Diet Drugs and Safe Alternatives
Weight loss drugs are generally anorexiants. FDA regulated diet drugs have been evaluated and approved for weight loss as part of an exercise and behavioral modification plan. In many instances, the long-term effects of diet medications have not been well established. Most diet drugs effectiveness diminishes over time, as the human body adjusts to them. Thus, ever increasing dosage is required to achieve effective results making some diet drugs potentially addictive and dangerous. Weight loss drugs require a doctors prescription and continuous monitoring, and unless instructed by a doctor, dieters should use non-drug methods to lose weight. Pregnant and women nursing should avoid diet medications including herbal and over-the-counter diet pills.
Safe No Presciption Diet Drug Alternatives:
Before emabarking on using a diet drug you may want to review other diet products that can help you manage your weight. There are powerful effective diet products that offer similar benefits without the potential dangerous side effects.
Non-Prescription All Natural Effective Diet Pills may be more appealing to dieters. These natural non-addictive diet supplements, do not pose the risk and the many potential side effects and drug interactions that a diet drugs do. Learn more here.
Over-the-Counter Diet Drugs and Ephedra Diet Pills Over-the-counter diet pills that contain phenylpropanolamine such as Acutrim and Dexatrim effectively suppress appetite, but have been known to cause severe high blood pressure and stroke if taken in doses of 75 mg or higher in the immediate-release form. The FDA has moved to take such products off the market.
A number of over-the-counter Ephedra diet remedies also known as Ma Huang can cause a number of side effects, including infrequent cases of severe rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, psychosis, heart attacks and seizures. Pseudoephedrine, an ingredient commonly found in many antihistamines, has similar effects and is sometimes used by dieters.
Popular Diet Drugs Profiled
Xenical / Orlistat Diet Drug
Orlistat (Xenical) can help about one third of obese patients with modest weight loss, and can assist in long term maintenance of weight loss. It reduces the body’s absorption of fat from foods thereby reducing weight and cholesterol. Orlistat blocks the action of lipase, an enzyme in the intestine that breaks down fat. Xenical is a stimulant. Studies have found that at the end of the first year Orlistat users achieve an average of 5% to 10% drop in body weight. Studies are also reporting that the drug may delay or prevent the onset type 2 diabetes, improve cholesterol levels regardless of weight loss, and reduce blood pressure. The drug can cause gastrointestinal problems and may interfere with absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E and other important nutrients.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) Diet Pills
Limited studies on conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) suggest that it may reduce body fat and insulin levels in type 2 diabetics. However, adverse side effects are frequent.
Chitosan Diet Pills
Chitosan, a dietary fiber from shellfish helps prevent a little fat from being absorbed in the intestine, but limited studies have not shown that it contributes to weight loss.
Garcinia (also called mangosteen) is a tropical fruit containing hydroxycitric acid, with purported fat burning benefits. While theoretically promising, to date there has been no extensive major well-conducted study showing significant weight loss with Garcinia.
Meridia / Sibutramine Diet Drug
Sibutramine (Meridia) keeps two important brain chemicals — serotonin and norepinephrine — in balance, which helps to increase metabolism. It causes a feeling of fullness and increases energy levels. Studies indicate that sibutramine assists with weight loss and helps maintain it. Patients who discontinue the drug, however, report significant weight gain afterward. Some studies also report improved cholesterol and other lipid levels with the use of this drug.
Common side effects include dry mouth, constipation, and insomnia. Of concern are reports of increases in heart rate and blood pressure. Two studies reported significant improvements in cholesterol levels. Experts believe sibutramine is probably safe, but the long-term effects are still unknown. People who have a history of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, or arrhythmias and or are taking decongestants, bronchodilators (such as for asthma), monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or serotonin reuptake inhibitors should also avoid sibutramine.
Redux, Fen-Phen and other Serotonin-Releasing Anorexiants
Serotonin-releasing anorexiants increase the availability of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that prevents depression and reduces calorie consumption. Unfortunately, the most popular of these drugs have very serious side effects, including development of abnormalities in the valves of the heart and, uncommonly, a potentially life-threatening condition called pulmonary hypertension. As a result, dexfenfluramine (Redux), fenfluramine (Pondimin), and the combination drug commonly called fen-phen, fenfluramine (Pondimin) have been pulled from the market. Studies report that changes may occur in patients taking the drugs for more than three months. To date, even in these patients, there do not seem to be serious complications. Taking the drugs for a short period (two to three months) appears to do no harm at all. Patients who were treated with Redux, Pondimin, or phen-fen for more than three months should have a thorough cardiovascular exam, including an echocardiogram. Many women who had valvular abnormalities had been taking multiples of the recommended dosages. Others were also on Prozac, an antidepressant that also increases serotonin and intensifies the effects of the diet drugs.
Phentermine, Ionamin, Adipex, Fastin, Didrex Sympathomimetics
Sympathomimetics are agents that act like the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (a stress hormone). Less addictive and possibly safer than amphetamines, these drugs still raise blood pressure. They are approved for short-term use and include phentermine (Ionamin, Adipex, Fastin), diethylpropion, mazindol (Mazanor, Sanorex), benzphetamine (Didrex), and phendimetrazine (Adipost, Botril, Melfiat, Plegine, Prelu-2, Statobex). Phentermine has been withdrawn from the UK market but not the US.
Accomplia Diet Drug
The hot new diet drug in the news is the French drug called Accomplia Rimonabant. It was created to help people quit smoking and lose fat by blocking circuitry in the brain that gives the body cravings.
The diet drug, rimonabant accomplia, which could be available in a year or two, is an appetite suppressant, but works by an entirely new approach by blocking the same primeval circuitry in the brain that gives pot-smokers the munchies. The French firm Sanofi-Synthelabo plans to seek U.S. approval to sell it under the brand Accomplia after more studies are finished next year.
Top Weight Loss Supplements Reviewed
We’ve researched hundreds of weight loss products available in your local stores and online and weeded through all the hype, to provide you with our top diet products reviews. The top three best performing weight loss diet supplements/products used safely by consumers are:
Laxatives: Senna, Aloe, Buckthorn, Rhubarb Root, Cascara, and Castor Oil for Weight Loss
Many dietary herbal teas contain laxatives can cause gastrointestinal distress and, if overused, may lead to chronic pain, constipation and even dependency. In rare cases, dehydration and death have occurred. Some laxative substances found in teas include Senna, Aloe, Buckthorn, Rhubarb Root, Cascara and Castor oil. Also, fiber supplements containing guar gum have also been known to cause obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract.
See below for our best reviewed diet pills: