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First Over the Counter Diet Pill Approved by FDA

I have a pretty bad opinion of weight loss pills, I am not convinced there is a magic bullet. Nor am I convinced that diet pills are the answer to losing weight.

The FDA doesn't agree with me and has recently said the fat-blocking weight-loss pill Orlistat (aka Xenical), which has been available by prescription, can be sold in a reduced-strength version over the counter. The new version will be sold as alli (pronounced AL-eye by GlaxoSmithKline) and is the first nonprescription diet pill to be approved by the FDA. Alli is intended for people 18 and older to use along with a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet and exercise.

Alli will contain half the dose of Xenical prescription capsules and is expected to run $1-$2 a day. The company estimated 5 million to 6 million Americans a year would buy the drug over the counter. The important safety information directly from are as follows:

When using this product:

  • Take a multivitamin once a day, at bedtime. alli can reduce the absorption of some vitamins.
  • Follow a well-balanced, reduced-calorie, low-fat diet. Try starting this diet before taking alli capsules.
  • Alli capsules work by preventing the absorption of some of the fat you eat. The fat passes out of your body so you may have bowel changes.
  • You may get:
    -gas with oily spotting
    -loose stools
    -more frequent stools that may be hard to control.

  • In studies, most people lost 5-10 pounds over 6 months.

To these points I say: Scary. Duh. Weird. Gross. That's it?!?!

The FDA also said that people who have had organ transplants should not take OTC Orlistat because of possible drug interactions. In addition, anyone taking blood-thinning medicines or being treated for diabetes or thyroid disease should consult a physician before using Orlistat.

I am seriously outraged that the FDA will approve something that causes anal leakage yet Stevia, the non-caloric herb has yet to gain the FDA's approval.

This is a backwards world we're living in.

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