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Do You Need a Prescription Diet Drug?

Over the counter diet pills don’t work for everyone. Some people’s weight loss needs are too great to be helped by regular diet pills. So while diet pills can help people lose weight, they aren’t good for every case. People who have weight related health problems are usually referred to prescription only diet drugs.

The best way to lose weight is by following a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. But that doesn’t always work. Some people struggle to lose weight, and no matter what they do, the weight doesn’t budge. These same people usually have other medical conditions as a result of their weight problem.

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Who Needs Prescription Weight Loss Drugs?

If you’re looking for a quick way to lose 20 pounds before your high school reunion, then prescription weight loss drug aren’t for you. Doctors won’t prescribe a weight loss drug for purely cosmetic reasons. The drugs are strictly for people with have tried and failed to lose weight naturally. They also usually have weight related health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and diabetes.

There are two prescription weight loss drugs approved by the FDA: Sibutramine (Meridia) and Orlistat (Xenical). Both drugs are expensive and can cause serious side effects. They must be taken exactly as instructed or they won’t work. Both of these drugs provide long term weight loss. The downside is that if you start taking these drugs, you may have to take them indefinitely to get long term results.

Sibutramine (Meridia) must be taken once a day and possible side effects include high blood pressure, dry mouth, insomnia, and dry mouth. This pill can cost anywhere from $112 to $213 per month. Orlistat (Xenical) must be taken three times a day and possible side effects include oily bowel movements, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. If you’re interested in either of these drugs, but aren’t eligible for a prescription, you may want to try Alli.

Alli is a lower strength version of Orlistat (Xenical). The FDA approved the weight loss drug for over the counter purchase. So you can walk right into the store and purchase a bottle without a prescription. Alli is for overweight adults only, and must be used along with exercise and healthy eating. The side effects are the same as with Orlistat (Xenical), but eating a diet low in fat is supposed to help. You won’t get the same amount of weight loss with Alli as you would with regular strength Orlistat (Xenical).

It doesn’t matter if you take prescription diet drugs or an over the counter version. You must still eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. This combination can help you lose more weight more quickly than just doing one or the other. Research shows that using all three methods at once can help a person lose between 5 to 10 percent of their body weight. And if you have weight related health problems, losing weight is the best thing you can do.

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