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Overview

Nearly two out of every three adults are either overweight or obese. While most of us could spare a few pounds and want to lose our excess weight, we lead hectic, fast paced lives where it is often difficult find the time for exercise and prepare healthy meals. We need some help!


In this article we are going to discuss the best weight loss pills available to you today, both prescription medications and over the counter supplements. 


Every single product we discuss works for weight loss based on scientific evidence. When combined with an improved lifestyle, these medications can help bring us back to a healthy body weight and an overall improved body image. Americans spend over $60 billion every year on weight loss pills, why not use ones that work?


Prescription Weight Loss Pills

Many people don't look at prescription weight loss pills as an option for them, and that is a mistake. With so many recognized obesity and weight related illnesses (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure), it has become more common to start patients on one of the many prescription weight loss pills.


Don't be afraid to ask your doctor about prescription weight loss pills as they much more evidence of benefit than any over the counter supplement. Also, there is a chance your insurance may cover some of the cost of these drugs, which can save you a good amount of money. Below, we list all the prescription weight loss pills that work and important information about them.


Qsymia

QsymiaQsymia is hands down the top weight loss pill on the market based on pounds lost while taking the medication.


Qsymia is a combination pill that contains both low-dose phentermine as well as extended-release topiramate. Studies conducted for the medication showed that patients lost on average 20 pounds in one year while taking Qsymia, almost 80% more than the next closest prescription weight loss pill.


Qsymia is thought to work by suppressing appetite as well as enhancing how quickly you feel full after a meal. Qsymia does have some potential side effects however such as dizziness, insomnia, tingling in hands and impaired cognition so it is important to take those into consideration.


As mentioned in the introduction, there is a chance your prescription insurance may cover Qsymia. If not, expect to pay about $120-$200 for a one month supply. If you are looking to try one weight loss pill that works, Qsymia is the one to try based on its overwhelming effectiveness vs. other pills.


Contrave

ContraveContrave, while not quite as effective as Qsymia has shown to be, is another very effective weight loss pill. Contrave is a combination of extended release buproprion and naltrexone.


Studies have shown that users of Contrave average about 9 pounds of weight loss per year. It works by suppressing appetite as well as decreasing food cravings. While "appetite" and "cravings" are similar, Contrave has shown to decrease that feeling of needing a specific type of food (i.e. our guilty pleasure). This is what is unique about the medication. If you have a diet that is generally healthy but have a weak spot for a particular food or type of food, Contrave may be the weight loss pill for you.


Contrave appears to be somewhat better tolerated than Qsymia but it is assocatied with the most nausea. If you have to pay out of pocket for Contrave, expect to pay about $200 per month.


Belviq

Belviq

Belviq, while not the most effective pill for weight loss in terms of pounds shed, tends to be the best tolerated based on published data regarding adverse effects. It works by helping people feel full so they eat less. People typically see weight loss of about 6-8 pounds per year on average.


As mentioned, Belviq has the advantage of being fairly well tolerated. If you are sensitive to medications or have had adverse effects on other drugs, Belviq may be the best option for you. Expect to pay about $170 to $200 per month if your insurance does not cover it.


Over The Counter Weight Loss Pills


AlliAlli

Alli was the first major prescription drug (know at the time as Xenical) to go over the counter. While the release of Alli over the counter was hotly anticipated, the sales for the drug have been less than manufacturer expectations. Nevertheless, it is an effective weight loss pill that works in a unique way when compared to the prescription weight loss pills.


Unlike the prescription drugs which affect neurotransmitters in the brain, Alli works by blocking the absorption of fat in your diet. Studies show that on average, patients lost about 7.8 pounds of weight more per year than those that took a placebo.

Alli is a great choice for those who want a drug that doesn't affect their brain chemistry and is a lot less expensive. Plan to spend about $30-50 per month for a supply of Alli.

Caffeine/Green Tea Extracts
Green Tea Extract

Caffeine is the most common ingredient used in weight loss products in the world, and for good reason. Caffeine has a large body of evidence regarding it's use as a stimulant. Not only does caffeine provide mental clarity and alertness, it also speeds up our metabolism and the amount of energy we burn.


As an ingredient in weight loss pills, caffeine is sometimes listed solely as "caffeine" but can be hidden in many forms. One of the most common forms is green tea extract. Green tea extract contains caffeine as well as many of the compounds you would normally get from a cup of green tea. Caffeine/green tea weight loss products can help reduce body fat as well as decrease bad cholesterol (LDL).  Over time, we build up a tolerance to caffeine and caffeine products so it is best to use these weight loss pills during a specifically timed diet period.


Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia

There hasn't been a more popular and controversial weight loss supplement in recent history than garcinia cambogia. After it was featured on the Dr. Oz show, the ingredient took off and is included in 100's of over the counter supplements for weight loss. 


While there is conflicting evidence in regards to how well it works, there is a large body of data that shows certain formulations are effective for weight loss. The active component in garcinia is hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Formulations that contain a 60% HCA extract have reliable evidence for weight loss. In one study, a 60% extract was taken three times daily before meals for 8 weeks. The result was an average decrease in body weight of 9 pounds versus 4 pounds in those who did not take the extract. 


If you plan on trying garcinia, stick only with 60% extracts. Most 50% extracts show conflicting or negative results for weight loss.