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Belviq Alternatives

A recall left those struggling with weight loss looking for a safe alternative to Belviq. In addition to prescription medications such as tablets of phentermine or topiramate, or injections of liraglutide, Belviq natural alternatives include lifestyle changes in diet and exercise.

Last Modified: November 16, 2023
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What Are Alternatives to Belviq?

Phentermine, Contrave and liraglutide medications (Victoza, Saxenda) are weight loss alternatives to Belviq, though nonprescription treatments and surgical options are also available to achieve weight management. Belviq assists with chronic weight management in adults with a BMI over 30 as well as adults with a BMI of 27 or more and combines treatment with exercise and a reduced-calorie diet.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Healthy weight isn’t about following a diet or program. Instead, it involves a lifestyle with healthy eating patterns, regular physical activity, and stress management.” While prescriptions and surgeries can help with weight loss, lifestyle changes tend to have long-lasting success without the potential negatives of medical intervention.

Type of AlternativeExample(s)ProsCons
Diet Emphasizing fruits, vegetables and whole grainsImproved overall health and energyAccess to healthy and fresh ingredients can pose challenges
ExerciseAerobic (running, jogging and swimming) Resistance trainingBurns more calories than other types of exercise, can improve sleep and reduces the risk of a variety of illnessesRisk of injury and increases stress and wear on joints
OTC DrugsOrlistat (Alli)Some people taking orlistat lost 5% or more of their body weightReports of intestinal distress as well as rare cases of liver damage
Prescription DrugsAppetite suppressants: • Benzphetamine • Diethylpropion • Phendimetrazine • PhentermineCan help reduce feelings of hunger to facilitate weight lossOnly FDA-approved for short-term use; can raise blood pressure, heart rate and feelings of nervousness
Liraglutide (Saxenda) and semaglutide (Wegovy)Regulates appetite and food intake through hormonal influenceCan raise the heart rate and increase the risk of developing pancreatitis
Naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave)Causes increased feelings of satiety or decreased feelings of hungerIncreased risk of suicidal thoughts or depression; can raise blood pressure, cause liver damage or increase heart rate
Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)Can lead to decreased appetite, decreased feelings of hunger or increased feelings of fullnessSide effects include constipation, dizziness, taste changes (especially with carbonated beverages), tingling of hands and feet, and insomnia; could lead to birth defects
Setmelanotide (Imcivree)May increase metabolism and feelings of fullness; may decrease appetiteOnly available to those with specific genetic diseases; can cause a disturbance with sexual arousal and increase suicidal ideation
Surgical ProceduresGastric bypassLong-term weight lossComplications from surgical staples, injury, infection and other post-operative issues

Why Choose a Belviq Alternative?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s request to recall Belviq from the market due to an increased risk of developing cancer is a primary reason to find a suitable alternative to the medication. The agency requested the Belviq recall after a safety trial showed patients with an increased risk of prevalence of cancer.

Since then, the drug’s manufacturer has been at the center of numerous Belviq lawsuits from users who developed lung, colorectal and pancreatic cancers. There were additional concerns with Belviq side effects that caused mental and mood changes and an increase in suicidal thoughts.

Prescription Alternatives to Belviq

Prescription alternatives to Belviq include appetite suppressants and hormone influencers. These medications help with weight loss by causing a patient to feel full more quickly and eat less, as well as helping a patient feel full for longer periods of time.

  • Liraglutide (Saxenda): Stimulates hormone production to help regulate appetite and food intake
  • Naltrexone-Bupropion: Increases feelings of fullness while decreasing feelings of hunger
  • Orlistat (Alli): Helps block the absorption of fat in the body after meals
  • Phentermine-Topiramate (Qsymia): Decreases feelings of hunger and appetite and increases feelings of fullness
  • Setmelanotide (Imcivree): Daily injections to increase metabolism and feelings of fullness
  • Semaglutide (Wegovy): Uses hormone influence to regulate appetite and food intake

These medications have certain risks for users. Weight loss also varies by individual, with those following lifestyle changes that include exercise and dietary adjustments experiencing more success.

Individuals have less of a desire for food when taking prescription appetite suppressants. The medication orlistat, under the brand names Alli or Xenical, reduces the body’s ability to absorb fat.


While not FDA-approved for weight loss, there is a lot of public interest in Mounjaro and similar medications. This medication impacts the hormones and glucagon-like peptide 1 production, helping patients experience delayed gastric emptying and increased satiety. A reduced food intake also contributes to weight loss results.

Side effects include:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

Serious side effects include an increased risk of thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, hypoglycemia and sudden gallbladder disease. All appetite suppressants also have a risk of severe digestive discomfort.


Ozempic is an injectable medication used to reduce the risk of a serious cardiovascular-related event in adults with Type 2 diabetes as well as lower blood sugar levels. Though not approved by the FDA for weight loss, celebrities and social media influencers generated interest in the drug after sharing their success stories. Possible side effects include:

  • Changes in vision
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Pancreatitis

Ozempic manufacturers warn about the possible risk of developing thyroid tumors on the safety label, and the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee in Europe confirms the concern of thyroid cancer. Unfortunately, the popularity of off-label use for weight loss has left a shortage of medication for diabetic patients needing it for treatment.


Wegovy is an appetite-suppressing medication delivered by injection. Research in The New England Journal of Medicine and other studies confirm the potential for obese individuals to lose weight, but there are side effects with the drug, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Nausea
  • Pancreatitis
  • Vomiting

In addition to the serious risk of thyroid cancer, Wegovy is expensive. An injection can cost around $1,300 and typically isn’t eligible for insurance coverage. Even with the potential side effects, this is an FDA-approved medication for weight loss.

Natural Alternatives to Belviq

Increasing your physical activity and changing the way you eat can help with weight loss. Reducing the amount of calories consumed is a Belviq natural alternative, and you can combine it with exercise for maximum effectiveness.

Rather than strict dieting where you follow trends and remove whole food groups from your diet, eating smaller portions and focusing on a healthy intake of plant-based foods and lean meats is generally more manageable.

Before getting involved in exercise or extra activities, it’s important to talk with your doctor about health conditions that may get worse or become a complication. Your doctor should guide you through any major changes to your diet or activity level.

Lawsuit Information
Lawsuits against Eisai Inc. claim Belviq led people to develop cancer and the company failed to warn about the cancer risk.
View Lawsuits

Surgical Alternatives to Belviq

Some patients can opt for surgery that either alters the size of the stomach or restricts the amount of food a person can digest to assist with weight loss. These surgeries fall under the category of bariatric surgical options, and include:

  • Gastric band
  • Gastric bypass
  • Gastric sleeve

None of these are a quick fix but can offer additional support by normalizing blood sugar, metabolism, cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Patients can lose weight very quickly with a restricted diet and increased exercise. However, there are risks of infections, malnutrition, acid reflux, chronic vomiting and obstruction of the stomach.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.