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Review of Prescription Diet Pills & Weight Loss Drugs, Like Orlistat (Xenical), Sibutramine (Meridia)
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Prescription Diet & Weight Loss Pills

Specific prescription diet pills for weight loss, include:

Orlistat (trade name Xenical) - Prescription Diet Pills

One of the more recent prescription diet pills, Orlistat/Xenical works in the intestinal tract. It claims to reduce the amount of fat that can be absorbed during digestion by about thirty percent. Studies show that people who use orlistat/Xenical can lose about 10 percent of their initial weight over the course of the year, but because fat can't be digested diarrhea is common if you don't follow a low-fat diet while taking the pills.

Weight loss and blocking fat absorption is one thing; but Orlistat/Xenical also blocks absorption of essential fat-soluble vitamins. So people taking Orlistat/Xenical may be deficient in vitamins A, D, E and K, and beta-carotene.

Sibutramine (trade name Meridia) - Prescription Diet Pills

Sibutramine is one of the latest generation of prescription diet pills. It is used for both weight loss and weight maintenance. It works on brain chemicals to reduce appetite. Studies have shown that Sibutramine can help people lose weight and maintain the loss but the weight loss tends to plateau after about a year with a loss of about ten percent of starting weight. That's enough to produce definite health benefits but probably not a sufficient loss to satisfy an ideal body image.

However, like all prescription diet pills, Sibutramine can cause side effects. The drug may elevate both blood pressure and heart rate. Despite it's effects on weight loss and body shape, Sibutramine/Meridia remains a controversial weight loss medication.

In fact, even before it approved Meridia as a prescription weight loss drug, the FDA was concerned about it's safety for dieters wanting to lose weight. An FDA advisory committee in 1997 voted 5-4 that the benefits of the diet drug did not outweigh its risks for heart problems.

Other Prescription Diet Pills

The following appetite suppressants are available by prescription for diet and weight loss.

  • Diethylpropion (trade names Tenuate and Dospan)
  • Mazindol (trade names Sanorex and Mazanor)
  • Phendimetrazine (trade names Bontril, Plegine, Prelu-2 and X-Trozine)
  • Phentermine (trade names Apidex-P, Fastin, Ionamin and Oby-trim)

In studies that combined these diet drugs with diet and exercise in long term tests (longer than 6 months) about 50 per cent of the participants lost about ten percent and about one third lost fifteen percent. But because all weight loss drugs have side effects the FDA has approved these appetite suppressants only for short term use - generally only a few weeks to a few months.

Most Appetite Suppressant Prescription Diet Pills are Short Term Only

Excepting Sibutramine, most other appetite suppressants stop working quite quickly. Within 3-12 weeks the brain develops a tolerance for their appetite-suppressing action. Only Sibutramine is meant for long term use.

Latest Prescription Diet Pills Study - Bupropion SR

In a multi-center, placebo-controlled study, the sustained-release formulation of bupropion hydrochloride (Bupropion SR) in combination with a program that included an energy-restricted diet, and exercise, resulted in significant weight loss in obese patients up to 24 weeks. Further, a 24-week extension of the study showed that the average percentage of weight loss was maintained in patients who continued on this regimen for the total 48 weeks. But Bupropion SR has not been approved by FDA as a prescription diet drug for weight loss and has not been studied extensively in obese patients.

More than 300 non-depressed, clinically obese men and women (as defined by a Body Mass Index of 30-44 kg/m2 or about 30% - 100% above their ideal body weight) participated in the investigation.

During the initial 24-week period, individuals receiving Bupropion SR lost statistically significantly more weight (10.1 per cent body weight) than those in the placebo plus diet & exercise group 5 per cent body weight).

Further study is necessary on the effect of Bupropion SR on weight loss in obese patients, particularly with respect to maintenance of weight loss, which in this study was not measured. The safety risks associated with the use of Bupropion SR for weight loss also need more study.

Diet & Weight Loss Pills
Diet and weight loss drugs or pills, whether prescription or over-the-counter weight loss supplements, are only effective when combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan. So in order to lose weight and improve your body shape, check out our diet information and advice at Best Diet.

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


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