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Is it safe to take weight loss pills?

Weight loss is big business and millions of pounds are spent every year by government and individuals in the bid to fight our spiralling weight issues. Services and procedures involve many different aspects such as medication, counselling, surgery, advice and life coaching. For those who struggle to lose weight by exercise and diet effort alone find themselves attracted by the promises made by the hundreds of slimming pills and products available. Weight loss tablets are often a first resort thanks to the relative ease which manufacturers claim they can help with shifting flab and anyone able to successfully create a genuinely quick and effective weight loss pill will make millions overnight.

A number of new generation pills are being researched and the race is on to find the next groundbreaking weight loss medication, however prevailing questions about the safety and efficacy of weight loss drugs are hotly debated as well as criteria for who should be making use of these kinds of products.


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Who should use weight loss medications?

Weight loss pills as well as more invasive treatments such as surgery should always be seen as a last resort. Pills and surgery can cause serious side effects and can have associated complications. From a medical point of view weight loss drugs should only be used when the patient’s weight problems are putting their health at risk, and all medications should be used in conjunction with appropriate lifestyle changes. Behavioural changes are extremely important and many people fail to address the real issues behind their weight problems before opting for the easy way out.

Why do people resort to taking weight loss drugs?

Long term weight management can only be achieved if you are willing to put time and effort into looking after yourself and for a great deal of people this means seriously reviewing their diet and exercise regimes. Many people simply give up without really making any lifestyle changes and in many cases become so over weight that the risks of obesity to their health outweigh any potential side effects of taking prescription medications.

Are weight loss pills dangerous?

Whilst there is only one UK approved weight loss medication (Xenical) available there are hundreds of non-prescription pills to choose from.

Xenical has a good safety record with relatively harmless side effects. The medicine has been clinically tested and approved for prescription by a qualified doctor only.

Non-prescription weight loss pills on the other hand are subject to far less stringent testing for efficacy and side effects, and although many products are quite safe there is no way of knowing how you will react to a treatment, even a herbal or homeopathic one. If you are considering using a non-prescription weight loss drug it is still advisable that you have speak to your GP before taking any tablets.

Do not use slimming pills if you are under weight or if you are currently undergoing medical tests for an unknown illness.

Using weight loss drugs after having tried other methods is a valid solution for severely overweight or obese patients, but such methods must be employed as part of a wider weightloss programme which teaches the patient about nutrition and involves a solid exercise regime. Dieting and exercise will not only increase slimming efforts, but will also give you the tools to maintain your ideal weight once your doctor discontinues pharmacological treatment.