This is the login panel

Northern Virginia Weight Loss Program

Fairfax, VA (703) 359-9200

Supplements for Weight Loss


Our bodies use complex systems to control appetite, desire for food and body weight. The medications we use to help as supplements for weight loss attack different aspects of the system. The BE-LITE medical staff prescribes specialty medications to help patients lose weight. These pharmaceutical products, typically filled at our on-site compounding pharmacy, include:

Weight Loss Supplements to Increase Brain Norepinephrine

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).

Weight Loss Supplements to Increase Brain Serotonin

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.

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.

Other Weight Loss Supplements

We also provide patients with a multivitamin supplement to make sure that proper nutrition is maintained, even when food intake decreases. Other medications may be prescribed as needed.