- Over-the-Counter Drugs
- Prescription Drugs
What are OTC Diet Pills?
Over-the-counter (OTC) diet pills are taken in an effort to lose or control weight. OTC diet pills sometimes contain stimulant-like, appetite-suppressing ingredients. Other ingredients in OTC diet pills may help prevent fat absorption or boost metabolism.
Alli and Hydroxycut and are two well-known brand name OTC diet medications.
Most OTC diet pills are not Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved. Diet pills not approved by the FDA lack regulation and could contain potentially harmful ingredients.
Ingredients often found in diet pills include the following: bitter orange, forskolin, garcinia cambogia, meratrim, orlistat, green tree extract, caffeine, synthetic raspberry ketones, glucomannan, guar gum, guarana, hoodia, conjugated lineolic acid (CLA) or ephedra. (Because it caused high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues, the FDA banned the use of ephedra for use in dietary supplements in 2004.)
How are OTC Diet Pills abused?Diet pills may be taken in large quantities to create a mild buzz.
OTC diet pills may also be abused by people struggling with eating disorders. Anorexia, bulimia or body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) sufferers have a distorted perception of their appearance. They may obsess over a particular body feature or weight they perceive as imperfect, despite falling within healthy norms.
It is important to realize a healthy, balanced diet and reasonable amount of regular exercise are the best solutions for improving body image. Without an appropriate health regimen, weight loss achieved while using diet pills tends to be temporary. Seek the advice of your doctor for proper guidelines.
How do OTC Diet Pills affect a person?OTC diet pills may contain ingredients that suppress appetite, boost metabolism or prevent fat absorption.
Stimulant-like ingredients may increase levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the body. Increased serotonin creates a feeling of fullness, while higher levels of norepinephrine decrease appetite. Ingredients like glucomannan, an elephant yam fiber, expand in the stomach and induce a feeling of fullness. CLA is used to help build muscle and boost metabolism. The active ingredient in Alli, orlistat, prevents absorption of about one-third of fat consumed.
What are the health effects/risks of using OTC Diet Pills?
The numerous ingredients found in OTC diet pills can cause users to experience anxiety, digestive problems, loose stools, tremors, headaches, blurred vision, insomnia, exhaustion, nausea, mood swings, severe dehydration, kidney problems, paranoia, rapid heart rate , mood swings or high blood pressure. Extreme reactions have included seizures, stroke, heart failure and death.
Because OTC diet pills can contain unknown ingredients and have dangerous interactions with other medications, a doctor should be consulted before use.