9 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING A WEIGHT LOSS PILL

Guide to choosing the safest brand that will work for you

Going to a drug store to pick the perfect remedy to your health woes has never been as trivial as now. Technological innovation and research of different pharmaceutical companies led to more products being sold in the market. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, consumers are finding it hard to choose the right pill that works for them.

Take the cases of weight loss, for example. With the prevalence of obesity (or being overweight, at the least), health risks like cardiovascular diseases and depression are on the rise and is a cause for alarm. Therefore, there is a great need for a fast and sure way to lose the excess weight.

Now, while a rigorous plan of diet and exercise have proven to be effective in combating weight problems, some people simply don’t have enough time to focus on these things religiously. Between working long hours, caring for children, underlying medical condition, or increased physical inactivity, weight loss pills can be the ultimate solution.

Weight loss pills, also called diet pills or anti-obesity drugs, are a common go-to of people trying to manage their weight. A study reveals that an estimated 15.2% of Americans (women 20.6%, men 9.7%) have used some form of diet pills at least once.

These pills are often classified as a dietary supplement, and are therefore not subject to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) premarket review or approval. This fact is the tricky part of choosing weight loss pills. How do you know which dietary pills are safe and effective for you?

We give you these simple safety checks you need to seriously consider when buying weight loss pills

Always check the label.

Admit it. We often ignore product labels. Why should we bother reading technical terms and chemical composition when we can’t understand them? Here is the answer: labels help determine whether a drug has sketchy ingredients, or has a mix that causes adverse reactions to certain medication or condition.

Be wary of certain types of pills. There are brands that will claim “magic weight loss” that entices a buyer with imprecise claims, while some will not bother to list any of its ingredients at all. A JAMA study showed supplements that contained the banned component sibutramine, an amphetamine-like substance, which were recalled by the FDA but were still sold in the market.

Selective shopping

This will sound condescending, but knowing which stores that will most likely follow FDA recalls should be a priority when buying weight-loss pills. Well-known pharmacies, big-chain stores and specialty shops that offer supplements (like the Vitamin Shoppe or GNC) usually follow guidelines strictly.

Online stores are popular nowadays, so it’s very important to check the trust rating of any online shop before purchasing from them. Aside from inspecting a website’s security certificate, make sure to read customer reviews thoroughly. Better yet, visit a physical store if they have any to ensure the quality of the weight loss pills you intend to buy.

Don’t go bargain-hunting

Products that offer discounts or are very cheap tend to be attractive to any buyer. Don’t bargain-hunt. It’s okay to want to save a few dollars by finding inexpensive alternatives, but keep in mind that you are shopping for your own health. Therefore, you are responsible for choosing the safest diet pills with excellent quality.

A study from the University of Minnesota concluded that the recommended dosage of the more expensive supplements out of the six types tested were at par with safety standards for herbal products.

Avoid China-made supplements

Steer clear of supplements made in China. Their country has lenient laws concerning drug regulation and manufacturing, so their weight loss pills may contain substances like lead that can be more harmful than beneficial.

It should have the USP-Verified Mark

Any product that bears the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) Verification Mark has successfully undergone and met the stringent requirements of the verification process.

Always check for the USP-Verified Mark since it indicates that a product contains the listed ingredients on the label, in its declared amount and potency.

Find facts in reliable websites

You can retrieve pertinent information for any queries regarding weight loss supplements from the National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, which includes fact sheets and safety considerations regarding weight loss pills. Also, FDA has an updated search toolbar where you can be updated of products ordered for recall, market withdrawal or safety alert.

The USP Quality Supplements website has a directory of USP—Verified dietary supplements that you can also use as a guide when buying weight loss pills. You can choose to search by Supplement Type, Brand or Retailer for your convenience.

Consult the experts

It is proper to consult a doctor or pharmacist regarding weight loss inquiries, because they have the authority to give you factual answers. If you have a consulting physician, ask for a recommendation of the diet pills that are appropriate for your health regimen. When buying at a store, ask for a pharmacist regarding any adverse reactions or warnings regarding a product before purchasing. Informed choice is a right of any consumer.

Skip dubious ingredients

There are ingredients in weight loss pills that may have the desired effect, but are proven detrimental to your health when taken for a long time. For example, Kava is known to cause liver damage. Neurotoxic reactions have been found in contaminated L-tryptophan. Overusing chromium can cause anemia, and kidney failure as a result. The syndephrine contained in Bitter Orange causes heart attacks and stroke in healthy patients, especially in combination with caffeine.

It is better to be thorough and selective in choosing the weight loss pill that can cater your need. Some products will have varying effects in each person, so be careful in finding the right one that suits you. You are ultimately paying for your wellness. Follow this guide before buying that pill for a better, healthier you.