Plenity is a new therapy that works like no other FDA-approved weight loss treatment, and is approved for use in patients with a body mass index of 25-40 kg/m 2. It consists of 2 simple natural ingredients: cellulose fiber and citric acid contained and dehydrated in a gelatin capsule. After swallowing 3 capsules (around 20 minutes prior to lunch and dinner) and drinking 16 ounces of water, Plenity re-hydrates itself, absorbing more than 100 times its own weight in water. After this absorption occurs, Plenity expands in the stomach to take up space (see animation below). The presence of expanded, re-hydrated cellulose in the stomach can reduce hunger and help patients get full earlier. As it is not absorbed into the body at all, Plenity has actually been classified as as weight loss device, rather than a drug. Plenity is the first weight loss treatment to be approved by the FDA for patients who are just mildly overweight, with a BMI of 25-27 kg/m2.
In a clinical study, nearly 6 out of 10 people who took Plenity lost at least 5% of their body weight. Their average weight loss was 10% of their total body weight (about 22 pounds). Patients in our Plenity program must come in for monthly office visits and meet with one of our providers and a registered dietitian, as well as following a mindful eating plan and exercising regularly.
One major issue with many weight loss drugs is that they have a significant rate of adverse systemic side effects such as elevation in blood pressure or heart rate, nausea, overstimulation, etc. A significant advantage of Plenity is that it does not have any major systemic side effects, since it is not absorbed at all into your body at all.
Plenity must be prescribed by a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant and can be obtained from their partner pharmacy, GoGoMeds. In order to receive Plenity, your provider must send a prescription to GogoMeds, and the patient must log on to GoGoMeds.com and register as a patient. After registering, you will have to add your prescriber in your account. After payment, GoGoMeds will ship your medication to your home address. The current 2021 pricing including shipping for a 30 day supply of Plenity from GoGoMeds is $98.
It remains to be seen if this medication can be used in patients who have had prior surgical weight loss procedures and at this point we would recommend against it, unless under the close supervision of a bariatric surgeon.