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UPDATE: Another Prescription Diet Pill (now available over the counter) — Why You Should “Just Say No”.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 27, 2007

This was a post I originally had on my Women 4 Hope site last week…But I thought it would be good here too.

I came across this article yesterday, and I was a bit troubled. I hope the American public doesn’t fall for this one. Let me know what you think? Friendly face and cute packaging — may help “sell” this product…but it doesn’t mean it is safe or effective. I hope you will get all the fact before you consider this product for weight loss.

Over-the-counter Diet Pill

In clinical trials, the FDA says that people using alli lost an additional 2 to 3 pounds for every 5 pounds lost through diet and exercise. The FDA approved* alli to be sold over the counter in February.

* Let’s face it the FDA approves just about anything the major pharmaceutical companies want them to. Many times these approved drugs end up making the pharmaceutical company millions, but doing nothing (and in some cases harming) the American public.

When taken with meals, the drug blocks the absorption of about one-quarter of any fat consumed. That fat — about 150 to 200 calories worth — is passed out of the body, potentially* resulting in loose stools.

*Potentially is code for…”It may or may not work.” The only guarantee is that the pharmaceutical company will make millions, there is NO Guarantee that you will lose any weight (or that you won’t become ill) with this product.

About half of patients in trials experienced gastrointestinal side effects, including leakages and oily discharges.

GlaxoSmithKline is frank about those unpleasant effects, which it says can be controlled if the drug is used properly. The campaign stresses the importance of keeping meals under 15 grams of fat to avoid effects.

If you are limiting your grams of fat, you will lose weight…with or without this pill.

Educational materials even recommend people start the program when they have a few days off work, or to bring an extra pair of pants to the office. Experts say a failure to adequately prepare consumers about the effects contributed to Xenical’s limited success. — Read full article

Alli only affects the digestive system, Glaxo says, and is the only safe* over-the-counter diet drug that’s been shown to work.

*FYI — What we consider safe…is not always what the pharmaceutical companies consider safe.

Remember… “Phen-Phen“? –

The Food and Drug Administration, acting on new evidence about significant side-effects associated with fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine, has asked the manufacturers to voluntarily withdraw both treatments for obesity from the market. Dexfenfluramine is manufactured for Interneuron Pharmaceuticals and marketed under the name of Redux by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, a subsidiary of American Home Products Corp. of Madison, N.J., which also manufactures and markets fenfluramine under the brand name Pondimin. Both companies have agreed to voluntarily withdraw their drugs. The FDA is not requesting the withdrawal of phentermine, the third widely used medication for obesity.

The action is based on new findings from doctors who have evaluated patients taking these two drugs with echocardiograms, a special procedure that can test the functioning of heart valves. These findings indicate that approximately 30 percent of patients who were evaluated had abnormal echocardiograms, even though they had no symptoms. This is a much higher than expected percentage of abnormal test results. — read full article

What about Vioxx? — Vioxx has been scrutinized for a potential heart risk for several years, but until now Merck maintained the drug was safe. — read full article

Here are some more…

A popular drug for irritable bowel syndrome and constipation was pulled from the U.S. market Friday amid new evidence that it raises the risk of heart attacks and strokes. — read full article

The FDA today announced that the Parkinson’s disease drug Permax and its generic versions (pergolide) are being voluntarily taken off the U.S. market because of the risk of serious damage to the heart’s valves. — read full article

“I think Americans need to recognize that every time they put a pill in their mouth — especially a new pill that they’ve never taken before — it’s an experiment,” says Dr. Raymond Woosley, vice president for Health Sciences at the University of Arizona. — read full article

Rezulin, a once-hailed diabetes drug used by about 750,000 Americans, has been withdrawn from the market after it was linked to at least 63 deaths from liver poisoning. — read full article

The company estimates 5 million to 6 million Americans a year will buy the drug, translating to at least $1.5 billion a year in retail sales.

The drug will come in “starter kits” containing a food journal, a healthy eating guide and a fat and calorie reference guide. A 60-capsule kit will cost about $50 while a 90-capsule pack will cost about $60. Recommended usage is one to three pills daily. — Read full article

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The claim of this new diet pill is that it will “block absorption” of fat. I have a problem with this because – Anything that is blocking the absorption of fat, is going to also block or limit the amount of absorption of nutrients that your body needs to be healthy.

WHERE DO WE DIGEST OUR FOOD?

I would give this some serious thought before you shell out the money for this one. And by all means…TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.

What do you think?

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Also see another look at this diet pill debate.

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2 Responses to “UPDATE: Another Prescription Diet Pill (now available over the counter) — Why You Should “Just Say No”.”

  1. Rusty said

    Hi Catherine:

    A year ago you wrote a review on the Alli weight loss capsules. Okay, I have used the product, and I can tell you: It works! 🙂

    Rusty

  2. asdfasdf said

    obviously it works…if you are reducing your fat intake like it instructs. the pill itself has horrible side effects if you do not limit your fat intake.

    the pill just forces you to limit the fat intake. if you have enough self control and self will to do it yourself, you won’t need to shell out $300 a year for Alli.

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