Our Weight Loss Treatments

This content was reviewed and approved for its accuracy on 16/11/2021 by Professor Frank Joseph

Photograph of Professor Frank Joseph, weight loss expert for myBMI

Injections & Medication for Weight Loss

If you’ve considered trying a weight-loss treatment you may be feeling a little lost — there are so many to choose from, how are you meant to know where to begin?

 

This is where our team can help.

 

Our weight management specialists can offer a range of weight loss treatments to suitable patients, including prescription and over the counter options.

 

If you’re ready to learn more about the weight loss medications available and how they can help you shed the pounds, keep reading and find out more.

Which weight loss treatments are available?

Weight loss treatments are currently available in two main types — injections and medication (usually tablets).

 

Although some of these medications work in the same way, you’ll have a lot of options when it comes to considering the right treatment for you.

 

We’d recommend learning a little more about each of them so you can work out which one you’d prefer and which ones wouldn’t be right for you, considering your health and personal circumstances.

 

We’re going to take a brief look into the main weight loss treatments that have been clinically proven to work so you can consider which ones you’d like to learn about in more detail.

 

Let’s start with injections…

Weight Loss Injections

Weight loss injections may seem intimidating if you haven’t used self-injected medication before, but they’re actually quite simple to use and can be very effective.

 

The medications used in weight loss injections are called GLP-1 Receptor Agonists, and they’re a type of medication that was originally developed to treat type 2 diabetes.

 

So naturally, weight loss injections can help to reduce your blood sugar, but they also help to reduce your appetite and help you feel fuller for longer.

 

You’ll need a prescription for weight loss injections, which can be provided to suitable patients by a GP or a private prescriber like ours.

 

There are two injections that may currently be used for weight loss, so let’s learn a bit more about each one.

Saxenda and Liraglutide

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Injection

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Saxenda-Pen

Saxenda is currently the only injection that is licensed for weight loss in the UK and it’s the one you’ve probably heard about if you’ve been looking into this type of medication.

 

The active ingredient in Saxenda is called Liraglutide, which is also used in the diabetes medication Victoza, and you’ll need to inject it once a day, following a treatment plan set out by your prescriber.

 

Saxenda is available on the NHS but can also be prescribed for weight loss by private practitioners, including prescribing pharmacists like the ones we have here at myBMI.

 

Liraglutide injections can only be prescribed to suitable patients and there are a few criteria you’ll have to meet before your prescriber would recommend them for you, including:

If you’re unsure whether Saxenda would be right for you, you can start an online consultation with our prescribing team, who will be happy to review your answers and recommend treatments that would be suitable for you based on the information you provide.

Semaglutide, Ozempic and Wegovy

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Injection

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mybmi weight loss pen

Semaglutide is a new medication on the block and it’s used in diabetes medications called Ozempic and Rybelsus.

 

Ozempic is the injectable version of Semaglutide and it’s currently only licensed in the UK as diabetes medication.

 

So how does this relate to weight loss?

 

Well, Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, just like Liraglutide, but it has the added benefit of only needing to be injected once a week, instead of daily.

 

 

Although Semaglutide is not licensed in the UK for weight loss, it has been licensed for this purpose in the US for this purpose, under the brand name Wegovy.

 

This is following the same pattern that Saxenda did before it was licensed in the UK, so we predict that Semaglutide will be licensed here soon.

 

However, there are some patients who may be able to take Semaglutide injections for weight loss already, but this will only happen if your prescriber thinks you would benefit from this medication and would be willing to prescribe it to you off-label.

 

This method of prescribing is perfectly legal and means that Semaglutide can be prescribed to suitable patients after a consultation.

Weight Loss Medications

Now it’s time to look at the other weight loss medications that are available — the kind that are taken as tablets or capsules.

 

Let’s start with the one that may be more familiar to you than you realise…

Rybelsus

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Tablet

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Rybelsus tablets

Rybelsus is the brand name for Semaglutide tablets, so yes, Semaglutide can be taken without the need for injections.

 

As Rybelsus contains the same active ingredient as Ozempic, the rules about prescribing still apply, so it is not currently licensed for weight loss in the UK.

 

This also means that any weight loss prescriptions containing Rybelsus would have been prescribed off-label to suitable patients after a detailed consultation.

 


Rybelsus is naturally appealing to those who need to take Semaglutide but aren’t confident in injecting themselves once a week or those who have a phobia of needles.

 

However, they can be less convenient than Ozempic injections as you’ll need to remember to take them every day.

 

At the end of the day, the decision of which would be best for you would be made by your prescriber, but if you have a preference they would usually take that into account.

Orlistat, Alli, Orlos, and Xenical

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Capsule

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packet of orlistat 120 mg capsules

Orlistat capsules are another clinically proven weight loss medication and you can find it as the active ingredient in Alli, Orlos, and Xenical.

 

Orlistat is a type of medication known as a fat binder, which means it clings onto some of the fat from your food so it can’t be digested and will be passed out in your poo.

 

Using this treatment means you’ll take in 33% less dietary fat than you would otherwise.

 

You’ll need to eat a low-fat diet to get the best out of Orlistat, which can naturally help you lose weight in itself, and if you do eat a fatty meal while taking this medication you will be more likely to experience side effects.

 

Unlike the other medications on this list, Orlistat capsules don’t need a prescription and can be provided to suitable patients over the counter by a pharmacist.

 

You will still need to answer some questions about your lifestyle and BMI before you will be able to purchase Orlistat, as your healthcare team will need to make sure it’s the right treatment for you.

Mysimba, Naltrexone and Bupropion​

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Tablet

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mysimba prolonged release tablets

Mysimba is the last weight loss treatment on our list and it contains two active ingredients — Naltrexone and Bupropion.

 

This medication is thought to work by affecting the parts of your brain that control your food intake and create pleasure when you eat.

 

The active ingredients in Mysimba are used to help patients recovering from addictions, and this is thought to play a part in its effectiveness as a weight-loss treatment.

 

Essentially, Mysimba may make it less pleasurable for you to eat, which would make it easier for you to stick to a lower-calorie diet and lose weight that way.

 

If you are prescribed Mysimba, you’ll need to take daily tablets, and if the treatment works for you, you should lose at least 5% of your starting body weight within 16 weeks.

Can I get weight loss treatments on the NHS?

Yes, you can get weight loss treatments on the NHS, but getting prescription medication can be trickier than getting some from a private prescriber.

 

The NHS’s weight management programme follows a tiered system and medical weight loss treatments are only offered to patients who reach tier 3.

 

Patients at tier 3 usually haven’t had much success with the assistance offered at tiers 1 and 2, which includes help with diet and exercise and information about healthier living.

 

Although this system can be a wonderful resource for those who find weight management difficult and need help to change the habits and behaviours that cause weight gain.

 

It can also make it difficult for otherwise suitable patients to get a weight loss medication prescribed for them.

 

This is why many patients turn to private prescribers, who don’t have the financial restrictions placed upon them that NHS prescribers do and can prescribe weight loss treatments to suitable patients after a short consultation.

Are prescription weight loss treatments available online?

Yes, prescription weight loss treatments are available online, but you’ll still need to have a consultation with a prescriber before you’ll be recommended any medication.

 

Here at myBMI, our online consultations are designed to be taken whenever you have time, using simple questions that will help our prescribers determine whether any of our treatments could be right for you.

 

If our team are happy to write you a prescription after your consultation, it will then be sent to our partner pharmacy, Chemist4U, who will dispense your treatment and deliver it to your door in discreet packaging.

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