Introduction to Prescription Diet & Weight Loss Pills and Supplements
Diet Pills and Weight Loss
Diet pills are very tempting things if you want to lose weight, especially if you have tried several conventional weight loss diets without success.
Maybe one of your diet buddies has decided to buy diet pills, or maybe you’ve seen or heard a commercial for diet supplements promising easy fast weight loss.
If so, please beware! Even the most natural-sounding diet pills or weight loss supplements can be useless for weight loss, or dangerous, or both.
Many Diet Pills and Weight Loss Products are Fraudulent
According to Fat – Exploding the Myths ( Lisa Colles), Americans are reported to spend between $30-50 billion each year on diet and weight loss programs, products and pills; $6 billion of this is said to be spent on weight loss products and pills that are fraudulent.
Types of Diet Pills – Prescription & Over-the-Counter
We can divide diet pills into two types: prescription-only diet pills and over-the-counter (otc) diet pills.
Prescription Diet Pills
These pills are diet drugs. These pills are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration agency (FDA), their side effects are monitored and they may be advertised and prescribed for weight loss under certain condition and in certain pill-dosages. Examples of prescription diet pills include brands like: Meridia (Sibutramine), Xenical (Orlistat), Adipex, Bontril, Didrex, Phentermine and Tenuate.
Prescription Diet Pills Designed for Obesity Sufferers
Diet pills are principally designed for those suffering from serious obesity – e.g. with a body mass index of 35+. Diet and weight loss drugs are not a cosmetic solution for weight loss, neither are they intended to replace convention diet and weight loss programs. Dieters who fail to lose weight on orthodox diet plans should not turn to pills as an easy answer to their weight problems. Instead they should continue with their weight loss diet and work on improving their motivation to lose weight and exercise.
Over-the-Counter Diet Pills and Weight Loss Supplements
The OTC diet and weight loss pills sector is probably the fastest growing sector of the weight loss industry. However, these diet pills are classified as food supplements rather than diet drugs, and are relatively unregulated. These diet pills are not tested by Federal authorities, not subject to the same advertising, dosage or labelling requirements as prescription diet pills, even though some experts consider that many OTC diet supplements and weight loss pills are (in reality) diet drugs.
Side Effects of OTC Diet Pills Unregulated
Although many OTC diet pills and weight loss supplements contain ingredients with powerful amphetamine-like properties, and even though some of these diet pills have been associated with serious side effects including death, there is no compulsory reporting procedures for these diet products. OTC diet pills remain an unknown quantity.
The Diet Pills Industry
Most diet drugs companies are trying to invent genuine solutions to the problems of overweight and obesity. They have tried amphetamine-type diet pills, now they are producing diet pills that work on the brain to suppress appetite, or in the gut to inhibit the amount of fat (and calories) digested. And even though prescription-only diet pills are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration agency (FDA), problems persist. In short, like all drugs, diet pills carry health risks.
In addition, as stated above, OTC diet and weight loss pills are becoming more powerful yet remain unregulated. Without doubt, this has allowed certain pill-manufacturers to promote useless, even dangerous diet pills as the solution to weight loss without any evidence to support such weight-loss claims.
Side Effects and Dangers of OTC Diet Pills
The side effects and dangers of OTC diet and weight loss pills can vary enormously because many of these pills contain a cocktail of ingredients and because dosage instructions may be inadequate. Possible side effects include: nervousness, tremor, diarrhea, bulging eyes, racing heartbeat, elevated blood pressure even heart failure.
Side Effects and Dangers of Prescription Diet Pills, Drugs
The dangers of prescription diet pills are consistent with other similar drugs. Accidental overdose is a common problem when taking these diet pills. This is because many diet pills contain similar ingredients to non-prescription medications like nasal decongestants.
Side Effects of Diet Pills That Work on the Brain
Diet pill side effects of drugs that operate on the brain to reduce appetite include: raised blood pressure, chest pain, fever, hair loss, depression, impotence, heart damage, to name a few.
Side Effects of Diet Pills That Work in the Gut
The most popular of the ‘gut’ prescription diet pills is Xenical. Licensed for long-term use, it’s side effects include: diarrhea, unexpected fecal discharge and oily stools. To reduce these side effects, Xenical-users are advised to follow a low-fat diet plan.
Are Herbal Diet Pills Any Healthier?
OTC Diet pills with ‘Natural’, ‘Herbal’ or similar descriptions are not necessarily any healthier than other diet or weight loss pills. In fact, some of these herbal diet pills are associated with some major health concerns. So don’t trust diet pills just because they sound ‘natural’.
Do Diet Pills Work?
Yes and No. When used under medical supervision in conjunction with a proper diet and exercise program, diet pills can be effective – at least in the short term. That said, the body adjusts remarkably quickly to many diet pills, so the benefits may quickly wear off.
Diet Pills Are Definitely Not a Magic Solution for Weight Loss
If diet pills are not used in conjunction with a proper weight loss program incorporating proper diet and exercise, they are not likely to be effective. Indeed some pills may even disrupt your system causing weight gain.
Do NOT Buy Diet Pills Without Consulting Your Doctor
If you are a genuine candidate for diet pills – i.e. seriously obese, with a will to modify your diet and take regular physical exercise – I strongly advise you to consult your doctor and ask him to explain what weight loss pills may be suitable. Do not buy diet pills without consulting your doctor.
Consulting Your Doctor About Diet Pills
When talking to your doctor about diet and weight loss pills:
- Explain your complete medical history and list all current medications you are taking.
- Ask to be medically examined (blood pressure etc.)
- Ask for an explanation of all your weight loss options.
- Ask for an explanation of all relevant side effects of diet pills suggested.
- Arrange a return appointment to see how the diet pills are working.
Taking Diet Pills
If you decide to take any type of diet or weight loss pills, follow these elementary precautions:
- Take diet pills exactly as prescribed or directed.
- Follow a proper diet and exercise program while taking the pills.
- If side effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor.
- See your doctor after 30 days to discuss your progress on the pills.
- If the diet pills stop working, stop taking them!