Weight Loss Guru

Weight Loss Medication

     Every year, about 17.2 million Americans buy diet and weight loss pills hoping to lose weight. There is a lot of interest in weight loss medications - and it is easy to understand why. Most posit that you can eat what you want and do no exercise, just take your medications and everything will go well. It isn't as simple as that though. Many dieters prefer to use weight loss pills or diet drugs to control their weight and shape rather than follow a healthy diet and exercise plan. Taking a weight loss medication to lose weight is fine but even if the medication works perfectly and weight is not put on, taking medications will not give you the benefits of eating healthily and getting plenty of exercise. There are many problems outside gaining weight that come from a poor diet and no exercise. Weight loss drugs are currently available with or without a prescription from a medical practitioner and are not suitable for everyone. Many have potential side-effects and should be taken with caution. Many weight loss drugs are fraudulent.

The History of Diet & Weight Loss Drugs and Pills

     In the 1950s and 60s diet pills were mainly amphetamine derivatives (or speed). However, these drugs were found to cause addiction, and doctors stopped prescribing drugs for weight loss. Good old diet and exercise then replaced drug therapy, but only temporarily.

     In 1973 the FDA (the food and drug administration) approved a new drug for weight loss, called fenfluramine. Other drugs followed: dexfenfluramine, phentermine, fenfluramine (fen-phen), dexfenfluramine (when combined dex-fen-phen).

     The drugs worked by increasing Serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical (neurotransmitter) associated with improved mood, appetite and satiety. Fen-phen had a double action. It tricked the brain into believing the stomach was full, and increased a person's metabolic rate.

     People were successful in loosing weight on these diet and weight-loss medications, but by 1997 there had been reports of heart valve disease, and the makers of fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine were forced to withdraw these diet pills from the market...

     The medication drug called Sibutramine (trade name Meridia) is the newest weight-loss drug , and is currently being prescribed. Many others are in development or waiting for FDA approval.

Off-label Use
     The FDA regulates diet medications. These regulations are used to restrict a doctors ability to prescribe diet and weight loss pills for different conditions in larger doses or for different lengths of time. Prescribing weight loss medication for periods of time or for unapproved conditions is know as "off-label use". Using more than one appetite suppressant medication at a time (combined drug treatment) or using a currently approved appetite suppressant medication for more than a few weeks is also considered off-label use.

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