Are prescription diet pills a better option than weight loss supplements that are available to buy over-the-counter or online?
This is a question that crops up quite often and some people will argue that non-prescription diet pills are better because they usually contain natural ingredients instead of chemical compounds.
Other people will argue in favour of prescription drugs and state doctors put their faith in them for a reason.
This is probably a good time to point out the regulatory bodies in the UK have only sanctioned the use of one weight loss drug.
It’s called Orlistat and is usually distributed under the brand name Xenical. Once this is known, things become simpler because the question becomes “is Xenical better than non-prescription diet pills?”.
Even then, for most people, it is not a question worth worrying about because the majority of dieters will not be eligible for a prescription in the first place. Doctors are only allowed to prescribe the drug to people who have a BMI of 28 or more.
Another prescription only diet pill that is still extremely popular is Phentermine – described in this article here
Putting Things in the Right Perspective
Xenical is a fat blocker. It contains chemicals that interfere with the digestive hormones that are necessary for breaking down and digesting dietary fats.
When fat is not digested it cannot release any calories, so Xenical can be effective for lowering the amount of calories the body receives in a day.
Many non-prescription diet pills can do the same, but they generally use natural ingredients and often block the fat in a slightly different way.
A lot of pills achieve this by using an ingredient called chitosan that is usually extracted from deep sea shrimps, crabs, and certain other sea-living crustaceans.
The truth of the matter is chitosan is just as effective as Xenical, but the fact that it is made from natural ingredients will not make it the best option for everyone. People who are allergic to sea food would probably find Xenical a much safer alternative.
Many routes can lead to the same destination, but some may be safer than others. The real question dieters need to ask isn’t “which is the best option?”, but rather “which is the best option for me?”
Obtaining the Best Level of Support
Fat blocker work best for people whose love of fatty food is one of the main contributing factors to their overweight condition.
Some people who are overweight may not eat much fat at all.
When this is the case using a fat blocking diet pill of any kind would serve very little purpose, so the only prescription-only diet pill in the UK would not be capable of providing the necessary support. When you sit and think about it, that’s a pretty bad show.
Non-prescription diet pills are more versatile and may have the ability to help dieters in one or more of several ways:
- Suppressing the appetite (curbs the desire to overeat or snack)
- Boosting the metabolism (causes the body to burn calories faster)
- Enhancing fat burning abilities (encourages the body to use its stores of fat for extra energy)
- Boosting energy levels (prevents diet-related fatigue and makes it easier to exercise)
- Improving the mood (stops people from becoming depressed about their diet)
- Fat blocking (limits the amount of calories the body receives from dietary fat)
- Carbohydrate blocking (limits the amount of calories the body receives from carbohydrates)
As you can see from the above list, non-prescription diet pills can offer dieters a greater range of benefits than Xenical because, although it can block fat absorption, it’s no good for anything else.
Many of the best non-prescription options offer several benefits rolled into one.
The interesting thing is, nutrition and dieting experts agree pills that are designed to hit the problem of weight loss from multiple angles offer the best chance of dieting success.
So the only prescription weight loss drug available in the UK does not compare well to the alternative options.
The Importance of Medical Advice
Anyone who is using Xenical will have already had the benefit of a doctor’s guidance. A doctor’s input is not required when buying diet pills in-store or online, but that does not mean it is not sometimes needed.
People who have existing health problems should always make an appointment and visit their GP prior to embarking on a new weight loss regimen or taking non-prescription diet pills.
People who are using medication, or considering using two or more diet-pills together, will also need to speak to their GP first, and should take along some information about their chosen pill(s) when the go for their appointment.
It’s always better to check first than to feel sorry afterwards.
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