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Weight Loss Diet Pills
Xenical – Prescription Weight Loss Pills
A relatively recent prescription weight loss drug, Xenical (active ingredient Orlistat) is one of a class of anti-obesity weight loss pills called lipase inhibitors, or fat blockers. Fat from food can only be absorbed into the body after being digested in the intestines by lipase enzymes. By inhibiting the action of these lipase enzymes, Xenical prevents the intestinal absorption of fat by 30%. Weight loss pills like Xenical work in the intestinal tract and do not affect brain chemistry. Thus, Xenical should have minimal side effects in other parts of the body.
Studies show Xenical users can lose about 10 percent of their initial weight over the course of the year, but because fat can’t be digested diarrhea is common if the user does not follow a low-fat diet while taking the weight loss pills. Weight loss and reduced fat-absorption may be definite benefits, but Xenical also reduces the absorption of essential fat-soluble vitamins. So if you are thinking of buying Xenical pills for your weight loss problem, be sure to take extra vitamins A, D, E, K, and beta-carotene.
Meridia – Prescription Weight Loss Pills
Meridia (active ingredient Sibutramine), is one of the newest types of prescription weight loss pills. It is used for both weight loss and weight maintenance. Meridia suppresses appetite by increasing the amount of neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain synapses. Unlike other diet drugs (e.g. fenfluramine, dexfenfluramine) Meridia does not increase the release of these neurotransmitters from the cells. Instead, Meridia inhibits the re-uptake of these neurotransmitters by the nerve cells. Therefore, the action of Meridia is not unlike that of anti-depressants that inhibit the reuptake of serotonin. Many of these anti-depressant pills have been used for years without known links to pulmonary hypertension or heart valve damage.
Studies have shown that Meridia can help people lose weight and maintain the loss but the weight loss may plateau after about a year at about ten percent of starting weight.
However, like all prescription weight loss pills, Meridia has side effects. The drug may raise blood pressure and heart rate. So despite its beneficial effects for weight loss, Meridia remains a controversial weight-loss drug.
In fact, there are reports that even before it approved Meridia as a prescription weight loss drug, the FDA was concerned about its safety. An FDA advisory committee in 1997 voted 5-4 that the benefits of the diet drug did not outweigh its risks for heart problems.
Other Prescription Weight Loss Pills
The following weight loss appetite suppressants are also available by prescription.
Diethylpropion (trade names Tenuate and Dospan)
Phendimetrazine (trade names Bontirl, Plegine, Prelu-2 and X-Trozine)
Phentermine (trade names Fastin, Ionamin, and Oby-trim)
Note: the FDA has approved these weight loss pills or appetite suppressants for short term use only. Also, most of these appetite-suppressing weight loss pills stop working quite quickly. Within 3-12 weeks, the brain develops a tolerance for their action. Only Meridia weight loss pills are intended for long term use.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Weight Loss Pills
Over-the-counter weight loss and diet pills are less regulated than FDA approved prescription weight loss drugs. These over-the-counter weight loss pills and herbal supplements often contain amphetamine-like active ingredients.
These ingredients act as stimulants that theoretically raise metabolism and help the body break down fat. Nevertheless, despite claims by pill-manufacturers, the use of OTC weight loss products alone rarely causes long-term weight loss.