weight loss pills

How weight loss pills work?

Asking a food fanatic to discriminate amongst food could be termed as a serious offense. Your obsession for food could be coming in your way when you are trying to lose body mass index (BMI). BMI refers to the measurement of your body fat in terms of your height and weight. You can calculate your BMI with an authentic calculator from an established bureau, such as The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Institute of Health (NIH) issues guidelines for a healthy BMI. If your BMI is over 25 but below 29, you could be overweight. On the other hand, if your BMI is less than 18.5, you are underweight. However, a BMI over 30 needs medical intervention as you may be obese. BMI beyond 30 poses health hazards to the patients.

Vigorous exercise and a low-calorie diet are primarily the most familiar mechanism to keep your weight under control. The question is – How long can you suppress your desire to munch on your favourite food or skip your daily exercise regime in your pursuit to slim down? What if your love for food overshadows your weight loss techniques?

You might have tried every rule in the book to regulate the figures on the weighing machine but all in vain. After several efforts, you could be praying for a miracle potion that would tone you down. And then, you come across weight loss pills. Weight loss pills are medicines and natural supplements, which promises you to lose a few inches without making too much effort to slim down. However, the dilemma of popping weight loss pills and dealing with their adverse effects could be one of your concerns.

Here, you will find substantial information on how weight loss pills work. Further, you will understand the comparison between supplements and prescription medicines, their mechanisms, and side-effects.

How Do These Weight-Loss Diet Pills Work?

Weight-loss pills or anti-obesity pills are basically pharmacological agents that can reduce or help in controlling weight. These pills basically work by altering the fundamental processes taking place in the human body. They do so by making changes in human appetite or extent of calories absorption. While some pills work by reducing absorption of intestinal fat by the process of pancreatic lipase inhibition, others work by blocking the endocannabinoid system of the human body.

The pills have an in-built mechanism that makes you feel full within a few bites of your meal. Thus, suppression of appetite comes in handy to reduce your daily calorie to a minimum. It prevents you from getting carried away with your temptations. With its fat-producing enzymes in the body, it increases serotonin, which significantly eliminates cravings. The best thing about weight loss pills is that your body is not deprived of your daily nutritional requirements. The pills have the inherent ability to reduce the absorption of fats that kicks in hunger.  Furthermore, weight reduction pills stimulate burning more calories than usual. Some weight loss pills activate metabolism. Our metabolism is the engine for your body. High metabolism is an essential element in burning more calories even while you rest. In most cases, the pills are effective in breaking down fat cells that escalate weight gain.

Are These Diet Pills Really Effective?

The war between weight loss pills and a combination of a healthy diet and strenuous exercise has been carried down for centuries. Well, the majority of healthcare professionals do agree and believe that exercising and consuming a  well-balanced diet is the safest and healthiest way of losing those bulges. Also, modifying the portions of food you eat contributes majorly towards effective weight loss. In fact, as per the study conducted by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, people can actually lose about 5 to 10 percent of their weight if they follow a proper combination of healthy food, exercise, and following behavioural therapy.

However, the above-mentioned combination may not work well for some people. But, it is advisable to follow the doctors’ advice in determining whether you are a good candidate for prescribing the weight-loss medications which are also known as diet pills. Also, it is medically advised for pregnant ladies, children, and teenagers not to consume these diet pills. Thus, do not forget to visit your physician before you start consuming these pills for weight loss.

Comparison Between Supplements and Prescription Medicines

Let us tackle one dilemma at a time. Are weight loss pills supplements, or are they prescription medicines? To be honest, there are both varieties. The Food and Drug Administration approves specific weight-loss drugs. It would be best if you are not hasty in your decision and yearn for quick results with over-the-counter weight reduction pills. You should prefer to play it safe with prescription medications to treat obesity and overweight. While prescribing medication to control obesity, doctors keep other medical problems in mind to uproot the underlying issues. In most cases, doctors choose standard FDA prescription drugs listed below.

  • Orlistat (Xenical)
  • Lorcaserin (Belviq)
  • Phentermine topiramate (Qsymia)
  • Naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave)
  • Liraglutide (Saxenda)
  • Phentermine
  • Benzphetamine
  • Diethylpropion
  • Phendimetrazine

On the other hand, weight loss supplements are capsuled nutrition. They meet the deficiency of your body that increases your weight. Weight loss supplements are packed with necessary enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and others that stimulate weight loss. Usually, some supplements are plant extracts. Below is a list of such supplements.

  • Chitosan
  • Chromium Picolinate
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
  • Glucomannan
  • Green Tea Extract
  • Green Coffee Extract
  • Guar Gum
  • Hoodia
  • Keto-DHEA
  • Ephedra
  • Bitter Orange

Are These Diet Pills FDA Approved?

There are some diet pills that have been approved by the FDA for long-term weight loss. However, many years of research have gone behind the approval given for these medications. These are Liraglutide, Lorcaserin, Naltrexone-bupropion, Orlistat, and Phentermine-topiramate. Here are some details about these FDA approved weight-loss pills:

Lorcaserin: This medication is sold under the name of Belviq. A study has witnessed that people who consumed a tablet of 10 milligram everyday, twice a day, for 12 weeks, were able to see a loss of 5 percent of their body weight. However, the side effects are also there which include constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and urinary tract infections. However, it is advisable to always consult a health practitioner before consuming these diet pills for the correct prescription.

Liraglutide: This said medication is present in the market by the name of Saxenda. A review study conducted in the year 2017 that more people were able to lose weight when consuming Liraglutide as compared to people who were placed on placebo for the same. In fact, people were able to lose about 5 to 10 percent of their body weight though they had to face some side effects such as vomiting and nausea. Again, it is advisable to consult a physician first before consuming these diet pills.

Orlistat: This weight-loss medicine is sold in the market under the name of Alli or Xenical. There have been studies to prove that people who possess a BMI of 27kg/m or more can lose upto 12.3 pounds of weight after consuming Orlistat for about two months or more. Again, the side effects may include headaches, vomiting, nausea, and constipation.

Naltrexone-bupropion: This is a combination of two weight-loss medications approved by the FDA. This medication was approved in the year 2014 by the FDA for patients who have a BMI of more than 30 or adults who have a BMI of 27 or more as well as Diabetes 2. However, potential side effects of this said medication includes seizures, headaches, constipation, and vomiting. Also, the medication can lead to an increase in the user’s blood pressure and thus people who are already suffering from high blood pressure should be cautious of consuming this medicine.

Phentermine-topiramate: It is present in the marketplace under the name of Qsymia. This said medication combines two medications that have been approved by the FDA for weight-loss. As per trial studies conducted, patients who consumed the highest dosage of Phentermine-topiramate were able to witness a loss of 8.9 percent of their body weight on an average. However, physicians often recommend people suffering from glaucoma or hyperthyroidism to avoid the medication as it can lead to an increase of heart rate. Also, this medication should not be used in pregnancy strictly.

Controversy Surrounding Weight-Loss Pills

Weight-loss pills have often been surrounded by controversies and this is not a new scenario. In fact, a number of products revolving around these pills have often been taken away from the market due to the health hazards they caused. The most notorious of these pills was Fen-Pen that was unfortunately linked to many deaths as well as chronic diseases. Eventually, the FDA forced the manufacturers to remove the said pill from the market.

This is the reason why you will find many health practitioners not being in favor of these pills. Also, it is often advisable to consult a practitioner regarding the prescription of the pills as there may be some underlying health conditions that may not be suitable for consuming these pills.

How Long Does It Take To Feel The Effects of These Weight-Loss Pills?

Most of these weight-loss pills usually work by increasing one’s blood pressure, curbing the appetite, and stimulating the human’s central nervous system. These drugs are often absorbed in the human body through one’s gastrointestinal tract and then reaches its peak in about 4.4 hours. Thus, in about 5 hours, you can feel the pill working in your body. Most of these diet pills have a half life span of 20 hours which implies that this is the time it takes half of the drug to be metabolized by the human liver or getting excreted through human urine. Moreover, a human body takes about five to six hours to get completely eliminated by the human body.

Side Effects of Diet Pills

Majority of the side effects depend upon the kind of pills you consume and how the said pill works. There are some drugs such as phentermine (Adipex-P) which are stimulant type. These pills often cause rapid heart rate, insomnia, withdrawal symptoms, restlessness, and drug abuse. On the other hand, drugs or pills that work by interfering with fat absorption, for example, Orlistat can cause gastric issues, vomiting, nausea, etc.

Some of the usual side effects associated with these weight-loss pills are:

  • Insomnia;
  • Increased blood pressure;
  • Increased heart rate;
  • Fecal urgency;
  • Headache;
  • Nausea;
  • Fatigue;
  • Constipation;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Restlessness;
  • Nervousness;
  • Dizziness.

Myths Surrounding These Weight-Loss Pills

Some of the common myths surrounding these diet pills are:

Myth: it is not possible to receive a prescription for these pills

Truth: This is not so. FDA has approved these pills in the year 2012. However, there are some conditions. People who possess a BMI of more than 30 or a BMI of 27 and any kind of obesity-related issue can easily get a prescription for these diet pills.

Myth: OTC weight loss pills have been considered to be safe

Truth: Other than Alli, most of the weight-loss pills have not been considered safe or regulated for their effectiveness.

 Myth: Diet-pills do all the work.

Truth: Well, there is no magic pill as such. You need to do exercise, eat a healthy diet, and indulge in some kind of physical activity to get the results.

Myth: These weight-loss pills are highly addictive

Truth: The medications that have been approved by the FDA have not proven to be addictive unless the dosage exceeds the prescribed amount.

Myth: There are no side effects of these pills

Truth: Well, this is not true. Almost all of these drugs have some or the other side effects associated with them.


Your weighty issues cannot be a hidden secret as the bulging fat of your waistline is quite visible. However, weight loss pills can be your little secret. However, the question still arises whether you should take these weight-loss pills or not. Well, the answer is ample of research that needs to be performed before going for these pills. The FDA does not approve over-the-counter supplements as FDA considers most of these supplements to be dangerous. Also, these pills are not magic pills and they cannot make you lose your weight within a few days. However, some of these pills may work well in cases when obesity-related issues may go out of the hand. A health practitioner may be the best person to help you decide whether your body is fit enough to handle the pills and side effects of any.