Is there a safe medication that can be used to lose weight?

Yes, but not many. The most popular drugs prescribed for weight loss are Phenterimine (an appetite suppressant) and Xenical, which blocks ~30% of dietary fat from being absorbed. Xenical is sold over the counter as Alli. Xenical is the only weight-loss drug approved for longer-term use in significantly obese people, but safety and effectiveness have not been established for use beyond two years. We believe the safer options with potentially better outcomes would be supplements that mimic the actions of successful drugs and/or meal replacement bars and shakes. Keep in mind drugs or supplements alone are NOT a weight-loss program, whereas diet and exercise alone can be. The goal of incorporating a dietary supplement (or drug) into a weight-loss program is to assist the user in complying with the daily routine that leads to weight reduction. And, as with all human studies on meal replacements, the supplement ingredients must have safely demonstrated the potential to act in one or more of the following ways:

• Help create and maintain a calorie deficit by increasing daily calorie expenditure when compared to a non-supplemented state

• Raise energy levels that may make one more active throughout the day

• Reduce the drive to consume food

• Decrease calorie absorption

Meal replacements and weight loss

In all studies, meal replacement (MRs) bars and shakes used for 1 or 2 meals/daily were shown to be an extremely effective aid to weight reduction and, in almost all cases, more effective than conventional methods of dietary restrictions. Additionally MRs have been shown to be just as effective as dietary restriction combined with drug therapy. Most importantly, continuous use of MRs may be the most effective means of all treatments when it comes to maintaining weight loss.

Other potentially helpful weight-loss supplements

Herbal combination such as caffeine, green tea components and capsaicin have been clinically shown to be effective in producing significant effects on metabolic targets such as satiety (feeling of fullness), thermogenesis (increasing metabolism) and fat oxidation (increase use of fat for daily energy needs). The user would cease supplementation once the weight goal is reached or when they have their daily routines under control to continue making progress without the supplements.

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