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Diet Pills: A Full Review of Leading Brands

Updated on July 22, 2018

When exercising and dieting is not enough, we can turn to diet pills as a last resort. Before you decide on popping a pill, you should know how that pill will affect your body by reading this article first.


* Meridia (sibutramine)

* Zimulti (rimonabant) – Acomplia in Europe

* Glucophage (metformin)

* Byetta (exenatide)

* Phentermine

Over the counter:

* Alli (orlistat) – Xenical

* Hoodia gordonii

* Chitosan

* Bitter Orange

* Green Tea Extract

Meridia (Sibutramine)

Sibutramine, which is being sold under the name Meridia, can bring about weight loss by suppressing a person's appetite. By acting as neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitor, it increases the levels of serotin, norepinephrine and dopmine in the body. Because these substances are responsible for giving us the feeling of satiety, Meridia can help in dampening our appetites.

Although Meridia is an effective weight loss pill, you must not overlook the side effects that come with taking this drug. Meridia can cause dizziness, difficulty in concetrating and restlessness. It can also increase your blood pressure. Because of these side effects, you shouldn't take this drug without consulting a healthcare professional.

And, if you are already taking this drug, make sure that you only take one dose a day. Also, you shouldn't combine Meridia with other weight loss products, decongestants, tryptophan, anti-depressants, cough suppressants, lithium and migrain medication.

Zimulti (Rimonabant)

Zimulti diet pills can help you suppress your food intake by traveling to the brain and binding with the CB-1 receptors that are responsible for telling the brain that you are full. By sending this message to your brain, you will end up losing your appetite and eating less than usual. Coupled with a low-calorie diet and regular exercise, this pill will help you lose weight.

Although this drug is very effective in promoting weight loss, it still hasn't been approved by the FDA. Apparently, there have been some studies that link the drug to adverse psychiatric effects.

Glucophage (Metformin)

Metformin is primarily used to treat people with Type 2 diabetes and it works by decreasing the amount of sugar and insulin that is released by the liver. Because insulin is one of the culprits that cause the accumulation of belly fat by stimulating the brain to command the liver to produce fat and your stomach to store fat cells, it has also been recommended by medical practioners to promote weight loss.

In fact, women who are obese and have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (POS) are given this medication in order to lose weight. Unfortunately, taking this diet pill doesn't mean that you can stuff yourself with a lot of food. The drug does lower blood sugar levels and reduce the production of insulin but it would lose its effect if you eat foods that can cause your blood sugar levels to spike up. Also, since the effects of this drug on people who do not have Type II diabetes is still unsure, you should make sure that you have consulted a physician before you take this drug. You might end up with lactic acidosis or gastrointestinal problems if you don't.

An Experience With Diet Pills

Byetta (Exenatide)

Exenatide which is being sold under the name Byetta is an injected medication used by people with Type 2 Diabetes. By mimicking the hormone, incretin, which is responsible for the regulation of the level of blood sugar in the body, it also regulates the production of insulin.

Although it is primarily used by people with diabetes, certain studies have claimed that Byetta can also be used for weight loss. Unfortunately, the mechanism for weight loss still needs further research. But, some studies believe that the drug can delay the movement of the food from the stomach to the intesting. This can cause people to feel full faster, decrease their appetite and bring about weight loss.

Some of the diabetics who are taking Byetta experience mild to moderate nausea. Of course, the response of non-diabetics to this drug is still unknown.


Phentermine is a stimulant that is similar to an amphetamine. It works by tricking the central nervous system into believing that the body doesn't need to eat, sleep or drink. Because it can suppress appetite, It is a highly effective strategy as a short-term solution to weight loss when coupled with a good diet and exercise program. Due to its ability to hasten weight loss, Phentermine is also said to alleviate the serious health conditions related to obesity, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Unfortunately, phentermine cannot be used as a long-term weight loss supplement because it can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. It is generally prescribed for brief periods of three to six weeks because of its tendency to be abused as it may be habit forming.

If you are going to take this drug, be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of phentermine. As it may be habit-forming it should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Keep track of how many pills have been used from each new bottle of this medicine. Phentermine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.

Dieter's New Alli

Alli (Orlistat)

Unlike other weight loss medication which suppresses appetites or speeds up metabolism to lose weight, Alli prevents the absorption of fat into your body by bonding with enzymes called lipases. Absorption of fat is blocked when alli stops these enzymes from breaking down up to one-third of the fat that that you have consumed. Since the excess fat cannot be broken down by your digestive system and cannot be absorbed by your body, it is eliminated with your bowels.

By taking a 120-mg capsule with liquids before each meal, Alli can facilitate weight loss by acting as a fat blocker. By combining this with a reduced calorie diet, weight loss is assured because of lesser fat absorption. And, since it can be used by people with high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases, this wonder drug can make their weight goals more reachable. That is, if they can handle having frequent bowel movements and oily stool.

Hoodia Gordonii

It has been said that native tribes in South Africa have been using Hoodia Gordonii since ancient times and have been reaping the benefits of its excellent hunger and thirst suppressing attributes. Hodia gordonii is an endangered species of cactus that can only be found for export from South Africa. Distilled from this plant is P57 a steroidal glycoside, the main ingredient of Hoodia Gordonii capsules.

Studies have shown that many people find that they have lost weight by taking 500-mg doses of this substance. And, when taken twice a day, these pills can be effective appetite suppressants, metabolism boosters, fat burners and energy enhancers rolled into one. It can trick the brain into thinking there is enough energy and blood sugar such that the body doesn't need to eat, so it shuts down the hunger mechanism.

Unfortunately, thorough scientific studies and research have yet to be completed in order to assess the safety of this product. Also, because of its unique ability to suppress hunger and thirst, one should drink lots of water before taking the pill. People who are planning to take this medication as a means of weight loss should consult their health professional before taking this weight loss pill.

Bitter Orange

Only the peel of the bitter orange has been proven to have medicinal value. It is mainly used for digestive problems and a few other health concerns. However, in folk medicine, the flower of bitter orange was also used not only for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, but for dealing with a myriad of health problems like nervousness, insomnia, gout and sore throat as well. It was even used for treating obesity.

Bitter orange has chemical compounds that can increase your metabolic rate, making your body burn calories at a faster rate. Many health professionals recommend 1 to 2 grams of dried bitter orange peel to be used as a tea. Three cups are usually recommended as a daily dosage. As a tincture, 2 to 3 mL should be taken three times a day.

Even though there are no clinical trials to prove the effectiveness of bitter orange as a weight loss supplement, it appears to be effective when combined with St John's wort and caffeine. Another issue that surrounds the use of the bitter orange is the claim that it may cause health problems that are similar to those of ephedera even though it has been hailed as good substitute for the controversial diet medication.

Green Tea

A lot of studies have suggested that green tea can boost metabolism and help burn fat which in turn leads to weight loss. Researchers say the results indicate that substances found in green tea known as catechins (a polyphenol) may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat.

Most green tea products are sold as dried leaf tea and the average cup of green tea has around 50-150 mgs of polyphenols. There are also extracts made from the leaves and leaf buds. 300- 400 mg Capsules and liquid preparations are available in the market today.

Green tea is a beneficial beverage which is known for its antioxidant features and its potential as a weight loss product. But it is also good to be aware that excessive tea drinking can cause nausea, vomiting and heart palpitations, so moderation is required.

Best Diet Pills


Chitosan comes from chitin, a substance which is found in the bones of crab, crayfish, and squid. The main components of this organic substance are polysaccharide polymers that binds with negatively charged fats and prevents them from being absorbed by the body. It can be used to lose weight, lower cholesterol in the blood and treat anemia. It is also known for improving strength as well as the functions of the immune system.

By drinking 1000 to 1200 milligrams of Chitosan with water twice a day, it can lower bad cholesterol and increase the level of good cholesterol in your body. This can be done before and after meals and because Chitosan acts as a fat blocker and can affect the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, it should not be consumed within two hours of taking vitamins A, D, E and K as well as other prescription medication. Furthermore, because it is derived from shellfish, you should consult your physician before taking it Chitosan may trigger allergies like rashes, hives or swollen skin.

Before taking any of these diet pills, you should make sure that you do not have any ailments that may be aggravated by taking them. You should also remember that most of these products also have limitations. Just because you're taking in some diet pills doesn't mean that you have license to eat as much as you want. And, if you are taking in diet pills that suppress appetite, keep watch of your food and water intake. You may end up starving yourself or becoming dehydrated. Lastly, most of these pills work well with exercise. So, don't depend on these miracle pills for weight loss.

© 2008 Shanti Rose


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    • SaraPalmer profile image


      8 years ago

      Good hub, I must say. There are plenty of weight loss product reviews here which will be helpful to others. I can see there are natural remedies here which I like particularly. I shall read your hubs and follow you.

    • profile image

      Weight Pills 

      10 years ago

      Great reviews on some of the more popular diet pills available. You have an excellent point when you say that people can’t look at these as a miracle weight loss pill but they still need to put in the effort and time to losing weight with proper nutrition and exercise. Although these diet pills may help a person speed up their metabolism and lose more weight than they could without them, they are not an excuse to maintain an unhealthy lifestyle.

    • profile image

      Barbara Ballas 

      10 years ago

      I am using the Iaso Slim! Total Life Changes will be launching to the public! If you would like a free sample give me a call. The Dr's and scientists have been looking for a replacement for Ephedria since the 70's. Well it's out now!

      Appetite Suppressant, Awesome Energy Boost, Fat Burner all in one! The price is right!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      yup - too true. Here's more info about <a href="">Best Price fir Xenical Online</a>

    • profile image

      low calorie diet plan 

      10 years ago

      i enjoyed this information

    • sunstreeks profile image


      11 years ago from Western Washington

      I was wondering what the deal was with the Alli pills I've been seeing everywhere.

      Great informative hub. well done!


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