Weight loss medication can come in three forms – pills, capsules and syrups. On the other hand, getting them can be done in two ways – through doctor’s prescription or simply over-the-counter.
When it comes to losing weight, the Food and Drug Administration only approved a single non-prescription weight loss drug called Alli. Other over the counter weight loss aids are considered supplements. Due to false ad claims and tainted formulas, a number of weight loss pills sold over the counter have been recalled over the years.
Now, weight loss supplements are not exactly against the law and no regulation prohibits their existence. Hence, it is the consumer’s duty to be careful when thinking of using one. When leaving your home to purchase these pills, refrain from leaving your common sense as well. Don’t count on word of mouth, or from flashy advertisements and fliers you come by. Talk to your doctor first before getting on any over-the-counter supplements.
Types of Weight Loss Pills
There are three types of weight loss pills available – fat burners, fat blockers and appetite suppressants. All are considered to be effective helpers for weight loss yet each function differently. Appetite suppressants are the trickster, cheats your brain into believing that you are full, thus making you eat less. Fat blockers are the barricades, prevents your body from absorbing the fat you eat making you consume lesser amount of calories. The fat burners are the incinerators, increase your metabolic rate thereby increasing the speed at which your body burns calories. A lot of fat burners out in the market are eventually pulled out such as the Hydroxycut and Xenadrine pills because of their serious side effects which include heart problems.
Alli is the only over-the-counter weight loss medication that undergone clinical trials and test and is recognized as an effective weight loss aid although the results can be quite minimal. According to MayoClinic, those who are in a low-fat healthy diet and exercise while taking Alli are likely to lose five to seven more pounds than those in the same weight loss program minus the drug. However, for other weight loss over-the-counter supplements such as chitosan, country mallow and bitter orange, no sufficient evidence has proven yet their effectiveness. List of other most likely effective and safe products include green tea extract, gar guam, conjugated linoleic acid and chitosan.
Dangers and self protection
Be warned that weight loss supplements sold over the counter are not regulated, thus your safety lies in your very own hands. Don’t stay ignorant about the product you’re thinking of using. Research, read, up, and ask questions about it before going to the drugstore. And no, don’t rely entirely on the pharmacist for this information. Although most over-the-counter weight loss aids are considered to be safe, there are still no definitive studies that prove this. Supplements like Ephedra and country mallow, have been tagged by the FDA as unsafe and banned from the market.
Be cautious in selecting. Read off the ingredients listed on the label, and look also for a “USP Verified Mark” as this signifies that, that certain supplement has undergone third-party testing, proving the authenticity of the pill. Take note though that this doesn’t guarantee the pill’s effectiveness, but rather a quality assurance for the consumers.
These are just supplements, why the need to be careful in using them, you ask? Beccause diet supplements are still medicines, and contain chemicals that can trigger harmful effects to your body. Just because they are categorized as over-the-counter, doesn’t make them safe at all. A number of side effects you’ll likely experience include flu-like symptoms, insomnia, gastrointestinal trouble, increased blood pressure and in extreme cases stroke.
When you buy over-the-counter weight loss supplements, you only get the pills. These supplements don’t come with a specific diet and exercise routine, nor does it come attached with promises of total weight loss. You’ve managed to wise up on selecting a good dietary supplement, be smart enough to know that these pills are only as good as what you put in your mouth, and how much devoted you are to your program.