The Food and Drug Administration has allowed the counter sale of the diet drug, orlistat. Previously it was available only if the patient possesses a prescription under the name Xenical. The trial results showed that this drug helped in the reduction of six pounds in six months time period. Now the product label has the slogan, Six pounds in six months. These like any other diet pill have some side effects such as gas, incontinence and oily spotting. The over-the-counter diet drug will contain a low dosage of drug than Xenical. But this will lead to many people misusing it.
Many drugs that come into the market are taken off after a period of five years because further studies of these drugs show the devastating complication that these drugs bring along. In case of a miracle drug fen-phen after doing good business it was taken off the market shelves because they found that it caused damage to the heart.
There were many drugs in the 1980s and one such was starch blockers. The marketers promised that it would melt the pounds away. But failed to mention that it would also result in serious gastrointestinal distress. But many doctors and nutritionist have been telling the public that there are alternate methods to lose weight, which are very safe and lack the side effects. Joanne Ikeda, co-director of the Center for Weight and Health at UC-Berkeley, said that public should stop finding a cure for obesity in a pill, as it is impossible.
This problem is due to the scanty information available online about the side effects of these diet pills. The dug companies invest a lot of money in these pills and it also involves the hard work of many scientists that they fail to mention the side effects at least in their initial advertisements.
Christopher Gardner, a nutritionist and assistant professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, says that it is very difficult to make people understand the philosophy of weight-loss by a pill. It is only by eating less and exercising more that one can reduce the problem of obesity.
Orlistat should not be considered by the people as a miracle drug but just an aid to reduce obesity along with an increase in their level of exercise and proper food intake. But the people misinterpret and have unreasonable expectations. Instead of blaming the drug companies one should be able to differentiate what is good and bad.