America has been plagued by an obesity crisis for decades, and many people find that the traditional methods of weight loss (healthy eating and exercise) are too demanding or too difficult. Many individuals turned to medical methods for weight loss, including weight loss surgical procedures and prescription medication for metabolic management. There’s also a huge market for over-the-counter weight loss medication and dietary supplements. Many of these are dangerous diet pills for your overall health. Here are some of the most dangerous diet pills and why you should avoid them.
Meridia was voluntarily removed from the market in 2010 at the urging of the FDA. Meridia, also known as sibutramine, has the potential to increase heart rate and blood pressure and carries a host of dangerous side effects. The FDA and other international regulatory bodies cited sibutramine as capable of causing:
- Upset Stomach
- Suicidal Thoughts
Also known as Clen and previously marketed under the names Ventipulmin and Spiropent, Clenbuterol is illegal for human consumption in the United States. The International Olympic Committee banned Clenbuterol after discovering that athletes used it as a performance enhancer. Clenbuterol is used to treat horses in the United States with respiratory issues. Clen’s side effects include arrhythmia, chest pain, diarrhea, nausea, nervousness, hyperthyroidism, muscle tremors, dangerous blood pressure extremes in both highs and lows, and headaches.
This compound was originally used in ancient China to treat respiratory problems such as asthma and also functions as an appetite suppressant and stimulant. In 2005, the FDA banned ephedrine alkaloids marketed as weight loss supplements, and several professional sports organizations also banned ephedrine after it became widely known as a performance-enhancing drug. Combining ephedrine with other stimulants (such as caffeine) is sometimes fatal, and the side effects of the drug include a heightened risk of:
- Heart Attack
- Cardiac Arrhythmia
- Dry Mouth
Named for its two main active ingredients, Fenfluramine and Phentermine, Fen-Phen became incredibly popular in the 1990s. The FDA banned the drug in 1997 after linking it to valvular heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, and increased pulmonary artery pressure.
Japan Rapid Weight Loss Diet Pill
This imported supplement was sold in three colors, offering three degrees of intensity. The FDA issued a statement in 2012 warning consumers of the dangers of these supplements, which contained phenolphthalein (a suspected carcinogen) and sibutramine—also known as Meridia.
The Brazilian Diet Pill
The FDA warned against these nutritional supplements in 2006 based on the combination of stimulants and depressants present in these pills. Sold under the brand names Herbaslim and Emagrece Sim, these Brazilian diet pills are a cocktail of Librium, Prozac, and Fenproporex. The supplements cause severe mood swings and extreme personality shifts. Another side effect is hypersensitivity to touch, similar to the effects of the illicit drugs MDMA and Ecstasy.
Contrave is a combination of existing drugs that have already gained FDA approval, such as naltrexone (a drug used to treat opiate addiction) and bupropion (an antidepressant used as a smoking-cessation treatment). Although this compound or one of its several successors may eventually gain approval and hit the market, it’s important to be wary of the dangerous side effects, including potential heart valve damage and alteration in user metabolism and mood.
Qnexa (aka Qsymia) is a combination of immediate-release phentermine hydorchloride and extended-release topiramate. This drug was orginially rejected by the FDA, but finally approved in 2012. It is not recommended to take this pill right before going to sleep, as it could give you insomnia. Other potential side effects include:
- Heart Fluttering
- Numbness and Tingling
- Blurred Vision
- Birth Defects (if taken while pregnant)
- Kidney Stones
- Depression, Anxiety or Suicidal Thoughts
Construct a Healthy Weight Loss Plan
Our society is incredibly fast-paced, and instant gratification is the norm. However, never sacrifice your personal health and safety for the sake of looking better faster. For more information and support, schedule a free 20 minute strategy session to learn how you can benefit from individual nutrition counseling with a functional approach. Click Here to Schedule Your Strategy Session.