The most effective diet pill on the market appears to be prescription drug orlistat, according to MayoClinic.com. Not to be mistaken for the over-the-counter formulation known as Alli, the more effective prescription orlistat is usually marketed as Xenical and requires a doctor’s approval for you to start the treatment.
Prescription orlistat, or Xenical, consists of 120mg of the fat-blocking drug, according to MayoClinic.com. Since the medication decreases your ability to digest fat through your intestines, you can, in effect, lose weight. Xenical offers twice the strength of orlistat found in its over-the-counter formulation of Alli.
Weight Loss Potential
If your doctor gives you a prescription for Xenical and you use the drug as directed, you can expect to lose at least 13-to-15 lbs. in 12 months, according to MayoClinic.com. Diet and exercise efforts alone usually only result in about 8 lbs. of annual weight loss, so using Xenical can at least slightly boost your weight loss potential.
Some orlistat users have alleged serious liver injury as a result of taking the drug, according to MayoClinic.com. These claims resulted from users of both formulations of this diet medication. As of 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was still investigating the possible link between orlistat use and liver injury. If you become jaundiced or suffer from severe pain while using Xenical or any other orlistat formulation, you should immediately seek medical help. Dark-colored urine is also another sign of potentially serious liver problems.
Common Side Effects
If you eat more than 15g of fat per meal, you may suffer from some rather nasty side effects, warns MayoClinic.com. Uncontrollable bowel movements, oily spotting and similar gastrointestinal problems can result from Xenical, but they are much more frequent when the drug is taken, and the dieter doesn’t follow a lower-fat food plan. Excessive gas, stomachaches and increased bowel movements are also common side effects even when the drug is used properly in conjunction with a low-fat diet program.
Xenical, like other diet drugs, may lose its full effect after about six months, warns MayoClinic.com. Medical professionals with Mayo Clinic encourage those using diet drugs to plan other weight loss remedies to lose more than 5-to-10 percent of their initial body weights. But the good news is that weight loss, with or without Xenical, can dramatically decrease your risk of heart attack, stroke and type-2 diabetes.
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