Diet Pills For Weight Loss – How Safe Are They?

Hundreds of thousands of people are throwing away billions of dollars annually on diet pills. Last year, over $23 billion was spent on diet pills in the United States alone. More than 95% of diet pills purchased are natural or herbal supplements. Often, the only thing lost when taking diet pills is time and money. People looking for a miracle cure are often swept away by the exaggerations made by those marketing diet pills. Here are some important and often ignored facts about diet pills.

When should diet pills be used?

Diet pills are not for everyone. The use of diet pills should be reserved for those who have a body mass index (BMI) above 30 who are otherwise healthy. People with obesity related conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, a history of strokes, high blood pressure, and diabetes with a BMI of 27 are also candidates for diet pills.

What are the approved diet pills?

Appetite suppressants, including Didrex, Tenuate, Sanores, Mazanor, Adipex-P, Ionamin, Bontril and Meridia are the most popular type of diet pills that have been approved by the FDA for short term use. Appetite suppressants are available OTC and can be prescribed by your physician.

Fat absorption inhibitors, such as Orlistat, block dietary fat from being absorbed. Orlistat is available OTC as Alli and can be prescribed by your physician as Xenical.

Meridia and Xenical are the only diet pills approved for long term use. These are most often prescribed for morbidly obese people. Research on the safety and effectiveness of extended use going beyond two years is not available.

Do diet pills for weight loss really work?

Individual results with diet pills vary. Average weight loss for those taking Xenical and Meridia is 5 pounds to 22 pounds annually. This is an increase of weight loss over what these patients would expect to lose without taking diet pills. Maximum weight loss usually happens during the first six months of treatment before a tolerance is developed. Your physician will adjust your dosage to fit your individual needs.

Are There Risks to Taking Diet Pills?

Short term use of diet pills may reduce health risks in obese individuals. Long term effectiveness has not been established. The use of diet pills involves risks including addiction, developed tolerance, and side effects.

Side effects of diet pills are often mild and at times unpleasant. Common side effects include increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, sweating, constipation, excessive thirst, drowsiness, headache, anxiety, passing gas, diarrhea and leakage of oily stool.

Should diet pills be used long term?

Long term use of diet pills is discouraged. Maintenance of weight loss should be achieved through proper dietary habits and exercise. These should be taught during the first six months of treatment, before the body rejects the effects of diet pills. Diet pills are not for everybody. Discuss with your doctor your medical conditions and precautions you need to take before you use any diet pill.