Weight loss drugs or pharmacological agents are chemical compounds that control weight, reduce or increase appetite. These drugs change one of our most basic processes of the body, weight regulation, by regulating either ingested or appetite hormones. The two groups of weight loss drugs are diet aids and extended-spectrum beta blockers (ESB) and belong to the class of fat-burning hormones. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved most weight-loss drugs for short term use up to six months; however, there are some fat-burning drugs that may be dangerous if taken without professional medical advice. Below are some of these drugs.
Orlistat is a member of this fat-burning group of weight-loss drugs and is approved by the FDA for short-term use. It works by blocking the actions of neuropeptide Y, an enzyme that causes the person to feel full. The most common form of orlistat is taken as a pill and is recommended to be taken at least thirty minutes before eating a meal. The most common side effects of orlistat are constipation, abdominal pain, irregular heartbeats, diarrhea, headache, increased thirst, restlessness and depression.
One of the most extensively used weight loss drugs in the U.S. is Fen-Phen. It is also known as Prilosec. The manufacturer of fen-phen is Sanofi Aventis Pharmaceuticals and it has been approved for short term use. According to some studies, fen-phen has fewer side effects than the other drugs in the group. However, it is also reported that more than one percent of users experience serious side effects like liver damage and kidney failure. Most of these reports come from patients using the medication in combination with another drugs.
Another highly used medication is DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) and it is used in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and other psychiatric conditions. The recommended dose of this drug is one third of a normal daily dose. However, the Food and Drug Administration of the US has warned against the combination of this drug with any other medication because there are serious interactions that can occur including liver damage and kidney failure.
Garlic and green tea extract are two other medications commonly used as weight loss drugs. Both these herbs act as antioxidants that scavenge free radicals. They help in the prevention of cancer and in fighting inflammation. However, these medications have their own side effects including headaches, diarrhea, upset stomach, allergic reactions, dizziness, gas, mood swings, nausea, flushing, skin rash, stomach pain, sexual dysfunction, and skin rashes. Green tea extract increases the rate of metabolism and thus causes an increase in caloric intake. Thus while green tea extract is considered to be relatively safe when taken in the proper dosage, too much consumption may lead to adverse health effects.
Last but not least, wegovy and diethylstilbestrol are FDA approved medications for the treatment of obesity. Although they are effective, these medications are known to cause serious health risks such as heart attacks, blood pressure, and seizure in people who take them. The reason why these medications are approved by the FDA is because they are safe, effective, and have no serious side effects. Weiz Ventureworks, a division of Alli, is the developer of these medications.