Our bodies use complex systems to control appetite, desire for food and body weight. The medications we use as supplements for weight loss attack different aspects of those systems. The BeLite Medical Center staff prescribes several proven effective specialty medications to help patients lose weight. These pharmaceutical products, typically filled at our on-site compounding pharmacy, include:
- Phendimetrazine or Diethylpropion
- 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)/Carbidopa
Most patients are prescribed phentermine, phendimetrazine or diethylpropion, medications that work in the brain to increase norepinephrine production in the hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens, thereby decreasing hunger and stopping food cravings.
These medications are typically prescribed in conjunction with 5-HTP/carbidopa (see below).
Many patients are successfully treated with the natural substance, 5-hydroxytryptophan, which is abbreviated 5-HTP. All the serotonin in the body is made from 5-HTP and we therefore already have this natural substance in our bodies. 5-HTP is also an over-the-counter product and has been available for many years.
The goal of treatment is to take a little bit more of what we already have in order to increase brain serotonin. When taken orally, though, 5-HTP is rapidly broken down in the gastrointestinal tract and blood. To prevent this breakdown process, we prescribe special 5-HTP capsules with a prescription medication, carbidopa, which prevents the breakdown process. We prescribe pharmaceutical grade 5-HTP which has no trace contaminants.
We also provide patients with a multivitamin supplement to ensure that proper nutrition is maintained, even when food intake decreases. Other medications may be prescribed, as needed.
The combined use of phentermine and 5-HTP for weight loss is the subject of a paper published in 2010 by Dr. Rothman, our Medical Director.
A published survey given to the physician members of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) in 2009, found that 20% used 5-HTP/carbidopa in their practice.
Click for an abstract of the survey results on the use of supplements for treatment of obesity.
After 24+ years, we know first hand that losing weight can be a challenging process, requiring some often difficult lifestyle changes. Many of our clients come to BeLite having tried many different programs without seeing long-term, lasting results. Contact us for your free consultation, weight loss assessment and to meet our friendly and professional staff.
The BE-LITE "Unlimited Meds" Plan
Patients pay our established fees up to a maximum of $240 per visit for a 4-week return appointment. Please note that this is a per visit charge, not a monthly charge. Most patients visit every 4 weeks and pay no more than $240 per month.
- Evaluation by our medical practitioner
- “Unlimited” prescribed medications including:
- Phentermine capsules
- 5-HTP capsules
- Phendimetrazine 35 mg
- Diethylpropion 25 mg
- vitamin, propranolol, trazodone
- Nutritional counseling
- EKG every three months
- Phendimetrazine SR 105 mg
- Diethylpropion SR 75 mg
The costs of these medications are added to the final cost of the invoice. Thus, the purchase of these medications will often produce an invoice greater than $185.
Notice About Dispensing Prescription Medications On-Site:
For the convenience of patients, the BE-LITE Pharmacy of Fairfax, located on-site, is a compounding pharmacy that can provide many of the medications prescribed by the medical practitioner. Most patients find that this saves them the time and inconvenience of an additional trip to their local pharmacy. In order to get some of the medications, such as 5-HTP and carbidopa, patients may need to visit a compounding pharmacy.
If asked, the medical practitioner will gladly provide patients with prescriptions that can be filled at the local pharmacy of their choice.
Other items of interest:
- New patients pay $230 at their first visit. This price covers the costs of the first visit, a follow-up visit, typically 1 week later, and medications and vitamins for the first 4 weeks. New patients requesting prescriptions from the local pharmacy of their choice, also pay the $230 initial fee. These patients, not BE-LITE, are responsible for paying for the prescriptions at the local pharmacy.
- Patients who schedule a return visit of more than 4 weeks pay for the extra medications at the usual price.
- Patients who schedule a return visit of less than 4 weeks pay the costs of that visit up to a maximum of $240.
- Patients requesting prescriptions for the local pharmacy of their choice, will pay our usual visit fee of $115. These patients, not BE-LITE, are responsible for paying for the prescriptions at the local pharmacy.
- The amount and type of medications prescribed is determined by the medical practitioner.