There’s no such thing as a magic or totally risk-free diet pill, according to the Mayo Clinic. Whatever diet pill you decide to use, you must increase your exercise, change your diet and also stay mindful of your body’s response to the drug; side effects are possible with even the best diet drugs out there. Several diet pills are less risky and more commonly prescribed or purchased over the counter than others.
Orlistat is available by prescription under the brand name Xenical or over the counter under the brand name Alli, according to the Mayo Clinic. Prescription orlistat is especially effective and can lead to an additional 5- to 11-lb weight loss in a year. The over-the-counter version, Alli, likely leads to an additional weight loss of 3 lbs over one year. However, orlistat is not without side effects; some users have alleged liver injury due to the medication, and the FDA is investigating the situation, as of 2010. Also, those who eat higher-fat meals experience more unpleasant side effects such as uncontrollable bowel movements and oil spotting onto underwear and possibly other clothing.
Sibutramine, a prescription diet drug usually sold as Meridia, is another one of the best diet pills on the market, according to the Mayo Clinic. Users of this medication will also likely lose about 5 to 11 lbs more than they would with diet and exercise alone. When used as directed, subtramine acts on chemicals in the brain such as norepinephrine and serotonin to reduce appetite and enhance mood. However, it should only be used by significantly overweight people in conjunction with a low-fat diet. Potential side effects include body aches, anxiety, dry mouth and sleeping problems.
Phentermine, marketed under the brand name Adipex-P, is approved only for short-term use, according to the Mayo Clinic and MedlinePlus. This diet drug is commonly prescribe and effective, but you run the risk of gaining back the weight lost after stopping phentermine, according to the Mayo Clinic. Also, the medication can be habit-forming due to its amphetamine-like properties. Potential side effects include dry mouth, unpleasant taste in the mouth, diarrhea, constipation and vomiting. Phentermine is the component of the recalled diet drug fen-phen that was determined not to cause significant heart and lung disorders, according to the Mayo Clinic. The ingredient fenfluramine is the part of fen-phen that was recalled in the 1990s.
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