What are Weight Loss and Diet Pills?
Prescription weight loss and diet pills also called anti-obesity pills or “diet pills”, are sometimes prescribed to a patient as an additional tool in the treatment for weight loss. Weight loss pills, like many fat burners or thermogenics, work in a variety of ways; some increase your body’s baseline metabolic rate, others fill you up and tamp down on your feelings of hunger, so you consume less food, while others block or slow the absorption of the food you do eat.
Most weight loss pills that suppress appetite are known as anorexiants. Some weight loss pills contain a stimulant medication and are classified as controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). There are very few proven choices in over-the-counter (OTC) or nonprescription medications for effective weight loss. One agent that is available without a prescription is orlistat, a lower-dose version of the prescription drug Xenical.
The best weight loss pills may contain one or more active ingredients intended to increase fat burning, decrease appetite, or reduce absorption of fat. Not all weight loss pills and supplements are created equal. Certain pills may cause unpleasant side effects while others may not be proven to result in weight loss.
We will look at some of the best weight loss pills and supplements that actually do the job in terms of weight loss:
1. Phentermine (Adipex-P).
Phentermine is similar to an amphetamine. It stimulates the central nervous system (nerves and brain), which increases your heart rate and blood pressure and decreases your appetite. Phentermine (Adipex-P, Lomaira) is an amphetamine-like prescription medication used to suppress appetite. It can help weight loss by decreasing your hunger or making you feel full longer. Phentermine is also available in combination with topiramate for weight loss (Qsymia).
Like other prescription weight loss and diet pills, phentermine is intended to be used as part of an overall weight-loss plan. It is indicated for people who are obese, and who have failed to lose enough weight with diet and exercise alone — not for people who want to lose just a few pounds.
Phentermine is a Schedule IV drug, a classification given to drugs that have a potential for abuse, although the actual potential appears to be low.
Common side effects of phentermine include:
- Increased heart rate
- Tingling or prickling feeling in hands or feet
- Dry mouth
Although phentermine is one of the most commonly prescribed weight-loss medications, it isn’t a good option if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid gland or glaucoma. It also isn’t for women who are pregnant, may become pregnant or are breast-feeding. You can visit our product page to shop phentermine online.
2. Didrex (Benzphetamine)
Didrex (benzphetamine) is a stimulant that is similar to an amphetamine. Benzphetamine is an appetite suppressant that affects the central nervous system. Didrex is used together with diet and exercise to treat obesity (overweight). Didrex may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of benzphetamine in children. Use of this medicine is not recommended in children younger than 17 years of age.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of benzphetamine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving benzphetamine.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Sibutramine was withdrawn from the U.S. market in October 2010. Sibutramine affects chemicals in the brain that affect weight maintenance. Sibutramine is used together with diet and exercise to treat obesity that may be related to diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
How should I take sibutramine?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Sibutramine is usually taken once daily. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Sibutramine can be taken with or without food.
You should lose at least 4 pounds during the first 4 weeks of taking sibutramine and eating a low calorie diet. Tell your doctor if you do not lose at least 4 pounds after taking the medication for 4 weeks.
Your blood pressure and pulse will need to be checked often. Visit your doctor regularly.
Sibutramine should not be taken for longer than 2 years.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Do not share sibutramine with another person. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include headache, dizziness, and fast heart rate.
What should I avoid while taking sibutramine?
Sibutramine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Do not take any other prescription or over-the-counter weight-loss products without your doctor’s advice.
Avoid taking cough and cold or allergy medications while taking sibutramine.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking sibutramine.
Sibutramine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using sibutramine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats;
- new or worsening shortness of breath;
- agitation, hallucinations, fever, tremor, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, dilated pupils;
- very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, feeling like you might pass out;
- easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or any bleeding that will not stop);
4. Xenical (Orlistat)
Orlistat blocks some of the fat that you eat, keeping it from being absorbed by your body.
Orlistat is used to aid in weight loss, or to help reduce the risk of regaining weight already lost. This medicine must be used together with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. Orlistat is for use only in adults that are overweight or obese.
Xenical is the prescription-strength form of orlistat. The Alli brand is available without a prescription.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use orlistat if you are allergic to it, if you have malabsorption syndrome (an inability to absorb food and nutrients properly), or if you are pregnant.
You also should not use Xenical if you have:
- gallbladder problems; or
- if you are pregnant.
Do not use Alli if:
- you are not overweight;
- you have had an organ transplant; or
- you are taking cyclosporine
To make sure orlistat is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- kidney stones;
- gallbladder disease;
- thyroid disease;
- liver disease;
- kidney disease; or
- organ transplant; or
- an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia).
Do not use orlistat if you are pregnant. Weight loss is not recommended during pregnancy, even if you are overweight. Stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
Taking orlistat can make it harder for your body to absorb certain vitamins. These vitamins are important if you are nursing a baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor’s advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Xenical is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old. Do not give Alli to anyone under 18 years old.
How should I take orlistat?
Use orlistat exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Never share orlistat with another person, especially someone with a history of eating disorders.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Orlistat is usually taken 3 times per day with each main meal that contains some fat (no more than 30% of the calories for that meal). You may take the medicine either with your meal or up to 1 hour after eating.
If you skip a meal or you eat a meal that does not contain any fat, skip your dose for that meal.
The fat content of your daily diet should not be greater than 30% of your total daily caloric intake. For example, if you eat 1200 calories per day, no more than 360 of those calories should be in the form of fat.
Read the label of all food items you consume, paying special attention to the number of servings per container. Your doctor, nutrition counselor, or dietitian can help you develop a healthy eating plan.
Orlistat is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet and exercise. Your daily intake of fat, protein, and carbohydrates should be evenly divided over all of your daily meals. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Orlistat can make it harder for your body to absorb certain vitamins, and you may need to take a vitamin and mineral supplement while you are taking this medicine. Follow your doctor’s instructions about the type of supplement to use. Take the supplement at bedtime, or at least 2 hours before or after you take orlistat.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed. Throw away any unused orlistat after the expiration date on the medicine label has passed.
What happens if I miss a dose ?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, but no more than 1 hour after eating a meal. If it has been more than an hour since your last meal, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking orlistat?
Avoid eating high-fat meals or you could have unpleasant side effects on your stomach or intestines.
If you also take cyclosporine, do not take it within 3 hours before or 3 hours after you take orlistat.
If you also take levothyroxine (such as Synthroid), do not take it within 4 hours before or 4 hours after you take orlistat.
5. Desoxyn (Methamphetamine)
Desoxyn – Clinical Pharmacology
Methamphetamine is a sympathomimetic amine with CNS stimulant activity. Peripheral actions include elevation of systolic and diastolic blood pressures and weak bronchodilator and respiratory stimulant action. Other central nervous system actions, or metabolic effects, may be involved, for example.
The mechanism of action involved in producing the beneficial behavioral changes seen in hyperkinetic children receiving methamphetamine is unknown.
In humans, methamphetamine is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. The primary site of metabolism is in the liver by aromatic hydroxylation, N-dealkylation and deamination. At least seven metabolites have been identified in the urine. The biological half-life has been reported in the range of 4 to 5 hours. Excretion occurs primarily in the urine and is dependent on urine pH. Alkaline urine will significantly increase the drug half-life. Approximately 62% of an oral dose is eliminated in the urine within the first 24 hours with about one-third as intact drug and the remainder as metabolites.
Indications and Usage for Desoxyn
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity: Desoxyn tablets are indicated as an integral part of a total treatment program which typically includes other remedial measures (psychological, educational, social) for a stabilizing effect in children over 6 years of age with a behavioral syndrome characterized by the following group of developmentally inappropriate symptoms: moderate to severe distractibility, short attention span, hyperactivity, emotional lability, and impulsivity. The diagnosis of this syndrome should not be made with finality when these symptoms are only of comparatively recent origin. Nonlocalizing (soft) neurological signs, learning disability, and abnormal EEG may or may not be present, and a diagnosis of central nervous system dysfunction may or may not be warranted.
Drug Abuse and Dependence
Controlled Substance: Desoxyn tablets are subject to control under DEA schedule II.
Abuse: Methamphetamine has been extensively abused. Tolerance, extreme psychological dependence, and severe social disability have occurred. There are reports of patients who have increased the dosage to many times that recommended. Abrupt cessation following prolonged high dosage administration results in extreme fatigue and mental depression; changes are also noted on the sleep EEG. Manifestations of chronic intoxication with methamphetamine include severe dermatoses, marked insomnia, irritability, hyperactivity, and personality changes. The most severe manifestation of chronic intoxication is psychosis often clinically indistinguishable from schizophrenia. Abuse and/or misuse of methamphetamine have resulted in death. Fatal cardiorespiratory arrest has been reported in the context of abuse and/or misuse of methamphetamine.
Manifestations of amphetamine overdose include restlessness, tremor, hyperreflexia, rapid respiration, confusion, assaultiveness, hallucinations, panic states, hyperpyrexia and rhabdomyolysis. Fatigue and depression usually follow the central nervous system stimulation. Serotonin syndrome has also been reported. Cardiovascular effects include arrhythmias, hypertension or hypotension and circulatory collapse. Gastrointestinal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Fatal poisoning is usually preceded by convulsions and coma.
Consult with a Certified Poison Control Center for up to date guidance and advice.
Desoxyn Dosage and Administration
Desoxyn tablets are given orally.
Methamphetamine should be administered at the lowest effective dosage, and dosage should be individually adjusted. Late evening medication should be avoided because of the resulting insomnia.
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity: For treatment of children 6 years or older with a behavioral syndrome characterized by moderate to severe distractibility, short attention span, hyperactivity, emotional lability and impulsivity: an initial dose of 5 mg Desoxyn once or twice a day is recommended. Daily dosage may be raised in increments of 5 mg at weekly intervals until an optimum clinical response is achieved. The usual effective dose is 20 to 25 mg daily. The total daily dose may be given in two divided doses daily.
Where possible, drug administration should be interrupted occasionally to determine if there is a recurrence of behavioral symptoms sufficient to require continued therapy.
How is Desoxyn Supplied
Desoxyn (methamphetamine hydrochloride tablets, USP) is supplied as white tablets imprinted with the letter R on one side and the number 12 on the opposite side, containing 5 mg methamphetamine hydrochloride in bottles of 100 (NDC 55292-104-01).
Recommended Storage: Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). See USP controlled room temperature.
Dispense in a USP tight, light resistant container.
510 5th Street, Bristol, TN 37620, U.S.A.
For: Recordati Rare Diseases Inc., Lebanon, NJ 08833, U.S.A.
Apart from these five weight loss pills, there are several others such as:
- Bontril PDM
- Suprenza (brand discontinued)
How Effective Are Weight Loss and Diet Pills?
Even though most weight loss and diet pills such as phentermine are very effective, most don’t always work for everyone. It is usually recommended that one to two pounds of weight can be safely lost per week. Weight loss pills typically result in a 5% to 10% weight loss over a 12-month period when used as part of a diet and exercise plan.
For a patient weighing 200 pounds, this would translate into losing about 10 to 20 pounds over one year, which would fall within the safe guidelines for weight loss. While this amount of weight loss seems small, it may be enough to help lower blood pressure or have a positive effect on blood sugar.
Just about anyone who’s tried it knows that losing weight is hard. When calorie restriction and cardio workouts leave you tired and hungry, anything that could hurry progress seems worth a try — especially something as easy as a pill
Who Should Use Weight Loss and Diet Pills?
Generally, most people should initially try to lose weight using diet and exercise. Prescription diet pills are used in more severe circumstances, when weight loss has not been successful and the patient has important health risks associated with being overweight or obese. However, diet and exercise should always be used in conjunction with prescription weight loss drugs.
Most prescription weight loss and diet pills note in the package labeling that a person should meet certain requirements, such as a specified body mass index (BMI) or have a serious weight-related medical risk before using these drugs.
Weight loss and diet pills are usually indicated for obese patients with an initial body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 kg/m2 or overweight patients with a BMI greater than 27 kg/m2 in the presence of other risk factors (eg, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol).
Should I use Weight Loss and diet Pills If I Am Pregnant?
A certain amount of additional weight gain, and no weight loss, is currently recommended for all pregnant women, including those women already overweight or obese.
Weight loss drugs should not be used during pregnancy. All weight loss drugs are contraindicated (meaning do not use) in pregnancy. Weight loss offers no potential benefit and may result in fetal harm during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about how much weight you should gain during pregnancy, and how quickly.
Nonprescription weight-loss and diet Pills
There are many more diet pills available that aren’t FDA-approved or -regulated. “Federal law does not require dietary supplements to be proven safe to FDA’s satisfaction before they are marketed,
Since over-the-counter diet pills don’t have to be vetted for safety or efficacy, it’s much easier to get them onto shelves and into your medicine cabinet. In fact, many manufacturers of weight-loss supplements don’t test their products in humans before taking them to market.
So if you’re considering a diet-pill supplement, there are a few things you might want to know first.
These types of diet pills often contain vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and herbs. The most common ingredients can be found in a database from the National Institutes of Health. It will tell you everything that researchers know about an ingredient so far. Is it safe? Does it work? That’s where you’ll find out.
For instance, there’s Garcinia cambogia, which comes in products like Hydroxycut and Plexus Slim. It’s supposed to suppress appetite and decrease the number of fat cells your body makes. Though its considered “fairly safe,” there’s no evidence that it actually helps with weight loss, and excessive use has been linked to liver problems.