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Can Telehealth Prescribe Weight Loss Medication

Weight loss isn’t always an easy journey, and not everyone can lose weight and keep it off following diet and exercise regimens alone. In some cases, prescription weight loss medication may be medically appropriate to achieve optimal results.

When people are starting their weight loss journey, they may wonder if they can access these prescription medications through online clinics. The short answer is yes, but, as with every medical treatment, there are conditions. In this blog, we’ll talk about weight loss prescriptions and how getting medical prescriptions online works. Read on to learn more.

A Brief Introduction

Many people have some sort of weight loss aspirations. Whether it's for aesthetics or for improving health and wellness, it takes careful planning and dedication to shed weight and keep it off. For some, it’s more difficult to lose weight, regardless of the methods they try. For these individuals, weight loss medication may be an option. 

Weight loss medication is far from a new concept, and people have been getting their weight loss prescriptions through traditional methods for a while now. Let’s take a look at what these traditional methods usually consist of.

Traditional Methods of Obtaining Weight Loss Prescriptions

When you have a health concern, your first instinct is to typically make an appointment with your primary care provider. Your primary care provider is your first point of contact for medical care, and they can help with a wide range of issues before needing to recommend a specialist.

However, weight loss is an area of primary care that many people don’t consider. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent other health concerns, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems and more. Since preventive care is an area of concern for your primary care provider, weight loss is also a concern.

Traditionally, if you think that weight loss prescriptions are a possible avenue for your weight loss journey, you would need to speak to your primary care provider. After going over your concerns and weight loss goals, your doctor would likely conduct a physical and several tests to rule out any conditions that may be preventing you from losing weight or keeping it off.

From there, your doctor may want to start with a treatment plan that includes a diet and exercise plan. If this doesn’t help, then they may look at prescription medication as the next potential treatment avenue. 

While the traditional method is perfectly serviceable, it can be a time-consuming process. Having to deal with in-person appointments and follow-ups isn’t always easy in today’s busy world. So, what’s the alternative?

The Rise of Online Healthcare Services

Online healthcare has become an increasingly common option for people across the U.S. The rise of these services has made it easy and convenient to receive medical care from the comfort of your own home. These services typically consist of primary care services, such as treatment plans for a variety of conditions and prescriptions when medically appropriate.

Amongst the online healthcare services available to individuals is weight loss treatment. Instead of going to a physical clinic to talk to your primary care provider about your weight loss goals, you can call, talk over video or message your provider instead.

This is great for people who are feeling uncomfortable about talking to their doctor in person about their weight concerns. It also helps to eliminate other inconveniences such as clinic distance, time constraints or health issues that make traveling difficult. With an easy-to-use app, you can connect with your health care professional, access your weight loss treatment plan and ask questions when you need to.

Online clinics have even advanced to the point where they can order blood work and recommend specialists for patients. Instead of having to go to a primary care provider, you can go to a nearby lab to send in blood work. This also makes getting specialist referrals much more convenient and saves you a trip just to get a recommendation.

With all that being said, let’s talk about how the process of getting online weight loss treatment works.

How Online Weight Loss Prescriptions Work

People are often surprised to learn how similar the prescription process with online healthcare services is to in-person healthcare services. The only big difference is the added convenience of doing everything from the comfort of your couch.

The first step is choosing your online primary care provider. Providers like Circle Medical make it easy to get started right away, even offering same-day appointments. Once you’ve selected your provider and made your appointment, you will have an initial appointment with them.

During your initial appointment, you will talk about your medical history, your health concerns and your goals for weight loss. Usually, you will speak to your doctor through video chat or a phone call. From your initial call, your primary care provider will determine if additional information is needed. This may consist of blood work to rule out any conditions that could be affecting your weight.

Next, your provider will design a treatment plan for you that will likely combine exercise with diet and lifestyle changes. If medically appropriate, this plan may also include prescription medication for weight loss.

Your online provider can then send your weight loss prescription to your pharmacy of choice, making it convenient for you to access and pick it up. If you utilize a service with an app, like Circle Medical, you can even access your prescriptions directly from your user portal.

Pros and Cons

While many people prefer to receive medical care through online services, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Here are some of the primary pros and cons of getting weight loss treatment online.


  • Convenience — As we’ve discussed, convenience is a major benefit of online healthcare. You don’t have to make the commute to the doctor’s office, interrupt your work day and wait in a waiting room for hours. With online care, you get connected to a provider instantly for your appointment, saving you hours depending on how long your commute is. The convenience is truly unbeatable, and you can even send questions directly to your provider through your app rather than going through a receptionist.
  • Privacy and comfort — Sometimes, it can be uncomfortable to talk about certain medical conditions in person. Discussing weight loss issues may fall into this category, and speaking to a doctor from the comfort of your home can make things a lot easier. 
  • Access — Not everyone has easy access to quality healthcare options. If you live in remote or rural areas, your nearest in-person clinic may be difficult to get to. With online care, all you need is a phone and an Internet connection or cell service.


  • Limits to Care — While online healthcare services can cover most of your primary care needs, there are some cases where online care can be limited. For instance, if you need blood work or X-rays, you may be able to get them the same day when you’re in a clinic. Online services would need to schedule an appointment in a nearby lab instead.
  • Lack of Personal Connection — Some people value the in-person connection they have with their doctor. While online health care can bridge this gap with face-to-face video chat, some people still prefer to talk to a doctor in the same room. If this is your preference, you may still want in-person care.

Overall, receiving weight loss treatment and getting medically appropriate prescriptions through online care is more convenient in most cases. However, you’re in charge of your health care, and you should always choose the option that makes you feel the most comfortable.

What To Expect

If you’ve decided to seek weight loss treatment online, then you may be wondering what to expect. While care can vary based on the provider you choose, Circle Medical makes weight loss treatment as simple as possible with a three-step process. Here’s what you can expect from your appointment:

  • Introductory appointment — Once you’ve scheduled your appointment, you’ll choose a Circle Medical primary care provider. Your provider will then conduct a thorough overview of your weight goals, medical history and lifestyle. They will likely order blood work as well to rule out any conditions that could be barring your weight loss progress. Being aware of these conditions also ensures they don’t prescribe treatments or medications that could worsen them.
  • Treatment plan — If you’re a good candidate for weight loss treatment, your provider will create a personalized weight loss plan that is tailored to your unique situation and needs. In some cases, this treatment plan may include prescription medication if it is determined to be medically appropriate.
  • Ongoing treatment — After your treatment plan starts, your provider will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress. This allows your provider to make adjustments as needed and ensure that your treatment plan is improving your condition.

Keep in mind that prescription medication often isn’t the first path taken for treatment. Lifestyle changes will typically be considered first, so you can make your weight loss journey as healthy and safe as possible.

Book an appointment with a Circle Medical telehealth provider today!

Circle Medical offers same-day appointments for those seeking weight loss treatment or other areas of primary care. Our board-certified providers are ready to help you start your healthy, medically-managed weight loss journey. Ready to get started? Make your same-day appointment today!

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