Bariatric surgery is a weight loss surgery that helps people who are severely overweight to lose weight. However, even after undergoing bariatric surgery, some patients may still struggle to lose weight or keep the weight off. This is where weight loss medications come in.
Weight loss medications, also known as anti-obesity medications, can help patients achieve and maintain weight loss after bariatric surgery. They work by suppressing appetite, increasing metabolism, and reducing the absorption of nutrients from food. While weight loss medications can be effective in helping patients lose weight, they are not a magic solution and must be used in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Weight loss medications are safe and can be taken after weight loss surgery. Studies have shown that weight loss medications are effective at reducing weight regain after bariatric surgery.
Studies have shown that multiple different weight loss medications after weight loss surgery were able to halt weight regain and achieve an additional 5% weight loss in addition to surgery weight loss. Regardless of the type of gastric or weight loss surgery patients had.
The medications have different mechanisms of action and are taken different ways, which is explored more in the Current Medications section.
There are several weight loss medications available in the market, which can be safely taken after weight loss surgery. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones:
Ozempic is a glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor agonist medication that helps regulate appetite and glucose metabolism. This helps in reducing appetite, altering your cravings, and promoting weight loss. It is a once weekly injectable medication.
Mounjaro is a GLP-1, gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP), and glucagon triple agonist that works by targeting multiple hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism. This medication works by increasing the secretion of insulin and suppressing the secretion of glucagon, which delays gastric emptying. This helps in reducing appetite, altering your cravings, and promoting weight loss. It is a once weekly injectable medication.
Liraglutide, also known as Saxenda, is a medication that works by reducing appetite and increasing feelings of fullness. It is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that helps to regulate blood sugar levels and promote weight loss. Liraglutide can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Liraglutide is typically injected once a day, usually in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm.
Wegovy is an FDA-approved medication used for weight management in adults with obesity or overweight. Wegovy is a a GLP-1 receptor agonist that works by increasing the secretion of insulin and suppressing the secretion of glucagon. It is a once weekly injectable medication.
Naltrexone-Bupropion, also known as Contrave, is a medication that works by suppressing appetite and reducing cravings. It is a combination of two drugs, naltrexone and bupropion, that work together to reduce food intake and promote weight loss. Naltrexone-Bupropion can cause side effects such as nausea, headache, and constipation. Naltrexone-Bupropion is typically taken twice a day, with or without food.
Phentermine is a medication that works by suppressing appetite. It is an amphetamine-like drug that reduces hunger and helps people feel full. Phentermine can be habit-forming and can cause side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, and insomnia. Phentermine is typically taken once a day in the morning, either before or after breakfast.
In conclusion, weight loss medications can be a useful tool for individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery and are struggling to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. There are many different medication options available to patients struggling to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight after weight loss or bariatric surgery.
If you would like to learn more about GLP-1 medications after weight loss surgery or want to see if you might be eligible for medication-assisted weight loss, check out Mochi Health, where board-certified obesity medicine physicians can offer expertise in this realm!