Deciding to go through weight management treatment with Mysimba can be a big decision that means a lot of life changes are on the horizon.
Many of us enjoy a cheeky drink in the evening in front of the TV or when we’re out with friends, so having to give it up during your Mysimba treatment can feel a bit disheartening.
With that being said, the benefits of giving up alcohol can be vast, and we’re not just talking about the potential for weight loss.
Let’s take a closer look at whether you can drink alcohol while you’re taking Mysimba and what reducing your alcohol intake could do for you if that’s what you choose to do.
Can I drink while I’m taking Mysimba for weight loss?
Your prescriber will usually recommend that you don’t drink alcohol while taking Mysimba.
This is because excessive alcohol intake can increase your risk of experiencing seizures or fits, a severe side effect of Mysimba.
Naturally, this is something that patients and healthcare professionals alike want to prevent, as seizures can cause severe health risks or accidents.
This is why we recommend keeping your alcohol intake to a minimum during your weight management treatment, and giving it up entirely if you can, if only for now.
I drink a lot now, will I need to give up before I start Mysimba?
If you already drink a large amount of alcohol regularly your prescriber will probably recommend that you stop drinking before starting Mysimba or other weight management treatments.
This doesn’t mean you should quit cold turkey right away, as this sudden drop could also leave you at risk of seizures.
Instead, you should try to reduce your alcohol intake slowly until you’re drinking much less, or none at all if possible.
If you need help with reducing your alcohol intake, you should speak to your GP or local healthcare services.
They’ll be able to offer support during your withdrawal process and offer treatment to help with withdrawal symptoms if you need it.
Can Mysimba be used for alcohol dependence?
Mysimba is not a treatment for alcohol dependence and will not be prescribed to you for this purpose.
However, one of the active ingredients in Mysimba, Naltrexone, is used to help patients going through drug withdrawal.
Naltrexone works by blocking the effects of opiates in the brain, which is why it can sometimes be used to help those recovering from addiction to alcohol as well as certain drugs.
However, Naltrexone isn’t the only active ingredient in Mysimba and the increased risk of seizures means that you will need to reduce your alcohol intake before taking it for weight loss.
If you are currently taking Naltrexone to help you manage an addiction but are considering weight management treatment you should speak to your GP or health care team so they can work out a plan that will be right for you long term.
Does alcohol cause weight gain?
Alcohol by itself doesn’t cause weight gain, no more than chocolate or pizza do when they’re eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
However, many alcoholic drinks are high in calories, even if they may not seem very calorific at the time.
These are often called “hidden calories” as it can be harder for some people to realise that they consume more calories in alcoholic drinks than they do when eating.
For example, the NHS tells us that a standard glass of wine has the same number of calories as three Jaffa Cakes, and a pint of 5% beer is the same as a standard-sized Mars Bar.
When you’re on a night out you may not think much of having a couple of pints or a glass or two of wine, but you might think twice when presented with 9 Jaffa Cakes or 3 Mars Bars to eat all at once.
If you like to track your calorie intake, you should make sure to note how much you drink and the number of calories you’re consuming in the process — you may be drinking more than you think!
What are the benefits of giving up alcohol?
Giving up alcohol or even cutting down and going alcohol-free for a few days every week can make a big difference to your health.
As we’ve just mentioned, you could be consuming fewer calories overall, helping you to lose weight and maintain that loss over time, but that’s not the only benefit you could see.
The NHS advises that cutting down can have immediate benefits, like feeling more energetic or having better skin, as well as long term benefits.
Some of the long term benefits of reducing your alcohol intake include an improvement in your mood, better sleep, and a healthier heart and immune system!
All in all, we think that’s a pretty good trade-off.
Will I regain weight if I start to drink alcohol again when I’ve finished Mysimba?
As we mentioned earlier, alcohol itself won’t cause weight gain, but if you start to drink more often after ending your Mysimba treatment, you could see the number on the scales start to creep back up.
To maintain weight loss, you need to keep your calorie intake to just as much as your body needs for energy, consume more calories than you need and your body will take that extra energy and store it as fat.
As alcoholic drinks can contain a lot of calories, drinking regularly without compensating with extra exercise or being stricter with your diet could lead to weight gain.
Again, this isn’t certain, and if you keep an eye on your calorie intake and drink responsibly then you should be able to enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage without putting weight back on.
It’s all about moderation and balance!
Now we know more about why you should keep your alcohol intake to a minimum while taking Mysimba.
If you want to learn more about Mysimba or any other weight loss treatments, we have you covered!
Here are a few of our most popular articles that we can recommend to get you started.