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Scott Isaacs Part 4, Weight Loss Medications

In part 4 of this Exclusive Interview, Scott Isaacs talks with Diabetes in Control Medical Editor Joy Pape about the medications and strategies used to help with obesity treatment.

Scott Isaacs, MD, FACP, FACE is the medical director for the HMR Program for Weight Management at Atlanta Endocrine Associates and a faculty member at Emory University School of Medicine.


Transcript of this video segment: 

Pape: So, you speak about using weight loss medications, anti-obesity medications: any particular ones you use? How do you use them during the period of weight loss and also weight maintenance?

Isaacs: That’s a great question. So, as far as which ones, I use them all. And I really prefer the ones that are approved for chronic use, for long-term use because when we use medicines short-term we oftentimes only get short-term results. But there are two strategies for using medications with patients who are losing weight rapidly. The first is to start a medication on day one to help them comply with the diet and to really enforce everything they’re doing, so they can follow it very closely. But the second strategy I really like, which is not starting a medication at first and waiting, usually around 12 weeks, when the weight loss slows down and then adding in the medication to get additional weight loss. And I tell the patients, “You know, you’re already losing weight pretty rapidly in the beginning and adding a medication at this point may not make that weight loss any faster. But if we wait, you may get more weight loss in the long run doing that.” So, that’s a strategy that I’ve used. There are some data to back that up but we’d like to have more.

Pape: So, I think what you’re saying and I’m familiar with kind of intervening that way at the plateau stage when someone feels like they’re plateauing or things have slowed down. And it’s kind of like success brings more success.

Isaacs: Well, that’s exactly right. I mean, everyone who’s losing weight, eventually the weight loss slows down. That’s just normal human biology. And so, if we can use tools to keep the weight loss momentum going whether that’s through diet or through physical activity or through medications or other approaches that is the way that you can be — have patients be more successful and lose more weight.


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