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Potential for Abuse or Dependence

Currently, all prescription medications to treat obesity except orlistat are controlled substances, meaning doctors need to follow certain restrictions when prescribing many weight-loss medications. Although abuse and dependence are not .


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Development of Tolerance

Most studies of weight-loss medications show that a patient's weight tends to level off after 4 to 6 months while still on medication. While some patients and physicians may be concerned that this shows tolerance to the medications, the leveling off may mean that the .

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Obesity as a Chronic Disease


Obesity often is viewed as the result of a lack of willpower, weakness, or a lifestyle "choice"--the choice to overeat and under exercise. The belief that persons choose to be obese adds to the hesitation of health professionals and patients to accept the use of long-term appetite.

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Side Effects


Because weight-loss medications are used to treat a condition that affects millions of people, many of whom are basically healthy, their potential for side effects is of great concern. Most side effects of these medications are mild and usually improve with continued treatment. Rarely, serious and even fatal out.

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