfortunately, if you only block one of the pathways with one weight loss medication, the other pathways can compensate. Therefore, the combination weight loss medications work the best because they take this compensation in to consideration and block two pathways at the same time, according to Dr. Prab R. Tumpati, MD. a practicing weight loss physician in New York City, greater Philadelphia areas and founder of W8MD medical weight loss centers of America.

A good example of this combination weight loss medication or diet pill is the new Qsymia which is a combination of Phentermine at a low dose, along with a tiny dose of a neuropathy, anti-seizure medication called Topiramate that has weight loss as a good side effect.

In this combination of diet pills, they do work together as they block two complementary pathways. Since the dose is small on each of these medications, the side effects of these weight loss medicines is also kept low!

W8MD – weight loss medications review.YouTube

Which is the best weight loss medication or diet pill? video #8 – Weight loss medications diet pills review
How do these weight loss medications or diet pills compare?
Review of diet pills

From an efficacy perspective, for reasons discussed above, the combination diet pills such as Qsymia (or generic equivalent with Phentermine and Topiramate) work better than individual components or other weight loss medications alone.

How about the new weight loss medications such as Belviq (Lorcaserin), Qsymia (Phentermine with Topiramate)?

These new medications are a bit safer in general and the good news is that they can even be combined if needed as directed by the weight loss physician.

Do I still have to do the diet to lose weight when I take these weight loss medications for weight loss and appetite suppression?

For best results, you do need to combine these diet pills or weight loss appetite suppressant medications with a very low calorie diet (VLCD) or low calorie diet such as the W8MD’s VLCD or LCD diets with or without partial meal replacements.

W8MD VLCD very low calorie diet for fast weight loss

How do these new weight loss medications compare with the traditional weight loss medications such as Adipex (Phentermine), Bontril (Phendimetrazine) etc for weight loss in New York City or Philadlephia?

Although each has its own merits, I think the newer combination type medications are preferred due to their lower dose but higher efficacy!

W8MD Weight Loss Doctors Team
W8MD Weight Loss Doctors Team

Are these weight loss medicines or diet pills safe to use?

While there are benefits and risks with anything we do, most weight loss medications, when administered appropriately under the care of a trained, experienced weight loss doctor such as the W8MD medical weight loss centers weight loss physicians, they are relatively safe!

Can these weight loss medications be taken together? If so, which combinations are safe?

While many of these medications can be combined to no more than 2 or 3 per person depending on the individual situation, the two new weight loss medications, Qsymia and Belviq can be combined, according to the FDA!

Can I take Qsymia combination of Phentermine and Topiramate with Belviq?

Yes, see above.

How much do these diet pills cost?

The cost of Qsymia can be up to $300.00 per month supply and you might be able to save by trying the generic combination similar with similar results. The generic combination of Phentermine with Topiramate can be as low as $100 per month supply at many W8MD medical weight loss center locations!

What is the availability of these diet pills in New York City or Philadelphia?

W8MD medical weight loss centers locations in Greater Philadelphia or New York City can help!

Can a weight loss doctor through some light on these?

Watch this youtube video on diet pill review.

 What weight loss clinics accept health insurance for weight loss visits in New York or Philadelphia for weight loss physician visits?

How can W8MD(pronounced w’eight’MD) help?

W8MD’s insurance weight loss program is unique in many ways with a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to losing weight fast that addresses all the complex issues leading to weight gain, both in adults and children. Since its inception in 2011, W8MD has successfully helped thousands of patients lose weight successfully succeed in not only losing weight but also keep it off with an ongoing maintenance plan.

We offer FDA appetite suppressants or diet pills, such as Phentermine or Adipex, QsymiaBelviqSaxendaContrave, Bontril, Tenuate etc. We also offer very low calorie diets (VLCD),with optional and affordable insulin resistance.

W8MD medical weight loss centers is one of the few weight loss centers that accepts health insurance for the physician visits.

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