Weight loss medicines used to control obesity via pharmacotheraphy in Malaysia such as Orlistat and Phentermine are available from hospitals or clinics.
Pharmacotheraphy is the treatment via prescription drugs or medicines. These are prescribed by your doctor. For weight loss in Malaysia, pharmacotheraphy is used by doctors in addition to diet and exercise regiments.
Weight loss medicines are prescribed after a thorough check up with the doctor and evaluation of current health risks such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases . The recommendation in Malaysia is that weight loss medicines can only be prescribed if you have undergone a weight loss program that involved a diet and exercise routine earlier, over a certain period of time.
There are two major anti-obesity drugs used in Malaysia, namely Orlistat and Phentermine. Another weight loss medicine, Sibutramine (Reductil), was banned in 2010 due to health risk factors.
It should be noted that weight loss medicines or anti-obesity drugs are not magic pills that will give you sustainable weight loss. Diet and lifestyle modification are still very much required by your doctor to ensure that your weight loss will be achieved and can be sustainable. These weight loss drugs are also not meant for young children and the elderly. There is a risk also of developing tolerance to these medicines.
Orlistat (Xenical) is a fat absorption inhibitor and works by preventing fats from getting into the bloodstream. It can successfully prevent up to 30% of dietary fat from being absorbed, depending on its dose. A weight loss of 5% can be achieved if the dietary recommendations are also followed. Orlistat impacts and reduces the absorption of some nutrients such as vitamin A and E. Some side effects will disappear after a short time, such as cramps, increased flatulence with discharge and oily stool leakage.
Phentermine is an appetite suppressor. It makes you fell full and minimises hunger pangs. Phentermine as a weight loss medicine is only meant for short term use as it is an amphetamine derivative and can be subject to substance abuse over the long term. Weight loss is moderate in the range of 2 to 10 kg over 2 to 3 months. It has significant side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, constipation and can also induce palpitations.