Select a topic from the FAQ menu to find the answer to some common questions. If you do not find the answer you are looking for, please contact us. If you are taking any medication, check here which programme is suitable for you.
Download the medication list here (PDF).
Medication and Medical Conditions
For the purposes of weight loss using the Cambridge Weight Plan, four categories have been identified for medications and medical conditions.
Contraindicated – You cannot use ANY programme
The Cambridge Weight Plan should not be used in any weight loss programme by the
- Pregnant or breast-feeding women
- Children under 14 years of age
- People who have had a heart attack, stroke, an operation or serious accident within the last three months.
- Anyone with a serious heart condition
- Anyone with Porphyria
- Anyone with severe kidney or liver disease
- Anyone with severe depression
- Anyone with anorexia or bulimia nervosa
- Anti-Obesity Drugs (prescribed or available over the counter).
- It is unnecessary for these drugs to be taken when a Cambridge weight-loss programme is being followed. If you remain on these drugs,
then the Cambridge Weight Plan must not be used.
Not Low Calorie – You can only use programmes above1200kcals per day
Anyone taking any of the following medications should not follow the Cambridge Weight Plan Sole Source?, Sole Source Plus?, 810kcal or 1000kcal programme.
- Anti-arrhythmia drugs
Anti-coagulants, anti-thrombotics and fibrolytics all reduce the clotting time of blood. They are frequently prescribed following open heart surgery, heart attacks, deep vein thrombosis and arterial thrombosis.
Anti-arrhythmia e.g. Digoxin
These medications are used to correct irregularities in the heart rate associated with heart failure. The blood levels of these medications are normally difficult to balance. A reduced calorie intake could increase this instability by allowing more rapid absorption.
Anti-convulsant drugs are used to treat epilepsy and seizures.
Lithium is used to treat severe psychiatric disorders. A reduced calorie intake will increase the absorption rate of this drug and this may alter the blood levels of Lithium.
As a constant level is essential for successful treatment and to prevent toxic effects occurring, it should not be used with the Cambridge Weight Plan.
Special Precautions – You can use any programme, although your doctor may need to adjust medication
Because of the low calorific level in the Cambridge Weight Plan, people taking certain medications may need their doctor to adjust the dosage level. In some cases, the doctor may need to discontinue medication completely. Customers in this group should have their progress monitored by their doctor. Every customer taking one of the medications which falls into the ‘Special Precautions’ category must get the doctor?s signature of confirmation on their Medical Record Form (MRF). The Consultant should ask the customer to remind the doctor to note on the form the name of the medicine being taken.
Anti-hypertensive drugs are used to reduce all grades of raised blood pressure. This group includes beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium antagonists, vasodilators, alphablockers, central alpha antagonists.
Diuretics (water tablets) are frequently used for the treatment of mild to moderate high blood pressure (hypertension). It is advisable for the doctor to reduce or stop diuretic medication before the Cambridge Weight Plan is started.
All VLCDs produce a rise in serum uric acid levels during the first two weeks, which may lead to an acute attack of gout in known sufferers. Preventative treatment with one of the uricosuric agents should be given concurrently with the Cambridge Weight Plan from the day of commencement.
Special Precautions (Diabetes)
There is a separate protocol for customers with diabetes; your Consultant should refer to it in your initial appointment.
Other Medication – You can use any programme
All other medications can be used with all the Cambridge weight-loss programmes. However, Consultants should still get the customer to ask for their doctor?s signed confirmation that the information stated on the MRF is correct.
Severe depression is a contra-indication for all programmes. Any customer without severe depression who is on anti-depression medication needs to have their MRF signed by their doctor before they can start.
Thyroid and Anti-Thyroid medications
The medications are designed either to replace deficient thyroid hormones or to block thyroid hormone production; we do not distinguish between the two. However, it is sensible for the person to have been on these medications for at least two months or more before they begin using the Cambridge Weight Plan, in order to allow the medication levels to settle. Thyroid control does not have to be perfect.
Although these may be taken in conjunction with the Cambridge Weight Plan customers may experience a lower rate of weight loss.
These are known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and are widely prescribed for the treatment of rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis, gout, rheumatic pain, sports injuries and general aches and pains, customers taking these medications may use the Cambridge Weight Plan programmes.
Antibiotics are prescribed to treat all kinds of infection, from bronchitis to a septic finger. Always check the underlying medical condition – anyone with a serious infection should not be contemplating weight loss until they are fully recovered.
The doctors signature on the MRF is not required for the following:
- The Pill
The contraceptive pill is used to prevent conception. They are almost always prescribed under their trade names and most women are well aware if they are taking one of them.
- The Cap
Women using the contraceptive cap should be advised to see their family planning advisor every time there is a weight change of 3kg (7lbs) to check whether a different size is required.
- Hormone Replacement Therapty (HRT)
HRT is widely used for the relieve of menopausal symptoms, in these cases the customer may use the Cambridge Weight Plan without a Doctors signature, however it is sometimes given to treat more serious conditions, such as breast, kidney or prostate cancer. In such cases it is absolutely essential to consult the doctor and get his or her signature of approval on the MRF. If in doubt, insist on the doctor?s signature.
If you are in any doubt or have any questions concerning any related medical matter, first check the Frequently Asked Questions section of the website. Or send an e-mail to our Medical Advisor at: firstname.lastname@example.org.