Weight loss medications are generally either prescription or non-prescription based. Prescription drugs, also referred to as ethical drugs are medications which have been approved by the FDA and which can only be procured through the approval of a physician.
Also, the different available FDA approved prescription weight loss drugs can be classified into two different groups based on their recommended duration of use - which is either short- or long-term. This article will be focusing on the long-term group of FDA approved prescription weight loss drugs.
However, it is important to understand that prescription weight loss drugs in general, are only approved to individuals who are considered to be either overweight (having a BMI that is between 27 and 30 and who have obesity-related health conditions) or obese (with a BMI over 30 and who also have obesity-related health conditions). Conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and type II diabetes are some of the obesity-related health conditions usually considered.
While the short-term prescription weight loss drugs are all appetite suppressing medications, the long-term FDA approved prescription weight loss drugs are however of two different types based on their generic names and functions.
Sibutramine is actually an appetite suppressant and was approved by the FDA in 1997 to be used for up to two years in the treatment of obesity. It is sold under the brand name of Meridia in the United States and as Reductil in other countries.
Sibutramine works by inhibiting the reuptake of the catecholamine - norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. While norepinephrine and dopamine (a precursor of epinephrine, aka adrenaline) increase blood pressure and the rate and depth of breathing, serotonin on the other hand carries signals of satisfaction and create a relaxed mood.
The inhibition of the reuptake of these neurotransmitters by Sibutramine allows them to remain for longer periods in the synapses - the gaps between nerve endings - consequently prolonging their ability to act as transmitters of chemical signals. This leads to increased levels of the circulating amounts of these neurotransmitters in the body which consequently makes you feel more energetic and satiated for longer periods of time even with less food intake.
Additionally, Sibutramine inhibits the functions of the neurotransmitter neuropeptide Y which is believed to cause the body to eat, reduce physical activity levels and increase fat storage. Sibutramine has been demonstrated to help about 85% of obese patients lose around 5% of their body weight while assisting 57% lose about 10%.
While the safety and efficacy of using Sibutramine for more than two years has not been established, some of the immediate side effects include increased blood pressure, dry mouth, headache, constipation, and insomnia. Furthermore, people with a history of uncontrolled high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, heart disease, or stroke are advised not to use Sibutramine.
The first FDA-approved non-appetite suppressing rescription weight loss medication, Orlistat, was approved on the 26th of April, 1999. Orlistat, also known as tetrahydrolipstatin (THL), is classified under the drug class known as lipase inhibitors and is marketed under the brand name Xenical.
Orlistat prevents the digestion and absorption of dietary fats into the bloodstream by inhibiting the pancreatic enzyme, lipase. Orlistat reduces the production of pancreatic lipase (which is the enzyme that facilitates the break down of fats within the intestine) thereby stopping consumed dietary fat from being hydrolyzed into free fatty acids which can be absorbed into the bloodstream. The undigested fat is subsequently excreted within feces.
It has been found that lipase inhibitors can help reduce the amount of absorbed dietary fat by as much as 30%. When combined with a reduced calorie but nutritionally balanced diet, Orlistat helped adults lose about 12.4 to 13.4 pounds on an average within six months.
Most of the known side effects of using Orlistat have been reported within the first year of usage with most of the severity and occurrences reducing over time. However, most of these side effects which include diarrhea, bloating, flatulence, and also loose, fatty, or oily stool tend to be acute especially following the consumption of fatty foods.
Some other side effects include abdominal, rectal, or chest pain; nasal congestion and difficult breathing; fever and headaches; and also runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. Furthermore, Orlistat is known to inhibit the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins especially A, D, E, and K as well as beta carotenes. Users are therefore advised to take multivitamin supplements daily. The long-term effect of using Orlistat are yet unknown.
However, if you are looking for a weight loss medication that offers you much more weight loss benefits without all these side effects, then you might want to consider using Phen375.
Phen375, also known as Phentemine375, is a new clinically proven and effective pharmaceutical-grade appetite suppressant and fat burner. Phen375 is manufactured in FDA registered pharmaceutical labs in California and made from high quality active ingredients such as Dimethylpentalyne, Trimethylxanthine, Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and L-carnitine.
The combination of these compounds in Phen375 virtually makes it the MOST POWERFUL non-prescription weight loss supplement available today.