When it comes to losing weight, people have a number of options to consider. They can spend more time off the sofa and on their feet, as exercise is an effective way to shed those extra pounds. People can also opt for a diet plan, such as the keto diet, which has proven to be effective for many. And if all else fails, they could also decide on bariatric surgery. However, there is another perceived way to lose weight, and that is through weight loss pills. For some people, popping a pill could be the shortcut they have been looking for when trying to slim down. But are they safe? It can be tempting to believe the promises on the packaging but safety must always be the number one priority. Let’s take a closer look.
Weight loss pills are, as their name suggests, created to help individuals lose weight. They are sometimes referred to as diet pills or weight loss supplements.
The manufacturers of these products promise much and they will point to specific ingredients when discussing the effectiveness of the products they sell.
It is believed that products containing chickweed and fennel will curb a person’s craving for food, for example. And it is said that weight loss pills containing chondroitin will keep the body from absorbing fat. However, not every weight loss pill is as effective as promised. And those that are effective can sometimes come with unpleasant side effects, despite their ability to help a person lose weight. It’s for these reasons that many people question the safety of weight loss pills.
Are weight loss pills safe? Well, it depends. Unfortunately, there are many fake weight loss pills on the market, and you can often find these advertised by unlicensed sellers on Amazon and other eCommerce sites.
When you buy weight loss pills that haven’t been officially licensed, you can’t be sure of the ingredients inside. As such, the pills might not be effective, despite the promises of the seller. They could also be dangerous, as any pill that hasn’t gone through the FDA-approval process could be harmful to take.
With no evidence of quality control and medical testing, it would be foolish to trust any product that has no official seal of approval. At the very least, you could waste your money if the pills prove to be ineffective. But at worst, you could put your life in danger, as the pills could result in some very nasty side effects. This is especially true if they interfere with any other medications that you might be taking.
So, what about weight loss pills that have been approved by the FDA? Are they safe to take?
Well, this depends.
Approved medication from registered sellers will have gone through extensive clinical testing before being released on the market. As such, there are far fewer risks than there are when buying pills from sellers who aren’t licensed.
However, care must still be taken.
Before taking any medication, it is important to speak to a healthcare professional. Some weight loss pills could contain ingredients that are harmful to one person but not harmful to another, and this might depend on pre-existing medical conditions.
There have also been cases where products have been initially approved and then withdrawn after potential health risks have come to light.
It’s also important to remember that all medications come with side effects, even those that have been properly licensed. Such side effects can include:
These side effects will all be labeled so there will be no nasty surprises after taking a particular pill. Of course, there are many people who won’t even experience these side effects. However, there will be those that do, and while some side effects will only be temporary, it might be that some people are more at risk of harm than others. Those with pre-existing heart conditions should be wary of any drug that can lead to a faster heart rate, for example.
So, the takeaway is this. NEVER buy an unlicensed weight loss pill as you could be putting yourself in serious danger. And even when you do consider something that is FDA-approved, speak to your doctor, a pharmacist, or a member of our team before purchasing them. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all.
Whether you take weight loss pills or not is up to you and your doctor. If you are pregnant or have an underlying medical condition, you may be advised to steer clear of this type of medical weight loss. Another important thing to note is that you should also seek help if you have any underlying psychological issues, such as an eating disorder or any kind of addiction problem. Under these circumstances, it is best to avoid weight loss pills until you have received the necessary support.
You should also remember that there are other ways to lose weight. As we discussed here, weight loss pills are not a solution in themselves and you will generally only lose around 10% of your body weight when taking them. So, while this type of medication can be helpful, you should still remember to eat healthily and remain active in your regular lifestyle.
For more advice, speak to our friendly team at the Chicago Weight Loss & Wellness Clinic.
We are the best way to access FDA-approved weight loss pills, including the the phentermine appetite suppressants that we offer.
We can discuss other weight loss options with you too. So if you are unsure about medication, we can support you on your weight loss journey with other methods that are more suited to you. Browse our website to learn more and get in touch with us when you are ready to do so.
Dr. Anand Thakkar is a licensed Internal Medicine physician. He is Board Certified in Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine. He has been a member of the teaching faculty for students at Chicago Medical School and has been featured on ABC, FOX, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes as a recognized authority in wellness, fitness & nutrition, weight loss, and women’s & men’s health. His mission is to help people become the healthiest versions of themselves using movement, nutrition, and a whole-body approach to medical care.
This blog is for informational purposes only. Do not make any major changes to your lifestyle, diet, or exercise without the supervision of a licensed medical professional.