Weight loss pills: do they work?
With recent press coverage exposing ‘sham’ weight loss pills, consumers are beginning to question the validity and effectiveness of this weight-loss aid. Pharmacist and Managing Director of www.MyPharmacy.co.uk shared some insights on weight-loss medication to answer questions including: what are they, when should they be used and do they really work?
When should weight loss medication be used?
It is important to first point out that weight loss medication should never be used as an alternative to first exploring non-medical weight loss methods.
The temptation when first trying to lose weight is to search for quicker and easier methods compared to long-term diet and lifestyle changes. However, the majority of health professionals agree that eating a well-balanced diet combined with regular exercise is the best solution to losing weight naturally and effectively. Research shows that with a combination of healthy diet, increased exercise, and behavioural changes, 5 to 10% of weight can be lost within the first six months.
To this end, those looking to lose weight should never intend to use weight loss medication straightaway without first trying a weight loss plan. The UK National Health Service has an excellent 12-week weight loss plan that is full of healthy eating, diet and physical activity advice. The plan also includes weekly challenges to help keep your weight loss motivation on track.
However, simply following a strict diet and exercise regime may not be enough for some and weight loss medication may be prescribed by a doctor when someone is unable to lose one pound per week after six months of diet and exercise.
Certain conditions must also be met before a doctor decides that using weight loss medication is necessary, such as if a patient is suffering from obesity-related health conditions with a BMI of 27 or higher.
In these circumstances – when used correctly and with the supervision and guidance of a doctor – weight medication can be a healthy addition to a person’s existing weight loss plan.
Does weight loss medication work?
Yes and no.
There is a huge and important difference between using unregulated weight loss medication compared to products which are prescribed by a doctor and approved for use by drug regulators throughout the world.
To that end: never attempt to procure or consume weight loss medication without first consulting your doctor.
The majority of weight loss pills that are sold over the counter aren’t approved by the food and drug administration or similar institutions. According to research and regulatory bodies, many weight loss tablets purchased over the counter or online are ineffective or worse-yet dangerous, containing harmful and unregulated ingredients.
However, when using a weight loss medication which is approved by the regulator and prescribed on the advice of your doctor – yes, they do work. The most commonly prescribed medications include brands such Alli, Orlistat and Xenical, and can be an effective aid to losing weight in combination with a healthy lifestyle.
For more information contact Mark Vigil | firstname.lastname@example.org | +44 (0)7905 462 095
Mohammed Yasir MPharmS Independent Prescriber has been a Pharmacist for 18 years, running a high-street pharmacy in Lancashire since 2010. Mohammed also founded MyPharmacy.co.uk, a customer focussed online pharmacy committed to the well-being of their patients.
Published on PRFIRE