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Evaluating Treatment Options

Different patients call for different treatment approaches—knowing all the available options can help you ensure your patients are getting the care they need.1,2

Successfully treating obesity requires a comprehensive long-term plan to help break the cycle of weight loss and regain1,2

It’s important to understand when you should be leveraging different treatment options for your patients, based on their BMI2

Graphic of different treatment options for patients with obesity

Healthy eating, physical activity, and behavioral therapy should be continued throughout the treatment of obesity.2,3

Understanding pharmacological options

There are two main types of pharmacological treatments:

Short-term icon

Short-term treatments

  • These medications are prescription treatments that are usually taken for up to 12 weeks4
Long-term icon

Long-term treatments

  • These medications are FDA approved for chronic management of obesity to help patients maintain a healthier weight as an adjunct to diet and exercise1,2
  • Pharmacological management may help with a patient’s ability to maintain lifestyle changes that lead to a healthier weight1,2

Pharmacotherapies work via at least one of three broad physiological methods2,5

Gastrointestinal icon

Decreased macronutrient absorption

Some pharmacotherapies decrease the ability of the gastrointestinal system to absorb energy from digested food 2,5

Reduced appetitite icon

Reduced appetite

Most pharmacotherapies decrease food consumption behaviors, effectively decreasing energy intake 2,5

Increased satiety icon

Increased satiety

Some pharmacotherapies increase the satiety experienced after consuming food, which can reduce food intake 2,5

Optimize treatment with pharmacotherapy

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References

1. Bray GA, Kim KK, Wilding JPH. Obesity: a chronic relapsing progressive disease. A position statement of the World Obesity Federation. Obes Rev. 2017;18(7):715-723.

2. Garvey WT, Mechanick JI, Brett EM, et al. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and American College of Endocrinology comprehensive clinical practice guidelines for medical care of patients with obesity. Endocr Pract. 2016;22 Suppl 3:1-203.

3. AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. Circulation. 2014;129(25)(suppl 2):S102-S138.

4. Pilitsi E, Farr OM, Polyzos SA, et al. Pharmacotherapy of obesity: Available medications and drugs under investigation. Metabolism. 2019;92:170-192.

5. Burguera B, Fitch A, Owens GM, Patel D, San Martin VT. Management of obesity: considerations in managed care medicine. J Manag Care Med. 2018:1-24.

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