Weight loss drugs or anti-obesity drugs are chemical substances that control or reduce weight. These drugs change one of the most basic functions of our body, weight regulation, by changing either the consumption of food, or appetite. They affect both central and peripheral nervous system to enhance or suppress appetite, thereby affecting energy and nutrient intake. The mechanism involved in the weight reduction is partly due to the effect of these drugs on neurotransmitters released by brain. This article will discuss some of these drugs, their effects on weight loss, possible contraindications and precautions.
There are certain FDA approved drugs like Orlistat, which has been used as weight loss drugs for more than 30 years. This medication can be taken to increase the feeling of fullness (SAT), which may help reduce appetite. However, Orlistat should not be used as a diet medication since it may need to be taken in conjunction with a special diet pill, like those available on the internet. Pronounced as ”oor-sigh-tiss” this particular drug is usually used for obese patients who want to lose weight.
Saw palmetto is another FDA approved drug that helps to increase prostate size and improve prostate functioning. However, Saw palmetto may cause severe side effects if used continuously. Side effects may include erection problems, fatigue, hair loss, nausea, urinary infections, muscle weakness and palpitations. The other side effects of Saw palmetto are similar to those of Orlistat.
Another FDA approved drug, Acomplia is a relatively new weight loss drugs that works by increasing hunger signals from brain to appetite center. However, Acomplia should not be used as a diet drug, because it can cause dangerous addiction. According to research, the recommended Acomplia dose is half of that given to pregnant women, since it can cause uterine contractions. If the dosage is exceeded, there is evidence that liver dysfunction may occur, which can result in death. In fact, one death has been reported for Acomplia, when a doctor may needlessly doubled the recommended dose in an attempt to treat a rare complication.
Some newer prescription drugs include Xenical, which helps control diabetes; Cortisol, an anti-depressant used to treat anxiety and depression; and Phentermine, an ADHD stimulant known as ”megotrexamine” that helps control excessive appetite. Although Xenical and Cortisol are not approved for use as appetite suppressants, they may offer hope to some sufferers of gastric-bypassing disorders. In recent years, the Food and Drug Administration approved two prescription drugs for obesity, Cortisol and Phentermine, which also work by increasing hunger signals from brain to appetite center. However, the FDA has warned that there is not enough evidence that these drugs are safe and most importantly, effective.
In the meantime, patients and health care providers should work closely with a nutritionist or other experienced professional to develop a customized weight loss medication regimen to address the patient’s particular needs. A good nutritionist will be able to help patients understand how best to incorporate dietary supplements and lifestyle changes into their daily routine to achieve successful results. Patients should also be encouraged to develop realistic goals and a plan to achieve them. With the proper motivation and help, patients can find a healthy lifestyle and maintain it throughout their lives.