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Types of Diet Pills to Reduce Obesity and Boost Weight Reduction
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Use of Prescription Drugs & Diet Supplements to Lose Weight

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Weight Loss Pills - For Obesity Treatment Only

Weight loss drugs or any kind of prescription-only weight loss medications, are designed and approved for the treatment of obesity. Obesity is a chronic disease with serious health risks, which justifies the use of weight loss drugs despite well known side effects and health risks. Even so, clinical weight trials show that no sustained weight loss and long term weight control is possible by using weight loss pills alone. The use of weight-loss medications to treat obesity should be combined with physical activity and improved diet to lose and maintain weight successfully over the long term.

Weight Loss Pills - Over-the-Counter Diet Supplements

In addition to prescription weight loss drugs, there are a growing number of weight loss or diet supplements that are sold over the counter to assist weight control. These weight loss pills are not regulated by the FDA in the same way.

According to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, dietary supplements do not need FDA approval (unless they contain a new ingredient, which must then be reviewed by the FDA). Instead, the makers of the diet supplements are responsible for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of their weight loss pills.

In addition, they are responsible for disclosing all side-effects and health problems of the weight loss pills.

Weight Loss Supplements
"Natural" or "Herbal" Not Always Safe

Weight loss pills that contain herbal or natural sounding ingredients are not always safe. Ephedra (ephedrine, ma huang) has proved to be one of the riskier weight loss supplements. Products containing ephedrine extracts have, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), caused hundreds of illnesses, including: heart attacks, seizures and strokes. They are amphetamine-like compounds with powerful and potentially lethal stimulant effects on the central nervous system and the heart.

Weight Loss Pills & Supplements - ALWAYS Consult Your Doctor

Whatever type of weight loss pills you are interested in - prescription-only weight loss drugs, or diet/weight loss supplements - you MUST consult your doctor. Ask for a full explanation of your weight control options (with or without pills) as well as the side effects and dangers of weight loss pills. By evaluating your risk of experiencing obesity-related health problems, you and your physician can make an informed choice as to whether weight loss medication can be a useful part of your weight-management program.

Weight Loss Pills & Supplements - Controlled, Short Term Use

Most currently available prescription weight loss medications are approved by the FDA for short-term use only, meaning a few weeks or months. Sibutramine (Meridia) and orlistat (Xenical) are the only weight-loss medications approved for longer-term use in significantly obese patients, although their safety and effectiveness have not been established for use beyond 1 year. Long-term use of prescription weight-loss medications may be helpful for carefully selected individuals, but little information is available on the safety and effectiveness of these medications when used for more than 2 years.

Over the counter weight loss supplements remain unregulated, but their effectiveness in helping your body to lose weight and fat is also short term. Appetite suppressant effects can swiftly wear off, and can encourage harmful or fatal overdose. Metabolic benefits can also be unpredictable and short term.

This is another reason why weight loss drugs and supplements are best taken in consultation with your doctor. Fast weight loss is one thing; sustained, healthy weight control is another.

Weight Loss Pills & Supplements
ALWAYS Combine With Diet and Exercise

All dietitians and other weight loss experts say that weight loss pills are NOT a magic solution to weight control. In order to lose weight successfully, without regain, you must combine weight loss medications with a sensible diet and exercise program. In fact, if you check the literature accompanying most weight loss supplements, it often states that effective weight loss or sustained weight control is not possible by taking the weight loss pills by themselves.

Weight Loss Pills & Supplements - Do They Work

Prescription weight loss drugs are effective when combined with diet and exercise, as part of a medically supervised weight loss program. Studies vary, but an extra 10-15 percent loss of body weight is not uncommon, over time. However, over the counter weight loss and diet supplements are much less effective. Lack of FDA regulation of diet supplements (ingredients, dosage, labelling), lack of medical supervision and lack of sensible eating and exercise probably account for the poor weight loss results.

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