Age Limits for Prescription Weight Loss Medications

We Rarely Use Appetite Medications to Treat and Rarely Accept Patients Younger than 18 Years

There are rare exceptions to this this policy but, of course, in those cases such younger patients will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

There are several reasons for this policy which I would like to explain below.

  1. Patients younger than 18 years old tend, in my twenty years of experience, not to respond very well to appetite medications. By this I mean that they tend not to lose much weight. I do not know why this is and I have certainly seen exceptions, but they are fairly uncommon
  2. Going to a doctor's office for weight loss puts a lot of pressure on a teenager. Teenagers already have a lot of pressure in their lives and the added stress of having to get on a scale "in public" as it were can be very hard on them. I will never forget one young man early in my career. His father loved him very much but he was apparently frustrated that his son had not lost weight and I overheard him lecturing the boy in the parking lot. I vowed that day never to put another young person in that position and I never have.
  3. As I often tell concerned parents, sometimes the best thing we can do for the people we love is set a good example and keep quiet.
Now, before you think me irresponsible let me add the following. If you have a child who is overweight, by all means, consult with his or her pediatrician but if, after a careful medical and endocrine (hormone) evaluation, the pediatrician can find nothing specific that is wrong, you may be better served by turning inward, improving your own lifestyle, eating better and exercising. More than any lecture or weight loss program helps, you may come to find that taking care of yourself and setting a great example helps your child too. 

If you are a parent reading this, I hope that you take my words to heart. It would be easy for me take your money and do nothing helpful for your child, or even worse, exacerbate the problem. Except I can't do that and I won't. I am however happy to talk to you about these matters if you believe that I can be of service. Feel free to email me.