Over-the-counter Diet Pills

Are you still looking for that magic pill to help you melt the pounds away?

Despite the many products available –both over the counter and with a prescription–, that perfect little pill hasn’t been invented yet. And while some products can help a little bit with your weight loss efforts, none of them will give you a bikini body overnight.

So what’s available and how effective are those products? Here’s a breakdown:

  • Pils

    Capsule. Isolated capsule. Blister with capsules. Yellow Pils

    Alli is the only FDA-approved weight loss pill that can be bought without a prescription. Alli works by preventing your body from absorbing part of the fat you eat. Unfortunately, it does that by causing loose stools, hard-to-control bowel movements and other very unpleasant side effects. Essentially, you must restrict your fat consumption to very small amounts if you want to avoid these problems, forcing you to change your diet. Even then, results are very modest.

  • Chromium has been touted as a weight-loss miracle for a long time, but there are no studies backing up the claims. In fact, Mayo Clinic labels chromium as “probably ineffective” when it comes to weight loss. In theory, chromium reduces appetite. Common side effects include headaches, mood changes and insomnia.

  • Green tea extract can be bought in pill form, just in case you don’t feel like drinking several cups of green tea a day. Green tea is supposed to decrease appetite and increase fat burning, but studies have been inconclusive so far regarding its effectiveness.  Take too many pills and you’ll end up with nausea, vomiting, dizziness and insomnia, mainly because of the caffeine.

  • Hoodia is one of the newest contenders in the weight-loss industry. It’s supposed to help you lose weight by decreasing appetite. Hoodia hasn’t been studied yet, so there are no professional or medical accounts regarding efficacy or side effects. If you decide to try it, do so carefully. Reported side effects include elevated blood pressure, headaches, and anxiety.

If you have a significant amount of weight to lose or have a medical condition, always talk to your doctor before trying any over-the-counter medication.


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