The Truth About Weight Loss Pills, Mechanism of Action and Side Effects

Let’s learn a little about weight loss pills.

For most people, the best way to lose weight is to exercise more and reduce the calories in your diet. In rare cases, the doctor may recommend other options.

Many pills and over-the-counter supplements are not regulated and are potentially unsafe. But prescription medications can help you lose weight when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Considering the amount of time and effort that a sustainable weight loss plan requires, quick fixes such as diet pills, supplements and surgeries keep a certain appeal.

But those methods of weight loss are often unregulated, unsafe, or too good to be true. It is always important to talk with your doctor before taking new pills or in case you consider surgery.

All surgical procedures involve a certain degree of risk, which may include the risk of death. Take your time to research your options and talk with your doctor. They can help you understand which is a good option for you.

How are they taken?

Most diet pills can be purchased at the pharmacy without a prescription. These are ingested (taken orally) to suppress appetite.

What are the different types of weight loss medications?

The following are some of the most common diet pills:

Orlistat – One more of the over-the-counter diet pills that acts by absorbing fat in the body.

Sibutramine- Suppressant of appetite that has the risk of causing heart attacks and strokes.

Rimonabant – Reduces appetite and increases energy expenditure. It has not been approved in the United States as an anti-obesity medication.

Metformin – Reduces the amount of glucose produced by the liver.

Exenatide – Used for patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Pramlintide – Promotes satiety, delays gastric emptying.

The mechanism of action

Diet pills reach their effects in several ways. Some block or reduce the amount of fat that is absorbed from the foods that are consumed, such as: Chitosan and Guar Gum.

Others decrease appetite, such as Ephedra, Hoodia and Sida cordifolia. A third type increases the amount of calories you burn, including Bitter Orange, Chromium and Green Tea Extract.

What are the side effects?

Side effects of stimulant diet pills include pulmonary hypertension, a rare and potentially fatal disease due to high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs, valvular heart disease, high blood pressure, increased pulse and heart rate, restlessness, dizziness, insomnia, dry mouth and constipation.

Side effects of sibutramine include headache, dry mouth, anorexia, constipation, insomnia, runny nose and sore throat.

For the orlistat, diet pill, side effects include diarrhea, oily stools, gas, flatulence, and a decrease in the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamin.

Are they addictive?

Diet pills are not considered an addictive drug such as cocaine, heroin or alcohol, since they do not produce the same compulsive behavior of drugs.

However, people can become dependent on diet pills in the same way that they can become dependent on caffeine or other stimulants.