Are Weight Loss Pills Safe?

Do weight loss pills work & is it bad to take them?

 

Anti-obesity drugs are stigmatized because they may not be the magic bullet for weight loss.

 

How Well Do Weight Loss Pills Work?

An analysis of more than a hundred clinical trials of anti-obesity medications lasting up to 47 weeks found that drug-induced weight loss never exceeded more than nine pounds. Considering the cost and side effects, that’s a lot of money and risk for just a few pounds.

Since you’re not treating the underlying cause—a fattening diet—when you stop taking these drugs, the weight tends to come right back. So, you’d have to take them every day for the rest of your life. But, people do stop taking them. In fact, weight-loss meds are so disagreeable that 98 percent stopped taking them within the first year.

Learn more about the efficacy of weight-loss pills in my video Are Weight Loss Pills Effective?

 

What Drugs Are Approved For Weight Loss in the USA?

  • Qysmia
  • Belviq
  • Saxenda
  • Contrave
  • Alli

All of these have terrible known side effects and usage is usually stopped after a short period.

 

Is It Bad to Take Weight Loss Pills?

Most weight-loss drugs to date that were initially approved as safe have since been pulled from the market for unforeseen side effects that turned them into a public threat.

What about the ones listed above, which are currently still sold in the USA?

Qysmia is a combination of phentermine and topiramate, a drug that can cause seizures if you stop it abruptly. Belviq is not allowed in Europe, out of concerns about it possibly causing “cancers, psychiatric disorders, and heart valve problems.” Saxenda carries a black box warning, FDA’s strictest caution about potentially life-threatening hazards, for thyroid cancer risk. Contrave carries a black box warning about a potential increase in suicidal thoughts. Alli causes fat malabsorption, and thereby has side effects with names like “flatus with discharge.”

Check out my video Are Weight-Loss Pills Safe? for more information.

 

What Foods Help to Lose Weight Fast?

Instead of using pills, try these broadly available and safe to consume foods that have been identified as weight-loss accelerators:

To learn more about weight loss, visit our topic page, which covers a broad range of the latest evidence-based research.

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Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


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