Most of the top diet pills that work are prescription medications, though some over-the-counter (OTC) diet pills may safely boost your potential weight loss, according to the Mayo Clinic. Before taking any weight loss drug, protect yourself as much as possible by learning about the potential risks and benefits. Some diet drugs are potentially dangerous and have even caused death in some cases.
Prescription-strength orlistat as well as sibutramine may be the most effective diet drugs out there, according to the Mayo Clinic. Orlistat is a fat blocker that causes users to digest less fat from their diets; the medication is also available in an OTC formulation marketed as Alli.
No diet drug is a cure for weight problems, nor can it substitute for poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle, according to the Mayo Clinic. Also, not all diet drugs are safe for long-term use. Sibutramine and orlistat are the only medications medically recommended for long-term use in dieters.
Weight Loss Effects
If you take prescription orlistat or sibutramine, you can expect to lose an additional 5 to 11 lbs. per year, according to the Mayo Clinic. The amount of weight you’d lose without doing anything besides modifying your diet and exercise habits depends upon several factors. Alli is effective, but it only boosts most users’ weight loss efforts by about 3 lbs. a year, in addition to the approximately 8 lbs. you could expect to lose from diet and exercise alone.
Using safe diet drugs as part of your weight loss routine can sometimes help alleviate other existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic. Orlistat and sibutramine may also facilitate the weight loss needed to decrease lipid levels, lower your blood glucose counts and decrease insulin resistance and sensitivity.
As of 2010, the FDA was investigating allegations from some orlistat users that the drug, including its OTC formulation, caused serious liver injury, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you notice dark-colored urine or the presence of jaundice while taking any type of orlistat, immediately contact a qualified medical professional. Also, keep in mind that some diet medications, such as sibutramine, can cause potentially serious bleeding, rapid mood shifts, fast heartbeat, skin rashes, severe headaches and seizures.
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