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Weight Management

An estimated 23% of the UK population is now classed as obese, putting them at risk of a whole host of related health issues. The UK has the second highest rate of obesity in Europe and The Department of Health has also recently warned that obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading causes of some cancers. Despite this, the provision of weight management treatments available on the NHS remains restrictive.

Whilst being obese generally does not pose immediate threats to your health, the long-term risks of being overweight or obese are:

  • Cardiovascular diseases – high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke
  • Sexual dysfunction – women: infertility and irregular menstruation. Men: erectile dysfunction
  • Cancer of the uterus, ovary, breast, prostate, liver, colon, oesophagus, and kidney.
  • Low self-esteem
  • Sleep apnoea 
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gastro-intestinal diseases
  • Certain types of diabetes

If you’ve been trying to lose weight alone but are struggling to reach your goal, look no further. This pharmacy is offering convenient and personalised help to make your weight loss journey as easy and healthy as possible.

How does it work?

1. Book an appointment with our pharmacist for a weight management consultation.

2. During the consultation our pharmacist will offer advice to help you create a tailored weight management plan.

3. If appropriate, our pharmacist may be able to provide you with weight loss advice and treatments directly without the need for a GP appointment.

 

What Causes Weight Gain?

The body will gain weight if the calories taken in by food and drinks exceeds what the body is using. This excess of calories is stored as energy in the form of fat resulting in weight gain.

Poor Diet – Men and women have different nutritional demands per day, and these can vary with age, activity, and health. A diet that fails to meet these demands will result in an unhealthy weight loss. However, in avoiding some of the following you may find it easier to achieve healthy weight loss:

  • Fast food – high in saturated fats and refined/added sugars
  • Alcohol – high in calories and added sugars
  • Overeating – Large portion sizes 
  • Sugary drinks- Fresh fruit juices(>150ml), soft drinks, and milkshakes are all high in sugars.

Lack of Exercise – Exercise increases the nutritional demands of the body each day. This plays a large role in balancing whether your body uses or stores fat each day. 

Medicines – Side effects of some medicines may cause weight gain. Some examples include:

  • Antipsychotics
  • Birth control
  • Antiepileptics
  • Oral corticosteroids

Weight gain that you suspect your current medicines are causing should be discussed with your GP.

Medical Conditions – A number of medical conditions can cause you to gain weight including:

  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes types 1 and 2 

If you believe your medical condition is causing you to gain weight, seek out medical advice for long term treatments for both the underlying condition and weight loss.

Lifestyle Changes to Lose Weight

Diet – Changes to eating habits are the most important changes to make to lose weight. Whilst weight loss can be achieved by keeping the calories used higher than the calories consumed, it is important to be aware that numerous factors contribute to weight changes. Short term diet changes may yield good results; however, these are usually short-lived as the weight tends to return after the diet ends and eating habits revert back.

Short term fad diets tend to be unsustainable as they restrict eating to very few food groups which can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and eating behaviours. The best sustainable solution to long term weight loss is a balanced diet containing an appropriate amount of each food group.

Exercise – Having just thirty minutes of physical activity a day can drastically increase weight loss and your wellbeing.

Wellbeing – Throughout your journey you will experience changes to your moods, behaviours, and emotions. It is important to remind yourself that it is perfectly normal to experience these feelings and be forgiving of yourself if you don’t meet your standards on any day.

Products Available 

Semaglutide (Wegovy®) FlexTouch solution for injection in pre-filled pen

The active ingredient in Wegovy is called semaglutide. This is a synthetic version of the hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which is released from the gut after you eat and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. This in turn talks to your brain and tells you you’re full, reducing your appetite and keeping cravings at bay. It also leads to the stomach emptying more slowly, which helps you feel fuller for longer. 

The starting dose is 0.25 mg Wegovy® once weekly and can be increased to a maximum of 2.4mg weekly. The dose starts low and increases slowly over a few months. 

The best places for injection are areas with the most fat, such as your tummy (but not within 5cm of your belly button), the front of your thighs or your upper arms. It’s important to change injection sites regularly. You can inject in the same area but choose a different spot each time.

Prices:

·        0.25mg = £159

·        0.5mg = £159

·        1.0mg = £159

·        1.7mg = £219

·        2.4mg = £269

Liraglutide (Saxenda®) 6 mg/ml solution for injection in pre-filled pen

Saxenda is an injection used for weight loss. It contains the medicine liraglutide. Saxenda contains the active ingredient liraglutide. Liraglutide is similar to a hormone in the body called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). This is an appetite hormone that helps regulate hunger and is released by the intestines after a meal. 

Due to being similar to GLP-1, Saxenda regulates appetite causing you to feel fuller and less hungry. This can lead to eating fewer calories and losing weight. Focussing on eating a reduced-calorie diet will further enhance the benefits of Saxenda.

The starting dose is a daily injection of 0.6mg. This dose is increased at intervals of usually 1 week until a dose of 3.0mg once daily is reached.  The dose is gradually increased to reduce the chances of stomach side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Price: £300 for 5 pens

Naltrexone hydrochloride/bupropion hydrochloride (Mysimba®) 8 mg/90 mg prolonged release tablets

Mysimba is a weight loss medication that reduces your appetite, so you’ll feel full after eating less food. This reduces the urge to eat, which can help you lose weight. You take Mysimba every day, and you should start to notice the effects of Mysimba within a few weeks of taking it.

Price: £115 for 112 tablets

Orlistat (Xenical® or and any generic) 120mg hard capsules

Xenical 120mg works by preventing about 30% of the dietary fats you eat from being digested. The undigested fat is not absorbed and is passed out of your digestive system with your bowel movements. Specifically, orlistat prevents the enzyme lipase in the digestive tract from breaking down the fats so pass through the body unabsorbed.

This helps you avoid gaining weight by preventing the intake of excess fats and assists in lowering overall calorie intake. This alone is not enough to lose weight. To lose weight your body must consume more energy than you take in through food and drinks. Xenical helps to tip the balance by lowering daily calorie intake, so you remain at a calorie deficit. This is what results in weight loss.

The usual dose is one capsule taken immediately before, during or up to one hour after a meal up to three times a day. You should not take more than 3 Xenical capsules a day.

Since Xenical works by reducing the amount of fat absorbed by your body, if you eat a meal that contains no fat, there is no need to take a dose of Xenical.

Price: £55 for 84 capsules