Looking for slimming pills? Don’t look too far, because virtually all the known slimming pills introduced over the last few decades have all been banned or for restricted usage only. Whether its phentermine (Duromine, Adipex), ephedrine (Ephedra), rimonobant (Accomplia) or sibutramine (Reductil,Meridia) they’ve all fallen by the wayside due to their dangerous side-effects.
Duromine, one of the earliest slimming pills, is now indicated for short-term use only (I take it to mean less than 3 months) and can only be used in those who do not have a long list of medical conditions (see here). Since it is related to amphetamines (speed), it is very much a controlled substance and available only on doctors’ prescription.
Accomplia practically did not see the light of day, after it was banned within 2 years of use, after a significant percentage showed suicidal behaviour . I had written in an earlier posting here.
Latest to be banned in the US this month is sibutramine because of the high incidence of heart attacks and stroke. As I’ve said before, the Europeans seem to be more responsive and alert, having put this drug in cold storage since January this year.
However, the more worrying issue is that sibutramine has been found in several so-called herbal preparations. Examples include:
- a Chinese herbal medicine, called “LiDa Dai Dai Hua Jiao Nang”, available on the Internet.
- a Canadian product “The Slimming Coffee”.
- In Malaysia, “Slimway Herbs” has been banned after earlier obtaining official approval.
So what drugs can be used safely? Orlistat (sold as Xenical in prescription form and as Alli over the counter) is now the only prescription weight-loss drug approved for long-term use. The drawback of using this drug, as users will tell you, is that it “leaks” and stains trousers and clothing and wherever you sit down. The reason is that it works by preventing absorption of foods containing oil and fats, which then come out the other way (read “leaks out the other passage”!).
I guess the message is loud and clear – to lose weight, you have to fall back to good old diet and exercise!