Over-the-Counter Pills: Is It Safe and Effective?

In the effort to lose weight, people are trying out all available weight loss options today. One of the most popular diet options is over-the-counter or OTC diet pills. While these things can be easily bought from a pharmacy, will it be easy to lose weight using these? Can you really put your trust on OTC pills? Are there any side-effects that can put your health at risk?

The Successful OTC Diet Pill.

Over-the-Counter Pills: Is It Safe and EffectiveIt was in 2007 when Alli became the first approved OTC diet pill by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Before this, many have attempted to create safe and effective OTC diet pills. Yet, manufacturers have failed to get the FDA approval. After Alli was approved, many again attempted to get the FDA approval. Some had success while some are still left in the dark.

The more important thing to ask here is if Alli, being an over-the-counter diet pill, has helped Americans lose weight? A society plagued with obesity and weight issues should have an ally now with Alli especially that it is easy to obtain. Today, 61% of Americans are still categorized as obese. While having an approved OTC diet pill is expected to make a dent in obesity, it seems like Americans are still heavy and becoming heavier.

Information on OTC Diet Pills

Generally, an over-the-counter diet pill works in three ways. The first way is by suppressing the user’s appetite. If a person does not feel hunger, there will be less calories or less food eaten. The second way is to boost metabolism. The pills can aid the body to burn calories at a higher rate. The last way is to trap the fats so fats won’t be absorbed by the body.

What are the ingredients used in an over-the-counter diet pill? There are different ingredients used in OTC pills. There are unheard substances and there are herbal ones. There are OTC pills that serve as an equivalent of 10 small Mountain Dews but without the sugar and calories. Caffeine is a common ingredient in OTC pills. Back then, ephedrine has been often part of the ingredients list but it was banned by the FDA due to the increased occurrence of heart attacks. These pills with synthetic ingredients are usually unsafe and not advised for intake unless recommended by a doctor.

On the other hand, there are OTC diet pills that are safe and effective. These are called as herbal diet pills. Hoodia pills are gaining popularity nowadays because of its herbal ingredients. The hoodia plant, which is an African Herb, is a great appetite suppressant. It fools the brain by making the body feel full and eat less. There have been no adverse side-effects reported by taking this herbal diet pill.