I am neither a doctor nor a scientist, but I do consider myself a qualified expert in weight management.
I have more than 40 years of personal weight management history and have worked for the leading commercial weight management company for more than 20 years. In this time, I’ve learned a lot about what works, what doesn’t work and what we all wish did work!
This is a blog!
I’m purely opining on weight loss drugs. If you are obese and struggling with your weight and other serious health issues connected directly with your obesity, you should consult your physician for a treatment plan.
More doctors recommend Weight Watchers than any other commercial weight management solution and I am proud to work for a company with a reputation for safety and efficacy. I understand, however, that Weight Watchers alone isn’t the answer for everybody.
I don’t endorse Over The Counter (OTC) Diet pills, drinks, powders, etc EVER.
If you think my opinion of OTC diet remedies is nothing more than protecting my interests as the general manager of an independent Weight Watchers franchise, you’re wrong. Indeed, if there were a safe, effective, cost-efficient OTC weight loss remedy that could improve the results of the Weight Watchers program and meetings, I’d be the first and loudest endorsement of same!
You don’t have to take my word on OTC weight loss remedies. The Mayo Clinic explains the dangers and drawbacks far better than I ever could.
Prescription Weight Loss Medications
My mother sought diet pills from her doctor in the 60s.
Her weight problem was more cosmetic than a medical concern. She was healthy and fit but wanted to wear smaller sized clothing. She was one of the millions of women who “sped” through their days losing weight and feeling like Superwoman. When the highly addictive properties of amphetamines (Speed) was discovered, docs stopped prescribing this drug for weight loss.
In 1992 the “weight loss cocktail,” fen-phen appeared to be the safe, effective way to lose weight. Fenfluramine (the fen) and phentermine (the phen) combined two drugs for a dual action. Fen-phen increased the user’s metabolic rate and allowed the brain to trick the stomach into thinking it was full. Another drug, marketed as Redux (dexfenfluramine) was also a commonly prescribed diet pill that seemed to work.
In September of 1997 a class action suit was brought against the makers of phentermine, fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine as a result of a Mayo Clinic paper that was published showing heart valve damage in 1/3 of those studied who were using some combination of the above drugs.
Redux (dexfenfluramine) and Pondimin (fenfluramine) were taken off the market voluntarily by the makers. Phentermine is still available as a short-term prescription weight loss medication.
The next promising class of drugs for weight loss worked by stopping some of the absorption of dietary fat by the intestines which means total calories from fats in foods are reduced.
The weight loss progress with such weight loss meds is quite small and the side effects fat-blocking can be quite disturbing, embarrassing even!
Belviq was the first weight loss drug to be approved (June, 27, 2012) in 13 years. On July 17, 2012, another weight loss drug, Qsymia was approved. Qsymia is another drug cocktail that combines phentermine with topiramate.
None of these drugs is the miraculous weight-loss breakthrough. They do not do the job all by themselves. Patients must take responsibility for their food and activity choices if they are to realize the modest weight loss progress enabled by taking these weight loss medications. They are not without risks, some of which are pretty scary. Being relatively new, we may not understand how serious or widespread these risks may be.
My opinion is skip diet drugs if you can.
Considering you must still be responsible for eating better and moving more, diet pills seem to present more risks than benefits. I realize that some people need more help and maybe some of those people could be helped with the right prescription weight loss meds. I am not qualified to either recommend or condemn the use of prescription weight loss medications. That’s a decision best made between a patient and a bariatric physician.
I am certain, though, that the safe, effective, miracle weight loss drug has yet to be discovered and I’m skeptical that it ever will be.
That should not discourage you if you need to lose weight. The biggest and most effective weight loss aid will always be the one between your ears!
Just keep it in the “ON” position! An environment of group support is very effective for doing that!