Weight Loss Pills

Several prescription and non-prescription weight loss pills are available. If you decide to take non-prescription pills to lose weight, you should closely examine the label, noting the active ingredients, making sure the manufacturer is credible, and seeking independent assessments. It is also a good idea to consult your healthcare provider about his or her recommendations on using such medications.

Weight Loss Pills: An Overview

There seems to be an endless variety of non-prescription pills for weight loss available. It can be difficult to sort through all of these products, avoiding those that are unsafe or ineffective. Most of these products contain several different herbal products, although some may also contain stimulants. It is important to closely examine the labels of these products, noting each of the active ingredients. It is not a good idea to take a product that does not list its active ingredients or that lists them simply as a "proprietary blend" of herbals.
This article will discuss the following:
  • Herbals and evidence-based medicine
  • How to choose a good weight loss pill
  • Possibly safe and effective pills for losing weight
  • Medicines with insufficient evidence
  • Possibly unsafe or ineffective weight loss pills.

Herbals and Evidence-Based Medicine

Evidence-based medicine is the process of making medical decisions based on credible, validated scientific evidence. Usually, this means that decisions are based on the results of clinical studies, but it is important to note that some clinical studies are more credible and valid than others. In addition, evidence-based medicine examines the entire body of evidence (all the valid clinical studies pertinent to a specific topic), rather than relying on isolated studies.
It is difficult to assess herbals using the principles of evidence-based medicine, as there are usually very few (if any) good clinical studies for most herbal products. In addition, herbal products are governed by rules and regulations that are much less stringent, compared to conventional medications. Healthcare providers often feel uncomfortable recommending many herbal products, generally because they cannot currently be evaluated using evidence-based medicine.
Also, because of the less stringent rules concerning the manufacturing and regulation of herbal products, many healthcare providers are concerned that some herbals may not contain the ingredients listed on the label, or that they may contain a different amount or even a different ingredient than what is listed on the label.
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