Buying Prescription Weight Loss Supplements Online
The Search Begins
The Skinny on Supplements
Prescription weight loss medications work in a variety of ways:
Adipex and Ionamin are commerical trade names for Phentermine, or Fen-Phen, an appetite suppressant approved for short-term use in obese patients. Phentermine products are highly addictive, and therefore not appropriate for someone with a history of substance abuse, and can also have negative interactions with common medications like SSRI's and MAOI's. Fen-Phen also received negative press for creating problems with increased heart rate and blood pressure, palpitations, insomnia -- the classic list of "jitter" symptoms associated with stimulant fat-burners.
Meridia, called Reductil in Europe, is also an amphetamine and works much the same way. It is not recommended for long-term used because of the risk of dependency. Sibutramine (the generic name for the drug) has been known to cause heart failure, irreversible liver damage, and seizures.
Xenical, also known as Orlistat, is one of the only drugs to block fat absorption in the digestive tract. The problem there is that several fat-soluble vitamins fail to be absorbed as well, so doctors recommend a vitamin regimen to accompany a Xenical prescription. A reduced-strength, but nevertheless effective version of Orlistat, called Alli, is now available over-the-counter.
X Marks the Spot
Neither Ebay nor Amazon (nor any other "reputable" source) sells prescription supplements; of course not, it's illegal to do so! Instead, they offer "herbal phentermine" and a variety of fat burners, or "thermogenics," such as those below. While thermogenics are common and cheap (and sometimes ineffective), phentermine runs very expensive, no matter where you buy it.
Several sites claim to have prescription drugs available for purchase. The problem is, do you really know what you're buying? Either you're particpating in drug trafficking, which is illegal, or you're buying a placebo pill with a fake label, in which case you're getting cheated. And there's no way to tell.
You're Not the Only One Who's Looking...
Not to sound paranoid, but the government is looking for online pharmacies, just as hard as you are. The Office of Diversion Control's website states in no uncertain terms the consequences of dealing in prescription drugs online:
Buying controlled substances online without a valid prescription may be punishable by imprisonment under Federal law. Often drugs ordered from rogue websites come from foreign countries. It is a felony to import drugs into the United States and ship to a non-DEA registrant.
The site offers a pages of information on the dangers of online pharmacies. You can report illegal drug sales and "rogue pharmacies" through this form, or anonymously at 1-877-RxAbuse (1-877-792-2873).
"Just Say No"
With side effects, questions of authenticity, and the law over your head, I've got to say I think you're crazy if you go through with an online purchase of prescription medication.
A quick fix is tempting, but in my experience, it really is too good to be true. There are plenty of natural vitamins and supplements that can give your diet an extra kick, and crash diets hurt more than help you in the end.
If you're that unhappy with your body, I'd like to suggest that it's not your body that's the problem. How bad is your body image? There's no better motivation than a healthy attitude.