Weight loss drugs or dietary supplements are specific pharmacological agents which decrease or control excessive weight by affecting either eating habits or metabolism. These drugs affect one of the most fundamental operations of the body, weight regulation, altering either ingested calories or hunger. The food intake of a person is governed largely by his satiety or fullness for a particular meal or snack. When a person is overweight, it is generally because his satiety or fullness for food is less than his requirements. As a result, the person consumes more food and gains weight.
Thus, depending on the type of medication taken, some people may need to reduce their consumption of certain food types or eat smaller servings of meals, while others may need to consume larger portions. Depending on the medication type, the amount of food type eaten also differs. There are different types of these weight loss drugs. These include metabolic suppressants, laxatives, diet aids and nutritional supplements. They vary in their mechanism, side effects, cost, prescription and availability.
To shed excess pounds, many weight loss drugs may lose weight by regulating appetite or enhancing metabolism. This results in the reduction of food intake, leading to weight loss. However, such weight loss is temporary and may be influenced by a number of factors. It may be affected by the quality and type of diet being followed, the physical activity level, the frequency of physical exercise, the food habits and even the general state of health of an individual.
Therefore, it is important to have a long-term weight loss drugs strategy, comprising of a balanced, well-structured and well-thought out diet plan. Such a diet must contain all the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, without which any weight loss will not be permanent. Furthermore, it should be comprised of a regular combination of physical exercises, stress management and a good and regular sleep-wake cycle. Weight loss can be effective only when there is an appropriate balance of all these factors. However, any weight loss will be less effective if the dieter does not continue with a regular exercise plan, apart from the use of some weight loss drugs.
The two main categories of weight loss drugs are known as anticoagulants and laxatives. Anticoagulants are used for the relief of abdominal cramps. They also reduce the ability of fat cells to absorb nutrients. These are usually prescribed in cases of severe obesity and are therefore used along with dietary and lifestyle changes. On the other hand, laxatives affect the functioning of the digestive system and result in weight loss by resulting in frequent evacuation of stool.
Medications in this class act by reducing the rate of absorption of food and beverages and thus suppress the appetite. There are many gastrointestinal problems that can result due to side effects of this medication and patients suffering from such must discontinue use of the pelvis. Some of these problems include diarrhea, gas and constipation. For patients who have difficulty in maintaining their regular diets due to multiple sclerosis, obesity or ulcerative colitis, diet suppressants can be used. These medications are known under various names like flexercid, diet aids, metformin, ranitidine and prilosec.