5 weight loss drugs that do not require an injection

Losing weight is hard and keeping it off is harder. However, for some people, weight loss medications like Ozempic or Wegovy can break down the barriers that make weight loss feel so out of your control.

“The GLP-1 agonist class of drugs is a definite breakthrough in weight loss. They are much better than what was available in the past,” he says. Steven Batash, MD, a board-certified gastroenterologist and lead physician at the Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center. “However, these drugs have many side effects, they don’t work for everyone, and because you have to take these drugs forever to maintain weight loss, the price can be very high.”

In addition to these concerns, Batash says some people simply aren’t comfortable taking injectable drugs in perpetuity. In fact, research into public opinion of new weight loss drugs has shown that having to inject them is one of the main reasons for rejecting these drugs.

“While there is a general interest in taking a prescription weight-loss drug, interest declines substantially once people are asked whether they would take a drug administered as a routine injection (23 percent of all adults would still be interested),” a 2023 survey revealed.

If you’re one of the many Americans interested in weight loss assistance but are turned off by injectable delivery, experts say there are a handful of other options you can ask your doctor about. Read on to find out which five weight loss drugs are delivered without needles and what doctors are saying about them.

RELATED: Certain Foods Trigger Natural Ozempic-Like Weight-Loss Effect, Doctor Says.


If you’re looking for a GLP-1 medication you can take without the sting of a needle, Rybelsus tablets offer an oral alternative to injectable weight loss medications. In fact, they use the same active ingredient as their injectable counterparts: Semaglutide.

However, experts say access to Rybelsus is limited for the general population. “Although Semaglutide is commercially available, this medication is only FDA-approved for those with [Type 2] diabetes,” he explains Michelle PearlmanMD, a board-certified gastroenterologist and obesity medicine specialist.

He also says that with the help of their doctors, patients should carefully weigh the pros and cons of taking these drugs, which are known to cause a number of side effects.

“These drugs have revolutionized my practice, offering a new paradigm for those struggling with weight loss,” he says of GLP-1 agonists. “However, it is crucial to remember that these are tools, not miracles, that require supervision for their effective use.”

Orlistat yellow pill on glass background

Today’s cutting-edge class of weight-loss drugs works by targeting appetite regulation, “meaning they make you feel fuller for longer, decrease appetite, etc.,” he explains. the Cleveland Clinic. Older weight loss drugs like Orlistat (Xenical or Alli) work a little differently, they reduce the amount of fat you absorb from your food.

As with all weight loss medications, you will also need to alter your diet to see results while taking these older weight loss medications. The Cleveland Clinic says that while on Orlistat, you should follow a reduced-calorie diet in which no more than 30 percent of your total calories come from fat.

“Addressing weight loss isn’t just about shedding pounds, it’s about promoting overall health and longevity,” says Pearlman. “It’s about making informed decisions under professional guidance, emphasizing that weight loss medications should complement, not replace, a healthy lifestyle.”

RELATED: Mounjaro Maker Is Cracking Down on Patients Taking It for Cosmetic Weight Loss

Bupropion naltrexone pills bottle
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Another oral weight loss strategy is actually the combination of two drugs, Bupropion and Naltrexone. Although bupropion is most commonly used as an antidepressant and naltrexone is often used to treat opioid addiction, they can help decrease appetite and reduce cravings when taken together.

According to data provided by Contrave, a brand-name combination of these two therapies, between 36 and 57 percent of patients who took the time-release capsules achieved a clinically significant treatment response to the drug, defined as the loss of five percent of your body weight loss after one time. year of treatment In comparison, 17 to 43 percent of people who took a placebo while on a low-calorie diet achieved clinically relevant results.

Female hand held in open palm with phentermine topiramate pill tablets

Phentermine-topiramate is another drug combination used for weight loss purposes. Phentermine is a stimulant that can decrease appetite, and topiramate is primarily used as an anti-seizure medication. Together, the combination decreases appetite and increases the feeling of satiety after a meal.

Like all weight loss medications, it comes with benefits and risks. “Phentermine is one of the most prescribed weight loss medications,” he says Meera Shah, MD, through the Mayo Clinic. “But it’s not a good choice for people with heart disease, high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid gland, or glaucoma. It’s also not a good choice for people who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.”

RELATED: 4 Probiotics That Trigger Ozempic-Like Weight-Loss Effect, Doctors Say

Female doctor consulting with male patient

Endoscopic weight loss procedures are also rapidly gaining popularity because they are “non-invasive, very safe and produce long-term weight loss,” says Batash.

“Endoscopic weight loss procedures work by allowing doctors to place special devices or medications in your gastrointestinal tract to limit how much you can eat,” explains Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Experts point out that endoscopic weight loss procedures are a great option between medication and surgery, with better results than medication, but are less invasive than surgery and carry fewer side effects and risks.”

Batash says that in addition to avoiding weekly injections, this strategy comes with a wide range of additional benefits. “The side effects of endoscopic sleeves are very minimal and last two to three days at most. The price is actually much more reasonable than drugs because once you pay for the procedure, there are no monthly refills to deal with no injections to worry about.” he says Better Life

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research and health agencies, but our content is not intended to replace professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you are taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

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