Saturday, June 16, 2007

Diet Drugs May Make You Soil Yourself

"I want to lose weight for a lifetime and be healthy for the future," she said.

She thought the new Food and Drug Administration-approved, over-the-counter drug Alli might be her answer.

"I was like, 'Wow, great, there is something that the FDA actually approved that we can take', so I'm assuming it's naturally healthy," Brown said.

Dr. Stephen Goldberg, who heads up Jewish Hospital's weight management program, said the drug is healthy, much more so than many of the diet drugs on the shelves today. But he said dieters must do their part, limiting their fat intake to 15 grams per meal -- or else.

"You would experience bloating, you would experience loose stools, the urgency to have a bowel movement. Some people would have accidents. In general, side effects that aren't very pleasant," Goldberg said.

But if used correctly, the drug's maker, Glaxo Smith Kline, claims you can lose up to 50 percent more weight than with dieting alone.

"It's not a miracle. You cannot lose 100 pounds on it," Goldberg said.

Meanwhile, Brown has decided to look elsewhere for help losing weight.

"It's not exactly what I'm looking for, not what I was excited about initially, because it's just another drug with a side effect," she said.

There currently are two FDA-approved prescription drugs for the long-term treatment of obesity: Meridia, an appetite suppressant, and Xenical, which limits the amount of fat the body can absorb. Sales of Alli, a lower-dose version of Xenical that won't require a prescription, start this week.

Distributed by Internet Broadcasting.

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