What is a prescription weight loss program?

Prescription weight loss medication may be an option to help you lose weight and keep it off when diet and fitness alone are not effective. Mercy Health’s bariatrician (weight loss surgeon), medical doctor and wellness staff will closely monitor you and provide support, counseling, lifestyle education and healthy eating tools to help you enjoy long-term weight loss as well as significantly reduce weight-related health risks.

Your health is our top priority, and we only offer FDA-approved weight loss medications for patients who qualify for this non-surgical weight loss program.

Who is a candidate for a prescription weight loss program?

Prescription medications may be prescribed for adults who fit the following criteria:

  • Body mass index above 30
  • Body mass index over 27 with other medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or sleep apnea

If you or your child falls into the severely obese category — higher BMI than 98.5 percent of his peers of the same age and sex — your doctor will determine if medication is an option for him or her.

What does a prescription weight loss program involve?

Mercy Health’s prescription Weight Loss Program includes:

  • A full medical examination, including an EKG heart test and any necessary lab tests to determine your health status and rule out any risk factors
  • A personalized weight loss plan based on your health status and weight loss goals
  • Continued guidance and medical monitoring of your progress, health and well-being
  • Communication with your primary care doctor and other medical providers

Weight loss medications

There are a variety of weight loss medications such as:


Xenical works by blocking your body from absorbing some of the fat you eat. This medication can be used for extended periods, but patients taking the medication must be on a low-fat diet in addition to taking the medication.


Belviq is a weight loss medication that reduces your appetite and that can be used over an extended period. This medication is not appropriate for women who are pregnant.


Suprenza reduces your appetite, but it can only be used for a few weeks at a time due to the side effect profile.


Qsymia reduces your appetite. This medication is contraindicated with many common drugs for heart disease, so make sure your doctor knows what medications you are on before prescribing.


Saxenda is a long-term medication that makes your body feel full. This medication should be used under close monitoring by your doctor because of the side effect profile.

Your doctor will evaluate your condition and medical history to determine which medication makes the most sense for your case. Work closely with your doctor and other healthcare providers while taking a prescription medication for weight loss and report any severe side effects right away.

Key to success with the prescription weight loss program

Medications in combination with physical activity and healthy eating can help patients lose weight when patients follow doctor’s instructions. Patients who use medications to aid in weight loss must also continue to eat a healthy diet and maintain an exercise program.

Weight loss medications do not work on every person, and some patients regain weight after stopping the medications.

Find a weight loss specialist nearby

Mercy Health locations that can treat you