Some moms want to lose weight and may be tempted to try over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription diet pills to reduce their appetites. All medications have side effects and risks, but some diet pills are more potentially dangerous than others, according to the Mayo Clinic. Before deciding whether you should try to boost your weight loss efforts by taking diet pills, it’s a good idea to learn as many facts as possible about these types of drugs.
Safety of OTC Diet Pills
The possible safety risks of OTC diet pills may be a common concern among moms considering trying this method of weight reduction. According to the Mayo Clinic, some supplements are just plain unsafe and possibly deadly. You shouldn’t take country mallow, also known as heartleaf. You also should avoid ephedra. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned heartleaf and ephedra.
Popular OTC diet drugs, such as orlistat, commonly marketed as Alli, are considered generally safe as of 2010, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, the FDA is investigating some claims that orlistat causes liver injury.
Effectiveness of Diet Drugs
You may wonder just how well a diet pill might work for you. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average weight loss results among users of prescription or OTC diet drugs are modest. Those who take prescription diet pills, like Xenical, may only lose about 6 lbs. more than people who relied on diet and exercise alone. Alli users usually report losing only an additional 3 lbs. more than traditional dieters.
Side Effects of Diet Pills
A number of potentially nasty side effects can occur with any diet drug, according to the Mayo Clinic. Orlistat users who eat a lot of high-fat foods are especially susceptible to loose and uncontrollable bowel movements, oily spotting and diarrhea. Phentermine, an amphetamine-like appetite suppressant,
can also cause gastrointestinal difficulties like diarrhea, according to MedlinePlus. Also, phentermine can be addictive and is recommended only for short-term use of three to six weeks. Serious and even life-threatening side effects also can occur from using this prescription diet drug. Symptoms that indicate a possible medical emergency include chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, swelling of the legs and ankles and difficulty doing exercises that you previously had no trouble performing.
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