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Weight Loss Medications: For or Against?

GinnykhatmakerGinnykhatmaker Posts: 3Member Member Posts: 3Member Member
I have seen quite a bit of redditors discredit and slam the use of prescription weight loss drugs like phentermine, it has me wondering how a larger portion of the health/fitness/weight maintenance community feels about it outside of the ever-so-angsty reddit community.

In my experience, I was very fit and in shape, even after having my third child, then I got my tubes tied and the dink of a doctor screwed it up and I ended up with Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome, which caused rapid onset weight gain that I struggled to fight off for around a year to no avail. I was exercising rigorously 6 out of 7 days, drinking nothing but 3 litres of water and 3 cups of plain black coffee everyday, meeting my caloric and nutritional needs and eating clean, but the weight just piled on.

Once I finally got new insurance and switched doctors, my new doctor diagnosed me with PTLS and said my previous doctor hadn't diagnosed me because it is a complication that one can only get if the doctor screws up the procedure by cutting off the blood supply to the ovaries, even if only for a few seconds, which then throws your hormones completely for a loop and causes major complications such as menopausal symptoms, weight gain, fatigue, etc.

After about 3 or 4 months of being seen by this new doctor and having my condition properly treated and all the kinks worked out, they put me on phentermine to help me lose the weight because it still just was not coming off. (Something about the PTLS having caused me to have a much lower resting and active heart rate, so my body is not burning nearly as many calories as it should at my height/weight/activity level.)

Side note: I also have cPTSD from being beaten, raped, and locked in a room for about 6 months about 7 years ago and I still have severe panic/anxiety issues from that even after years of therapy and working on my coping methods, but as i have gotten older, it seems to just escalate and get worse and worse each year with the anxiety and depression.

So my doctor puts me on phentermine 37.5s and I take them as prescribed and continue my diet/exercise routine as is, using my HRM wearable chest strap, I monitored my calorie burn actively while I worked out. My heart rate could easily climb up to the 175-190 range (I'm 26 so this isn't wildly dangerous for me, as once it hits 190 I usually lower my intensity for a bit.) I was burning 3x what I was burning before the phentermine was added and the weight started melting off, almost literally. I have been on it 3 months and lost 31 pounds now, with about 20lbs more to lose. My doctor said it is most definitely fat, as I wasn't really retaining much water weight before hand because 3Ls water a day was my normal for several years even before I was into focusing on my fitness and i don't drink soda/juice/tea, just water and plain black coffee.

I am really seeing more muscle definition and can really see how much I have lost at this point, which is encouraging.

My doctor is also wanting to experiment with keeping me on the phentermine for a while even after I lose the weight, because i have also noticed my anxiety and depression have lessened substantially where literally every other prescription anti anxiety/anti depressant available on the market actually made it worse, it has given me clean, focused energy, with no rise or fall and no jitters, no paranoia or irritability as others have described being on phentermine. It has improved my physical and mental health 10 fold and my doctor said it very well could be that I had undiagnosed ADHD that I had managed to cope with or mask in various ways for years and it made my anxiety and depression worse because it made it almost impossible to compartmentalize and to focus on one stressor in life at a time, my brain was constantly jumping from issue to issue steadily through out the day and couldn't stop for anything.

So I guess I'm wondering why other people spit on this medication so much, especially since im definitely not the only success story out there, I have seen tons of people online say they all had huge success losing weight on phentermine. I'd think as long as you use your time on it to develop healthy and easy to sustain habits, it would be very effective at keeping your weight off, since it only takes 30 days to develop a habit.


  • bonniehatcher1949bonniehatcher1949 Posts: 5Member Member Posts: 5Member Member
    Dam what other people think.
  • threewinsthreewins Posts: 209Member Member Posts: 209Member Member
    I think that a lot of people dislike weight loss medicine because they consider it "cheating" and they want to prove to themselves that they can successfully lose weight just using their own self control.

    I wouldn't mind using the medicine that improves the efficiency of leptin receptors in the brain. They lose efficiency during middle age, which contributes to weight gain. However, it's expensive and I think that it's probably unnecessary for me.
  • LyndaBSSLyndaBSS Posts: 6,749Member, Premium Member Posts: 6,749Member, Premium Member
    @threewins I found your post interesting. I was leptin resistant up until a few months ago, when my leptin hormone suddenly kicked in. I'm 61. I've never heard of it lessening as we age. I'm just happy to now know when to stop eating.
  • GinnykhatmakerGinnykhatmaker Posts: 3Member Member Posts: 3Member Member
    mbaker566 wrote: »
    i think that many look at it as a magic pill. it is good you are using it to help learn good habits. not everyone does, changing no habits.

    I think, for me, it was kind of a magic pill for my mental health issues. When I say that, I mean I put forth all the effort I could. I'd tried every anxiety/depression medication under the sun and all of them seemed to make my issues worse. I had gone to therapy for years, developed healthy coping skills, tried every natural or home remedy I could find when medications were failing me, practiced medicognition exercises that my therapist had taught me. I just kept spiraling deeper in.

    By the time my doctor prescribed the phentermine I had gotten so bad I had developed thanatophobia (phobia of death) and was feeling agoraphobic type feelings, like I would feel a bit of panic and nervousness every time I left the house and it was getting worse.

    Now I'm a functioning adult/mom. So I can see how some people might get frustrated when they have tried everything long term and exhausted every option and nothing has made it better, albeit I get what you are saying. Some folks just want to pop a pill, keep eating like *kitten*, not exercising, no effort, and still expect the weight to come off.
  • GinnykhatmakerGinnykhatmaker Posts: 3Member Member Posts: 3Member Member
    Azdak wrote: »
    Most of the criticism of weight loss drugs are really focused on people and doctors who use/prescribe them casually as a “fix” without any other lifestyle changes. Again, not relevant in your case.

    Yeah, my doctor heavily stressed I would need to continue exercising and eating right. He said it probably wouldn't work if i got lazy because I was taking a WL pill.
  • rlsidesrlsides Posts: 8Member, Premium Member Posts: 8Member, Premium Member
    I lost weight on medication. I believe it destroyed my metabolism. It worked, but it is a drug like speed, so you're not hungry. I've gained all the weight back and now it is harder than ever to lose weight.
  • MachafinMachafin Posts: 2,834Member Member Posts: 2,834Member Member
    I don't believe they are necessary. In certain circumstances (such as OP's medical condition), I can see where they may be necessary. But for the majority of people, they want to take a pill and continue their bad habits. Everyone wants the easy way out. It may work for weight loss but what will happen if you ever stop taking the medication? What are the side effects of long-term usage? It is easier, safe, and better for your health long-term to make a diet change, expecially if the onset of the problems and issue were diet related in the first place.
    edited October 7
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Posts: 42,611Member, Greeter Member Posts: 42,611Member, Greeter Member
    Dam what other people think.
    That's what people who took HCG thought.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition


  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 3,221Member Member Posts: 3,221Member Member
    My main issue with these medications is when it's found that said medications simply aren't safe or when people are taking them in ways that aren't safe. Obviously in some cases the dangers weren't found until after they were on the market, but if you're taking something after it's been found to be a dangerous medication, then I think that's a problem.
  • sammidelvecchiosammidelvecchio Posts: 663Member Member Posts: 663Member Member
    I had a good experience with phentermine once I took a class on how to properly use it. I think it could help a lot of people if they are educated on it like I was.
  • heidijohnson430heidijohnson430 Posts: 1Member Member Posts: 1Member Member
    Hello all, I am just coming back to my fitness pal today after a frightening experience with the scale on Friday. I agree with do what is right for you. I was on Phentermine and it scared me because I lost 8 lbs. in a matter of 4 days. I just don't do well with medicine and I am very sensitive to any meds but knowing that I lost that much in a matter of days and I didn't work for it felt wrong. Good Luck to all of you.
  • LIFOthepartyLIFOtheparty Posts: 20Member Member Posts: 20Member Member
    I lost about 50 lbs 8 years ago by doing a medically supervised program that was basically just a prescription for phentermine. I was successful at the time because I had no appetite, but I gained back everything and then some over the course of the last few years. That's not phentermine's fault, but ultimately I did not learn how to control myself around food, and the old bad habits slowly resurfaced. Luckily, I had no lasting side effects from the phentermine (that I'm aware of), but I know a lot of people do. Because of that, I just don't think it's worth it for most people.
  • psychod787psychod787 Posts: 2,788Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,788Member, Premium Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Dam what other people think.
    That's what people who took HCG thought.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition


    Yeah, they got expensive water shots and drops. My opinion on weight loss medication is that some people might need a hand up to get started. The wellbutrin/phentermine combination is not one I would do, the Victoza shot, maybe. I I think it would be very helpful for people in maintenance as well. If I remember correctly it works directly by stimulating GLP1. Leptin injections on the other hand are not a great weightloss tool. People lose some weight, but a whole lot. Now as a weight loss maintenance drug, maybe. It has been shown to reduce many of the effects of weight loss on metabolism and hunger that happen post weight loss. Expensive right now and only approved for people with a genetic disorder that their body's do not produce it. Though, I do not believe companies would make it even if it were approved. No money in weight loss maintenance. More in losing and having people regain. Sell more products that way. There is a REASON its called the weight loss INDUSTRY. Not the weightloss maintenance industry.
  • BoxerBrawlerBoxerBrawler Posts: 2,022Member Member Posts: 2,022Member Member
    As long as the user is using it appropriately I think weight loss meds can be beneficial for people who need to get a jump start in the right direction. The person who, once they have a few pounds come off, get motivated to put in the effort without the aid of weight loss meds. Also - the person who educates themselves and changes their nutrition habits while using the meds is the one who will keep the weight off after the meds.
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