Types of Weight Loss Pills
There are two basic types of weight loss or diet pills: prescription pills and non-prescription pills.
Prescription Pills – Weight Loss Drugs
Prescription weight loss pills are like drugs. They are closely regulated and require FDA approval. Examples of such weight loss pills include Xenical (Orlistat), Phentermine/ Fentermine and Meridia (Sibutramine). These pills are typically subjected to a range of clinical tests to prove their effectiveness for weight reduction and to monitor side effects and health risks.
Non Prescription Pills – Weight Loss Supplements
Non-prescription weight loss pills can be purchased over-the-counter and are subject to only minimal FDA regulation. Non prescription pills are also referred to as weight loss supplements. Examples include pills from Herbalife™ and Metabolife™ as well as herbal weight loss pills, fat-burners, stackers and other diet or sports supplements.
Supplements Can Be Just as Powerful as Weight Loss Drugs – Ephedra
The distinction between prescription versus non-prescription weight loss pills is becoming blurred. Because certain types of weight loss supplements (non-prescription pills) can be just as powerful/dangerous as weight loss drugs. Except that these weight loss supplements are NOT regulated in the same way as prescription weight loss pills, so if anything they can be more dangerous. Recently, the FDA issued warnings about weight loss supplements containing ephedra. So several manufacturers are now removing ephedra from their weight loss products and making them “ephedra-free.”
Who Benefits From Weight Loss Pills?
Prescription-only weight loss medications are specifically designed for the treatment of obesity, rather than ‘cosmetic’ weight loss. Obesity is a serious condition with serious health risks, which justifies the use of weight loss drugs despite side effects and health risks. Weight loss supplements should be viewed in a similar light.
Do Weight Loss Pills Work?
Yes and No. When used under medical supervision in conjunction with a proper diet and exercise program, weight loss pills or supplements CAN be effective – at least in the short term. But the body adjusts very quickly to many weight loss pills, so the benefits may quickly wear off.
Clinical Weight Loss Trials of Pills
Clinical weight loss trials continue to show that long term weight control is not possible by using weight loss pills alone. They should be combined with physical activity and improved diet to maintain weight loss successfully over the long term.
See Your Doctor Before Taking Any Weight Loss Pills
Whatever type of weight loss pills you want to buy – prescription-only weight loss drugs, or diet supplements – you should ask your doctor for a full explanation of the side effects and dangers of weight loss pills.
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