By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
Doctors, it may be time to stock up on the citrus freshener.
A panel of scientists and doctors this week recommended that the Food and Drug Administration approve over-the-counter sales of a weight-loss pill known as orlistat, marketed in prescription form as Xenical. Americans would love a non-prescription fat absorbing pill, and this one could be available over the counter in a matter of months.
According to news articles, in the drugs six-month clinical trials, obese people who took orlistat lost on average about 5 to 6 pounds more than did those who were given placebo pills. Stop and think for just a moment. The average loss was only 5-6 pounds over a six month trial period. A previous clinical trail also showed there was a progressive weight gain in patients after they discontinued use of the drug.
Here is the stinker. According to information on the drug, when it is taken with meals, it blocks the absorption of about one-quarter of any fat consumed. The fat, is then passed out of the body in loose and/or oily poop. News on the clinical trials mentioned that about “half of patients” (that’s ~ 50% for you numerical readers) suffered side effects such as gas, incontinence and oily spotting.
Fecal incontinence is the loss of normal control of the bowels. This leads to stool leaking from the rectum (your butt) at unexpected times. Oily spotting? Who wants that? We have enough of that in the parking lot, we don’t need to see it in the office.
I would hope my patients would choose more sensible ways to lose weight, like modifying nutritional intake and getting more regular exercise. With nearly any sensible approach to nutrition and exercise almost anyone can lose 5-6 pounds over a 6 month period of time and not be at risk of suddenly putting the weight back on again. Not to mention the risks and side effects associated with taking weight loss drugs.
Just a tip, try and see your chiropractor before you’ve had lunch or wait an hour after having a meal. You’ll both be happy you did.
Forbes: Controversial Weight-Loss Drug May Go Over-the-Counter
Seattle Times: Diet pill could go over-the-counter
Chicago Tribune: FDA panel OKs drug for obesity
Boston Globe: FDA panel backs easing sale of diet pill
Just a note… Notice the links above and the way news is reported. Some media houses reported the drug “could” or “may” go over the counter and others report more aggressively.
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Dr. Michael Dorausch is a chiropractor living and practicing in Los Angeles, California. He is a graduate of Cleveland Chiropractic College (also in Los Angeles, California). He is the founder and creator of Planet Chiropractic; an online resource for chiropractors worldwide. Dr. Dorausch began delivering news to chiropractors and chiropractic students via the internet in early 1995. Today, thousands visit planetchiropractic.com on a regular basis to get some chiropractic information, inspiration & motivation.
planetc1.com-news @ 7:17 am | Article ID: 1138202233