With the obesity rate steadily increasing on a global level, pharmaceutical companies have turned the selling of diet pills into a profitable business. There are hundreds of diet pills currently being developed and tested for effectiveness with several being approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to be dispersed by physicians as a prescription drug.
To learn more about prescription diet drugs, and to gauge whether or not they might be the solution that you have been searching for for your weight loss journey, check out the information below.
Who Are Prescription Diet Drugs For?
These prescriptions are being written for patients that have a Body Mass Index of over 32 and have been diagnosed with at least one weight related illness such as diabetes or hypertension. At the same time, there are also some existing prescription drugs used to treat other illnesses that are currently being used as weight loss aids.
The diet pills that have been approved for prescription use have resulted in weight loss based on clinical trials one of two ways:
- They can act an appetite suppressor
- They can act as a a fat inhibitor
Prescription Diet Drugs That Act as Appetite Suppressants
The hypothalamus is regulated by neurotransmitters, mainly serotonin and norepinephrine, which send signals from the gastrointestinal tract when you are feeling full. When this message is relayed to the central nervous system your appetite becomes suppressed.
Appetite suppressants can be used to block the release of the neurotransmitters from leaving the brain making you feel full and as a result, eating less. They are usually taken orally as they come in capsule or pill form.
A few examples of appetite suppressants include Meridia, Adipex-P and Phentermine.
Some of the most common side effects can include and are not limited to:
- An increase in blood pressure
- Rapid or irregular heart rate
- Dry mouth
- In some cases, anxiety and an inability to sleep.
- Appetite Suppressants have been known to increase the risks of heart attacks and strokes.
Prescription Diet Drugs That Act as Fat Inhibitors
The gastrointestinal tract is where the majority of fat absorption occurs. Prescription fat inhibitors target lipase enzymes that are responsible for breaking down fat before it is absorbed, making absorption easier. The inhibitors block the lipase enzymes which causes a percentage of the fat that doesn’t get broken down to be removed as fecal matter.
The most popular prescription fat inhibitor is Xenical.
Some side effects can include and are not limited to:
- Irregular bowel movements
- Bowel leakage
- Stomach irritation or cramping
Use Caution When Taking Prescription Diet Drugs
Another precaution that needs to be taken, even with prescription diet pills is the fact that they can be habit forming. Diet pills that are taken beyond the recommended duration can cause potentially fatal side effects. It is also possible for your body to naturally build up a tolerance that will gradually decrease effectiveness with approved dosage.
Don’t Forget to Diet and Exercise
Studies have also shown, people taking prescription diet pills yielded better results when combines with a diet and exercise regimen. It is also noted that people who solely used prescription diet drugs without an adequate diet and exercise plan had initial success losing weight, but had difficulty keeping the weight off for more than one year.
Your Doctor Will Decide if Prescription Diet Drugs Are Right for You
According to LiveScience, there are pros and cons associated with prescription diet drugs in general, and there are benefits and drawbacks to consider with each individual diet pill. The common thread is that these products need to be prescribed to you by your doctor.
First, your doctor will evaluate your health and your weight. He or she will determine if you are overweight or obese. In most cases, prescription diet pills will only be given to patients who are obese, or who are overweight and have been diagnosed with a serious medical condition as a result. Otherwise, your doctor might tell you that a diet pill that you can buy over the counter would be a better option for you.
There are many different prescription diet drugs available, so your doctor will use the information that he or she has about your health and weight loss needs to figure out which product would be best for your unique body. Then, you will receive instructions on how to take those pills so that you can reap the benefits and avoid the side effects. If you do experience side effects, just be sure to tell your doctor right away so that you can find out what to do next.
Have You Tried Prescription Diet Pills?
If you have had any experience using prescription diet pills, we’d like to hear about it! Please tell us your story about whether or not prescription diet pills worked for you and what side effects you experienced.