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Over-the-counter teas, pills, supplements, shakes, and bars- we’ve all been consumers of the weight-loss claims often attached to these products.

Many, if not all of these claims, are false or do not have sufficient supporting evidence to tout such benefits. If you find yourself reaching for these products, you may be seeking additional support on your weight management journey or help with managing a chronic health condition. There are several, FDA-approved medications, which, when added to a healthful eating and exercise routine, have been proven to support weight management and chronic health condition management. Could one of these medications be right for you?

Here’s what you should know.

For some people, the traditional approach to weight management, a combination of healthful eating and physical activity, may not be sufficient. There may be an underlying medical condition that impedes weight management and can increase the propensity of weight gain. People with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are often insulin-resistant, which means their bodies can make insulin but cannot use it effectively. This causes the body to release more insulin, which then removes the sugar in the bloodstream. The glucose is, in turn, stored as fat, leading to weight gain.

For people with PCOS, treatment often includes modifications to lifestyle factors coupled with the addition of a weight management medication.

These medications are used “off-label”, meaning there is data to support that they may help symptoms of PCOS, but they are not FDA-approved to treat PCOS. A popular medication often used for PCOS is Metformin, as it has been shown to produce several positive effects including enhancing the body’s sensitivity to insulin and weight reduction. Ozempic is another type of medication often used for PCOS. It helps to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes but can be used in the setting of PCOS to improve insulin sensitivity and promote weight loss. Wegovy and Saxenda are medications indicated for weight management and are also used often to help people with PCOS manage their weight.

If you feel you may be a candidate for these medications, an important first step is scheduling a visit with a healthcare provider. During your visit, a provider can explain in more detail the purpose of “off-label” medication use, review the side effects associated with weight management medications, and provide support in choosing the medication best suited for you and your needs.

At HerMD, we recognize the impact PCOS can have on mental and physical health.

If you find yourself seeking additional support on your weight management journey, we are here for you. We recognize you are so much more than a number on the scale. When treatment interventions are necessary, our providers will work with you to choose a treatment that best fits your needs, all within an insurance-based model.

If you feel you may be an appropriate candidate for weight management medication, schedule an appointment with one of our HerMD providers for an evaluation.

Michelle D. Nezolosky

Michelle is the Director of Programs, responsible for leading the education and health intervention programs at HerMD. She supports the health and well-being of staff and patients through training and education, community outreach, and research initiatives.

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