Weight Loss Treatment
Consultation & treatments
If you’re struggling with obesity, you’re not alone. Medical obesity is a common condition, thought to affect around 1 in 4 adults in the UK. It can lead to a variety of serious health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and strokes.
Prescription treatments are available for patients who are obese, or who are overweight (with a Body Mass Index of 28 or more) and have additional health risk factors.
As a CQC registered online doctor service, we can prescribe a range of clinically proven weight loss treatments via our UK-based, GP consultation service. Click below to begin your consultation and find the right treatment for you.
Getting treatment is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
What is obesity?
Obesity is a common condition in the UK. It’s thought to affect around 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 children aged between 10 and 11.
Being medically ‘obese’ means you’re very overweight and carrying a lot of body fat. The most widely used method for determining obesity is the body mass index (BMI), which looks at your weight in relation to your height. For most people, BMI is a useful indicator of whether you’re a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. You’re classed as overweight if your BMI is over 25, and obese if you have a BMI over 30. However this is not a useful measurement for people who are very muscular, as they can have a high BMI despite low levels of body fat.
Obesity generally results from the consumption of more calories from food than the body can burn off through physical activity. In modern society, the rise in obesity can be partially attributed to eating excessive amounts of high-calorie foods coupled with a sedentary lifestyle without much exercise. Underlying physical conditions such as an underactive thyroid can also be a factor in weight gain. If you think there is an underlying medical reason for your obesity you should talk to your doctor.
You could be eligible for our weight loss treatments if:
- You are aged 18 to 75
- You have a BMI of over 30
- Or a BMI of over 27 but have been diagnosed with a condition that is made worse by weight gain, such as a heart condition
Unsure how to calculate your BMI? Simply use the NHS BMI calculator to measure yours and find out more about BMI categories.
What are the risks of obesity?
There are serious health implications related to obesity and it can lead to a number of potentially life-threatening conditions. It’s a contributing factor to conditions such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, strokes and even some types of cancer. As it affects your physical appearance and quality of life, it can also contribute to depression and low self esteem.
If you’re already being prescribed ongoing medication for one of these conditions, our NHS repeat prescriptions service can help. Visit our NHS repeat prescription service.Find out more
What treatments are available for obesity in the UK?
The first approach should always be to limit your calorie intake, and exercise more. Doctors will not prescribe any medication to help until lifestyle measures have been taken and proven ineffective on their own, and you will be expected to continue these measures during any course of treatment.
If dietary and exercise changes alone haven’t worked for you, Pharmacy2U’s doctors can prescribe treatments which may help tackle weight gain. We currently prescribe Wegovy (semaglutide), Saxenda (liraglutide), Xenical (orlistat), and Mysimba (naltrexone and bupropion).
Wegovy is a medicine intended to encourage weight loss, self-administered as an injection; it comes in pre-filled injection pens. It’s designed to assist individuals on their weight loss journey. It contains the active ingredient semaglutide, which mimics the body’s own hormone GLP-1 (“glucagon-like peptide 1”), and it regulates appetite and promotes feelings of fullness. Wegovy is convenient as it only needs to be administered once a week, and is an option for adults with a body mass index (BMI) over 30, or those with a BMI over 27 who have other weight-related health conditions, as an addition to a reduced calorie diet and an increase in levels of physical activity. Wegovy must be started at the lowest dose, 0.25mg once weekly (using the 0.25mg pens), increasing as described in the patient information leaflet, which can be read here.
Saxenda is a daily injection containing the active ingredient liraglutide, which is similar to a naturally occurring hormone released in the body after meals called GLP-1. It works in the brain, helping to suppress the appetite. This makes you feel full more quickly, and therefore encourages you to eat less. Saxenda is injected once daily, starting with a dose of 0.6mg daily and increasing as described in the patient information leaflet here.
Xenical contains the active ingredient orlistat which works by attaching itself to enzymes in your digestive system and stopping them from breaking down approximately a third of the fat you eat during meals. This means it’s harder for you to gain weight. You can view the patient information leaflet for Xenical here.
Mysimba contains naltrexone hydrochloride and bupropion hydrochloride. It works in the areas of the brain which control food intake and energy expenditure. Mysimba helps reduce appetite and increase your energy expenditure. The patient information leaflet for Mysimba can be read online here.
Please note that results from these treatments can vary.
There’s also an over-the-counter treatment called alli which is available in our consumer health shop. It is similar to Xenical, but contains a lower strength of orlistat in each capsule, and doesn’t require a prescription. The patient information leaflet for alli can be found here.
Please note, our weight loss treatments are not available for:
- Patients under the age of 18 years old
- People suffering from chronic malabsorption syndrome or cholestasis
- Pregnant or breast-feeding women
What is the best weight loss treatment for you?
Many people look for weight loss treatments that work quickly to help them lose weight. However, results from weight loss treatments may vary. Treatments are most effective when you also take steps to be in a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you eat) by making positive changes to your lifestyle.
You should make sure that any medicines or supplements you find on the internet and consider using are UK-licensed products. Our UK-based online doctor service can help you find the best treatment for you and where appropriate, prescribe medication that is licensed to be used in the UK.
Begin your consultation to find the right treatment for you.
Reduced calories, increased exercise
Please note that all the treatments we prescribe are intended to be used in conjunction with a change in lifestyle. Patients are expected to adopt a calorie-controlled diet and undertake regular exercise to help increase the chance of success of the treatment. This means that weight loss is a gradual, ongoing process.
If our prescription weight loss treatment isn’t suitable for you, there are plenty of other ways you can maintain a healthy weight. Alongside exercise and a healthy, calorie-controlled diet, we also have a range of non-prescription weight loss products that you can purchase through our sister company Chemist Direct.
We are the UK’s largest and first online pharmacy. Established in 1999, we can dispense medication for a range of common conditions from our NHS-contracted facility in Leeds. We can also dispense your NHS repeat prescriptions. To learn more, visit our NHS repeat prescription service.