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Advice About Diet & Weight Loss Pills - Are Weight Loss Drugs Suitable for You
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Ask Your Doctor About Diet & Weight Loss Pills

Before prescribing drugs or pills for weight loss, your doctor takes a medical history and performs a physical examination. He will ask whether any of your relatives has heart disease or diabetes. Diet and weight loss medications may trigger these genetic dispositions.

Candidate for Diet & Weight Loss Pills

He also calculates your body mass index (BMI) to see how overweight you are. The result of this calculation is the primary guideline used to determine whether you are a candidate for prescription diet or weight loss drugs. If you have a BMI of 30 or more (or 27 or greater if you have heart disease, diabetes or other factors that would make your weight a health risk) you are a potential candidate for weight loss drugs. Diet councelling from a registered dietician should always be offered along with the particular diet medication.

Weight Loss Medication Inappropriate

Taking diet or weight loss drugs is not usually considered appropriate if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You have a history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • You have a history of an eating disorder
  • You have a history of severe depression or manic-depressive disorder
  • You are taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor or any other type of anti-depressant medication
  • You get migraine headaches and take medication for them
  • You have an unstable medical condition, such as glaucoma, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease or a heart condition such as an irregular heartbeat.

Are the Diet or Weight Loss Drugs Working?

After you've been on your weight loss medication for about 4 weeks your doctor will schedule another visit to see whether the drug prescription is working and evaluate its effects on your overall health. A weight loss of one pound per week is considered working. If the medication doesn't work in the first three to six weeks of treatment despite adjustments in dosage, chances are good that the diet or weight loss drug will never work for you.

Precautions When Seeking Advice About Diet or Weight Loss Drugs

Tell your doctor your complete medical history especially if you have high blood pressure, an over-active thyroid, glaucoma, diabetes or emotional problems.

Inform your doctor about all the medicines you use, (prescription and nonprescription) especially if you take high blood pressure medicine or MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine) or other weight loss medicine. Decongestants are commonly found in over-the-counter cough and cold medicine.

Are Weight Loss Pills Appropriate for You?

  • You are female, 5'3", 121 pounds, and want to drop one dress size
    Diet pills are inappropriate for you. You have no health risk factor associated with your extra pounds.
    Instead of pills, you should follow a conventional weight loss plan which is lower-calorie and combined with exercise.

  • You are female, 5'4", 150 pounds and overweight
    Diet pills are not appropriate for you. You are overweight but not
    clinically obese. You should avoid diet and weight loss pills and instead follow a conventional low-calorie diet and exercise program.

  • You are female, 5'4" and weigh 190 pounds
    Since you are clinically obese, then (subject to your health status and history) you are a candidate for weight loss drugs. However, discuss your medication options with your doctor and ask about side-effects of suggested diet or weight loss pills. Lastly, don't rely exclusively on your weight loss medication. Be sure to follow a healthy diet and exercise program.

Diet & Weight Loss Pills, Drugs, Supplements
Diet and weight loss pills, whether prescription or over-the-counter, are only effective when combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan. So to lose weight and reduce body fat, see our diet information and advice at Best Diet and Exercise

NOTE: Before using any form of diet pills or weight loss supplements, please consult your doctor.


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No advice given here is intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. For the sake of your health, always consult your doctor before taking any weight loss pharmaceuticals or dietary supplements. Copyright 2001-2017 Diet Information. All rights reserved.