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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Weight Management arrow Plenity Review: Does This Weight Loss Pill Actually Work?

Plenity Review: Does This Weight Loss Pill Actually Work?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 6, 2023
14 min read 1486 Views 0 Reviews
clock 14 eye 1486 comments 0

Interested in using Plenity to lose weight but wondering if these pills are any good? I delved into the realm of this product to find the answer.

plenity review

How do we vet brands and products? Learn more.

As you strive to achieve your weight management goals, it’s wise to consider various forms of support. Among these, dietary supplements and specific medications can play a valuable role. Plenity, in particular, stands out as a well-recognized option that can effectively complement your efforts.

It’s an FDA-approved product and its manufacturer claims that they’ve combined weight loss aid with scientifically-proven resources from psychology, nutritional research, and behavioral science to help users with weight management.

These claims made me curious about this product, so I decided to take a closer look. In this review, I will share everything you need to know about Plenity, including its ingredients, effectiveness, benefits, and side effects, to help you decide if it’s worth your time and effort.

What Is Plenity?

plenity logo
Our rating:
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Contains natural ingredients
  • Stimulant-free
Get Started
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    Wheat and gluten-free
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    No duration restrictions
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    FDA-approved for adults
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    There are no studies on adults under the age of 22
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    Possible side effects include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea
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    It is not vegan-friendly as it contains gelatin
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Plenity is a prescription-only weight loss medication created by the biotechnology company Gelesis. It comes in capsule form and is designed to be taken with water before meals.

According to the creators, Plenity is not a drug and doesn’t fall under the diuretic category that makes your body lose fluid weight, so it’s not absorbed into your bloodstream or by your digestive tract.

Instead, it takes up space in your stomach and keeps you feeling satiated for a long period of time. It absorbs your body’s water content and expands in the stomach, which, in turn, promotes weight loss.

In other words, I’d say it’s simply a bulking agent that stimulates fullness without adding calories to your body.

At first glance, what I liked about this product is that it’s made from naturally-derived building blocks – cellulose and citric acid. Another thing I liked about Plenity is that it was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in April 2019 after successful human trials.

⭐ Rating


🧪 Key ingredients

Cellulose and citric acid

📱Where to get it?

❌ Not suitable for

Pregnant women and people allergic to gelatin, citric acid, cellulose, titanium dioxide, and sodium stearyl fumarate

🍎 Dosage form

Three pills before lunch and dinner

💰 Price

$98 (for a 4-week supply)

Who Is Plenity for?

According to the official website, Plenity is specifically designed for adults 22 years of age or older who are overweight or obese, with a BMI (Body Mass Index) between 25 and 40.

Although it’s a prescription-only weight loss product, you don’t really need to visit a physician in person to get it. That’s because you can consult with registered and licensed medical professionals on the Plenity website to get this pill prescribed.

I found this a convenient approach because it allows you to get your hands on this product easily from the comfort of your home.

How Does Plenity Work?

As I’ve mentioned already, Plenity works like a bulking agent, and it makes you feel full by filling your stomach without adding calories. Your body doesn’t absorb this pill, as it expands in your stomach by absorbing water and turns into a gel.

It allows you to feel full for a longer period and helps you avoid consuming more calories to support weight loss. As a medical professional, I can tell you that it’s the same mechanism that many dietary fiber supplements use for weight loss.

Additionally, I must also mention that these pills can make you feel dehydrated, as they consume water in your body to turn into a gel. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain proper hydration by drinking plenty of water throughout the day while using this product.

Plenity comes in capsule form, and the recommended dosage is three pills taken 20 minutes before lunch and dinner. The instructions also suggest taking the capsules with 16 ounces of water, the equivalent of two glasses.

Is Plenity Truly Effective?

The working mechanism of Plenity is simple, which is taking space in your stomach, helping you feel fuller, and ultimately aiding portion control. I studied the real-life human trial of this product, and it actually seems to be effective for weight loss.

The results of the trials show that people using this product experienced 2% greater body weight loss than those who were dieting. While the results are positive, it’s important to note that it only worked when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

In another study conducted by Gelesis, 59% of participants who took Plenity lost 5% of their body weight over 6 months. 27% of participants lost more than 10% of body weight.

So, it’s safe to say that Plenity can work, but only when you’re committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you find it difficult to create a healthy diet and exercise plan, there are tons of weight loss apps out there that you can use to achieve that.

Important note: Aside from the studies I’ve mentioned above, there is limited evidence to determine the effectiveness of taking Plenity to help you lose weight, other than its online reviews. It means that further research/clinical trials are needed to establish a more comprehensive understanding of its impact on weight management.

Plenity Key Ingredients

I have some reservations about this product, and one of the biggest ones is that it contains only two ingredients, including cellulose and citric acid. The company claims that they work together to form a three-dimensional matrix that creates the sensation of feeling full.

While having a lower number of ingredients can be a good thing for simplicity and potential allergen concerns, it also raises questions about the product’s overall effectiveness and whether it covers all the necessary aspects of a comprehensive weight management solution.

Let’s take a closer look at the proprietary blend.

#1 Cellulose

Cellulose is a type of dietary fiber that makes up plant cell walls. It is found in all plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Additionally, it is often removed from plants and used as a food additive and dietary supplement.

As an insoluble fiber, cellulose does not dissolve when in contact with water. It means that when you consume cellulose, it remains intact and travels through your digestive tract unchanged, as the human body cannot break it down.

What I can tell you about this type of fiber is that it causes a delay in gastric emptying by inducing a prolonged feeling of satiation. It allows you to eat less, which can lead to weight loss. So, the inclusion of this ingredient in Plenity may help you with your weight loss journey indirectly, not directly.

 #2 Citric acid

Citric acid is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges. It is used in various applications, including cleaning products, dietary supplements, and as a food additive.

It has antioxidant properties that support overall health and may help prevent kidney stones and enhance nutrient absorption. I’ve even read some animal studies and research articles suggesting that citric acid can promote serotonin levels in rats and suppress their appetite to reduce weight gain.

However, it’s important to note that there is limited human research on this topic, and the results from the available studies are inconclusive and inconsistent. Therefore, at this point, it’s safe to conclude that citric acid does not appear to play a significant role in weight loss.

Plenity Benefits

There are multiple potential benefits that Plenity can offer, and understanding them is important to determine if it’s the right choice for you.

So, let me explain all the benefits you can possibly reap using this medication.

#1 Can promote weight loss

The primary function of Plenity is to encourage weight loss in adults living with obesity and extra weight. As I’ve discussed already, the ingredients in the capsule create a superabsorbent hydrogel that takes up space in the stomach and intestine. The result is a feeling of fullness and a reduced urge to eat.

By promoting fullness and appetite suppression, users are more inclined to eat less, reducing calorie intake and promoting fat loss. It may support a low-calorie diet by keeping hunger pangs at bay.

Additionally, the pills are taken with two glasses of water before eating a meal. It increases hydration, which can also support weight loss by filling you up and preventing you from eating as much.

Nonetheless, don’t forget to drink plenty of water every day to increase your weight loss potential, minimize the risk of potential side effects, and maintain optimal health.

#2 No duration restrictions

Although more research is needed, there are currently no time restrictions on how long you can use Plenity. Therefore, you can continue using it for weight loss and management purposes until you see the desired results. 

However, I recommend you not to follow this approach without consulting with your doctor. Always prioritize open communication with your doctor when making decisions about your weight management journey.

#3 Can be beneficial for the digestive system

Dietary fiber like cellulose has many health benefits, primarily for the digestive system. It helps food and waste move along the digestive tract, preventing constipation and keeping you regular.

So, I would say that consuming fiber is essential to maintaining a healthy diet and improving your overall gut health. It can also have positive impacts on your immune system, as 70% of it is located in the gut.

#4 Not a drug

Many people are cautious about taking prescription drugs due to possibly nasty side effects and dependence. In my opinion, the best thing about Plenity in this regard is that it is not a drug.

It is not absorbed into the bloodstream and is free from stimulants, so it does not affect your brain activity or the central nervous system.

Another important thing about Plenity is that it’s also non-habit forming, which means it won’t lead to addiction. In all cases, it’s still essential to take the dose as directed.

Plenity Cons and Side Effects

Just like any other product, Plenity comes with its own sets of cons, and I consider it my responsibility to explain them properly.

#1 Just one function

One of the biggest complaints I have about Plenity is that it has only one function. Although there are scientific studies suggesting that it keeps you full for longer to help you lose weight, that’s all it does, really.

If you want something that provides you with more energy to improve your exercise performance and/or has fat-burning properties to enhance your workout effectiveness, Plenity won’t be a suitable option.

In simple words, this product is basically just cellulose designed to help overweight and obese people shed some pounds by making them eat less.

#2 Potential side effects

Bulking agents can lead to several side effects in some people. The most common side effects of Plenity that I found in the Gelesis clinical study are related to gastrointestinal disorders, including:

#3 Not suitable for everyone

As with any weight loss pill, Plenity is not suitable for everyone. You must obtain a prescription from a healthcare provider to access Plenity, following a health consultation and medical history check.

It could be harmful to people with a history of gastroesophageal reflux disease, ulcers, heartburn, esophageal abnormality, gastrointestinal surgery, and Crohn’s disease.

Another important thing that I found on the official website is that it’s not suitable for people under 22 years of age, as there are no studies assessing a younger age group.

The company also states that you should not take Plenity if you are pregnant or allergic to cellulose, citric acid, sodium stearyl fumarate, gelatin, or titanium dioxide.

#4 High price

Plenity can definitely be helpful for weight loss, but it’s an expensive product, especially when you consider its limited functionality. You’ll need to pay $1.75 per meal, which means you’ll be spending $3.50 daily if you consume it two times a day.

In my opinion, it’s a whole lot more than what most people would want to spend on a product that contains only two ingredients and offers the functionality of a simple bulking agent.

What Do Online Reviews Say About Plenity?

I always read online reviews of each product I plan to review to find out what other people think about it. This approach provides me with valuable insights to determine if it’s worthwhile to spend my time, energy, and money on something.

I did the same while reviewing Plenity, and here’s what I found:

Good experience with Plenity
Screenshot from
Good experience with Plenity
Screenshot from

I’m happy for Wendy, as she found Plenity to be effective. It’s easy to use and can make you feel full. I also agree with her other comment because the product is undoubtedly expensive.

Great Tool to ASSIST you on your goals
Screenshot from
Great Tool to ASSIST you on your goals
Screenshot from

This is one of the most insightful reviews of Plenity that I read online. I 100% agree with Glenn, as this product can only work as long as you consume a balanced diet and exercise regularly. You can’t expect this to help you lose weight with bad lifestyle habits.

slow and steady
Screenshot from
slow and steady
Screenshot from

I also agree with everything that Laurie has mentioned. Just like any other medication/supplement, Plenity isn’t a magic pill. It can only assist you with your weight loss journey, and you’ll be the one responsible for the heavy lifting, including working out and eating a nutritious diet.

How Much Does Plenity Cost?

As I’ve mentioned already, Plenity is an expensive product. Here’s what you’ll need to pay according to the official website:

  • 1-month supply: $98 ($1.75 per meal)
  • 3-month supply: $249 ($1.48 per meal)

While you can save 15% by opting for a 12-week supply, it will still be expensive, as you’ll be paying around $3 for this product each day.

Plenity vs. the Alternatives

Plenity is just one of many products out there that you can use to support your weight loss journey. I’ve selected some of the best alternate options available in the market that you can consider.

Comparison Winner: BurnBox
Keto Cycle FUEL
DoFasting Supplements
Shredz Burner Max
It Works! Slimming Gummies

Makes extended fasts accessible to beginners

Only need to complete 4 fasts a year to see results

Can upgrade from a 3 to a 5-day fast for no extra cost

The Ultimate Experience is discounted

Gluten-free and sugar-free

Dissolves quickly and easily

Free worldwide shipping

Many product deals available

Gluten-free and vegan


Free US shipping

Easy-to-use formula

No prescription required

Free US shipping

All-natural ingredients

Relatively affordable

Made in an FDA-registered facility

Contains natural, low-stimulant ingredients


One bottle contains 180 weight-loss pills

Gluten-free and soy-free

Contains no colors, stimulants, or GMOs

60-day money-back guarantee

Options for women and men

Free of gluten, dairy, and soy

Vegan and GMP certified

Contains clinically-proven, natural ingredients

Has no proprietary blends

100% natural ingredients

Easy one-a-day formula


Suitable for vegans

Gluten-free and stimulant-free

No added sugar, flavors, or colors


Not vegan-friendly

One-time experience is expensive

Unsuitable for vegans

Only 2 flavors

Only 2 flavors available

May have negative gastrointestinal side effects at first

Not suitable for those with a caffeine sensitivity

Some users report negative side effects

Relatively expensive

Not suitable for those sensitive to caffeine

Appetite-suppressing ingredients aren’t as powerful as claimed

Creates results that are unsustainable without supplementation

May cause nutrient deficiencies

Not suitable for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Gelatin makes it unsuitable for vegans

Swallowing 4 capsules per day won’t suit everyone

Caffeine may cause side effects

Not enough science-backed evidence for ingredients

Not vegan-friendly

May cause stomach upset or sleep disturbances

Not suitable for vegans or vegetarians

Caffeine can trigger insomnia, headaches, and jitteriness

May cause digestive issues in some people

Only one flavor

Some negative customer reviews online


How long does it take for Plenity to work?

There’s no straightforward answer to this question because every individual has a unique body. The official Plenity website states that you can start experiencing results within weeks, which aligns with the typical timeframe for most bulking agents and fiber supplements to take effect.

Where to buy Plenity?

You can visit the official company website to purchase Plenity. The prescription requires an online consultation with a licensed physician, where you will need to share your medical history and provide answers to some general health questions. Plenity is not available to buy without a prescription.

Is Plenity legit?

Yes, Plenity is a legitimate medical device from Gelesis, a US-based biotechnology company. The Plenity weight loss pill is not a medication but an FDA-approved weight loss aid. It is prescribed to overweight and obese adults with a BMI of 25–40.

Who shouldn’t take Plenity?

According to the Plenity website, people who should avoid this product include adults under the age of 22, pregnant women, and people who are allergic to gelatin, citric acid, cellulose, titanium dioxide, and sodium stearyl fumarate.

How I Tested Plenity

To test a product thoroughly, I consider several factors, including quality, effectiveness, price, and brand reputation. Although Plenity is prescription-only, you still don’t want to spend your money on it without knowing how it performs in terms of these factors.

Quality 8/10

Plenity is a high-quality medical device that has FDA clearance. This means the product has undergone clinical trials and testing to ensure it meets quality standards and is safe and effective for its intended use.

It’s worth noting that the FDA does not approve most weight loss supplements. With Plenity, you can relax knowing that safety standards have been met. As a licensed physician must prescribe it, the proper checks are carried out to ensure it is right for you.

However, I need to mention that the composition of this product is not very rich, as it only contains two ingredients. It means it can only help you with weight loss by keeping you full for a longer period.

Effectiveness 7/10

I’ve read countless Plenity reviews, and they’re mixed. Some claim it works wonders, while others do not notice results. 

However, this could be due to several factors. For instance, those who take Plenity without adjusting their diet and exercise routine may not see results as quickly as somebody who improves their overall lifestyle to promote fat burn and healthy weight loss.

Based on the current evidence from clinical trials, people have lost weight from using Plenity. However, I believe that more independent research is necessary to truly confirm the effectiveness of Plenity for weight loss.

Price 6/10

Plenity is expensive to purchase. If you are offered the prescription, a 1-month supply costs $98. This is a costly subscription to sustain long-term, and many people are unlikely to accept the high price point.

There are ways to justify the price point, depending on how you view it. For example, the company described the $98 subscription as $1.75 per meal. But regardless of the way you look at it, the cost quickly adds up.

Brand reputation 9/10

Gelesis is a known biotechnology company that develops therapies for GI-related chronic diseases. Aside from Plenity, they work on developing treatments for type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and functional constipation.

The company has further grown its reputation by creating Plenity and obtaining FDA clearance.

A Word From Our MD

Expert image border HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Rosmy Barrios, MD
Medical advisor for Health Reporter

It can be tempting to search for a weight loss supplement (or weight loss medication) to help you lose weight. Many brands claim that these manufactured pills can increase metabolism, boost energy levels, and promote appetite suppression.

But most weight loss supplements won’t make a huge difference to your efforts and provide many of the same benefits as eating a nutritious diet. In some cases, however, prescription weight loss medications, such as Plenity, combined with lifestyle changes may produce desired weight loss results.

The foundation of healthy weight loss remains a system centered on diet and exercise. These methods have been clinically proven to be effective, whether you aim to lose a few pounds or more.

Regardless of whether you’re considering using a supplement/medication or not, it’s crucial to consult with your doctor when embarking on a weight loss journey. A medical professional can advise you on the best strategy based on your age, current weight, and health status.

Conclusion: Is Plenity Worth It?

I would say that you can use Plenity to support your well-thought-out weight loss journey if you’re not concerned about its high price and working mechanism.

But if you want something that does more than just make you feel fuller for longer, such as increasing your energy levels and enhancing fat burning, this product won’t be a suitable option.

In this case, you might want to look at other weight loss supplements available in the market that provide a broader range of benefits to losing weight. 

Lastly, make sure that you consult with your medical healthcare provider before you start using any weight loss product. That’s because only they can guide you in the right direction.

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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 6, 2023
14 min read 1486 Views 0 Reviews
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