Many nonprescription products for weight loss are available at drugstores and supermarkets and over the Internet. Many of these have never been proved effective. And those that are effective often come with warnings. For example, many diet pills promote water loss from the body and may lead to dehydration or loss of essential minerals.
Nonprescription appetite suppressants often work by making you less hungry.
Some people use water-loss pills (diuretics, such as Aqua-Ban) to lose weight. But these pills only get rid of water and do not reduce the amount of fat in your body. Using water-loss pills this way is not recommended and can be dangerous.
A nonprescription-strength form of the drug orlistat is available, sold as Alli. It blocks the body from absorbing some of the fat from foods you eat. As with all over-the-counter medicine, be sure to follow the directions on the medication label.
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Theresa O'Young, PharmD - Clinical Pharmacy
Current as ofOctober 9, 2017
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