Always beware of products that make outrageous claims. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. When choosing a product, consult with your pharmacist or health care provider for assistance. Important questions to ask are:
1. Has the product been clinically tested?
2. Are there any side effects or interactions?
3. How should the product be taken (before meals, with food)? 4. How long can I take this product?
Drugs are occasionally prescribed for people with a BMI over 30, or people with a BMI over 27 who also have other risk factors or diseases. Typically, these drugs are used to complement dietary therapy and physical activity, and should never be taken in place of lifestyle strategies. There are two main categories of weight loss medications:
• Appetite suppressants decrease appetite and increase the feeling of being full. Side effects include nervousness, insomnia and irritability, increased blood pressure, nausea, diarrhea and dry mouth.
• Drugs affecting the gastrointestinal tract, such as orlistat, decrease the amount of dietary fat that the body absorbs. Reported side effects include loose bowel movements, abdominal cramps and nausea.