Obesity negatively impacts your health. Studies show an association between obesity correlated visceral fat and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, gallstones, fatty liver disease and certain respiratory disorders. And that losing just 5-10% of your fat has a substantial health benefit for lowering these risks because the weight loss reduces:
Weight loss pills can help some overcome what seems like an insurmountable challenge of losing weight. Although, obesity drug treatment may help you lose weight and maintain this weight loss, you still need to modify your diet and engage in regular physical activity to attain these results.
Prescription strength weight loss pills are not recommended for those who are merely overweight. The basic criteria for prescribed obesity drug treatment is if:
- your BMI is over 30
- your BMI is over 27 & and you have a serious health condition related to obesity
Frequently prescribed weight loss pills and their common drug side effects are:
- orlistat ~ cramps, gas, diarrhea
- phendimetrazine ~ nervousness, insomnia
- phentermine ~ blood pressure & heart rate increase, nervousness, insomnia, dizziness
- diethylpropion ~ dizziness, headache, nervousness blood pressure & heart rate increase, insomnia
- sibutramine ~ blood pressure & heart rate increase, anxiety, headache, dry mouth, constipation, insomnia
Orlistat’s action for combating obesity is via inhibiting dietary fat absorption, while all the others assist in weight reduction by suppressing your appetite.
The FDA has only approved sibutramine and orlistat for long term drug treatment of obesity. Forewarning, these obesity drug treatment pills haven’t been in use long enough to uncover all their potential side effects.
Because appetite suppressants may raise your blood pressure and heart rate, they shouldn’t be taken if you have a history of:
Ortlistat obesity drug can be purchased over the counter bearing the name of Alli, but the strength is about half of prescribed levels. Because orlistat often causes intestinal related upset, eating a low-fat diet can help prevent those type side effects. And taking a multivitamin should be considered with this weight loss pill since it’s action can interfere with vitamin absorption too.
Caveat: The FDA is reviewing the safety of orlistat because it may cause adverse liver problems, as it has been brought into question by reports of jaundice, weakness and stomach pain by some users. And they further recommend you contact your health care provider immediately if while taking this drug you experience:
- brown urine
- appetite loss
- abdominal pain
- nausea, vomiting
- pale colored stools
And the FDA put out a consumer warning about a counterfeit and potentially harmful version of Alli.
You may have heard that amphetamines will suppress your appetite as well. But, they’re not considered for obesity drug treatment because of the high incidence of abuse and dependency with these pills.
A couple of drugs being used for weight loss that are not approved by the FDA for obesity drug treatment include:
- bupropion ~ treats depression; may cause dry mouth, insomnia
- topiramate ~ treats seizures; may cause skin numbness, taste changes
- metformin ~ treats diabetes; may cause weakness, dizziness, metallic taste, nausea
- zonisamide ~ treats seizures; may cause drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, headache, nausea
A number of natural weight loss pills or products are available without a prescription. And just because a natural weight loss product comes from natural sources, doesn’t guarantee they’re safe and effective.
A few commonly used natural substances that natural weight loss pills may contain:
- guar gum
- bitter orange
- blond psyllium
- St. John’s wort
- green tea extract
- conjugated linoleic acid
Weight loss drugs, natural or otherwise, are not the complete answer to losing weight. A combination of primarily plant based diet and exercise still remains the ideal program for weight loss and overall health improvement.