Posted - July 10, 2023

New Medications are Changing the Game for Weight Loss

New weight loss medications are providing never before seen results. But there are drawbacks and you need to have realistic expectations before you start. Read on for guidance to help you make the right decision for you.

Unless you’ve been living completely “off the grid” it would be impossible to have NOT heard about new weight loss drugs and their amazing results. Fueled mostly by social media, this new class of medications called GLP-1 agonists has given hope to many who have spent years trying and failing to lose weight. So are they really the game-changers that patients claim them to be?

A New Approach

Before GLP-1 drugs, most weight loss medications were phentermine-based and focused on targeting areas of the brain that control appetite. And for many patients, they worked well, albeit with some drawbacks: it can’t be taken long-term and the typical total weight loss is only 5 – 10% of your body weight. Conversely, these new medications (Wegovy, Ozempic, Mounjaro) work by stimulating insulin release, inhibiting glucagon release and suppressing appetite by slowing gastric emptying, resulting in feeling full longer. The real game changer though is in the results. Patients lose an average of 15% of their body weight, with some having lost 20% or more!

Things to Consider

Body Mass Index (or BMI) is the accepted standard for measuring obesity. A BMI over 30 is considered obese. The threshold to be considered for weight loss surgery is 35 plus, so the sweet spot for medications is 27 – 35. For reference, one BMI point is equal to about five pounds on average. The GLP-1 class of medication typically allows for a total weight loss of 30 – 40 pounds (or 6 – 8 BMI points). Therefore, if you’re considering weight loss medication, you need to be realistic about your goals. Since a BMI of 30 and above is considered obese, getting to a BMI under 30 would be considered a healthy weight. If your starting BMI is greater than 36 – 38, even if you lose 40 pounds, you’re still likely to have a BMI that falls in the obese and unhealthy category. Another consideration is cost. These game-changing medications aren’t cheap. Even if your insurance covers it, the cost can still be hundreds of dollars each month. Without insurance, it can be $1,500 or more per month. And lastly, the current method of delivery is via injection – meaning if you’re not on board with needles, these may not be the right option for you.

Decisions, Decisions

Like most decisions with healthcare, the best advice is to consult with your physician, ask ALL your questions, know ALL your options and make the best choice for YOU. That’s why we invite you to book a consultation at Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas. Our doctors, Folahan Ayoola MD and Tark Al-Kalla MD have extensive experience in not only weight loss surgery, but also in helping patients understand the benefits/drawbacks of different weight loss options – including medications. We believe in a no blame, no shame, compassionate approach to weight loss. We’re here to help when you’re ready.

ATTENTION patients of Dr. Al-Kalla

Dr. Al-Kalla will be leaving Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas at the end of July. If you would like continue as his patient, please let us know and we can assist in getting your medical records transferred.

You may also choose to stay with Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas and we’ll gladly transfer your care to another provider on staff.

Thank you.