An OTC version of the weight loss drug orlistat gets FDA-approval
It wasn't a matter of if, but when.
This Washington Post story details the disappointing news that the United States government regulatory agency over approving medicines that can be sold without a prescription in this country has given its final blessing to an over-the-counter version of a prescription weight loss drug made by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, who calls this "the only FDA-approved weight loss product available to consumers without a prescription." Yippee freakin' skippy!
You may recall last January when I blogged about the weight loss drug orlistat following an 11-2 recommendation by a group of medical "experts" who deliberated for all of one whole day about whether the risky prescription medicine Xenical should be made available in an OTC formula.
Today, the Food & Drug Adminstration (FDA) made it official and gave the rubber stamp to sell orlistat using the name "Alli." No, it's not pronounced like Muhammed Ali (AH-LEE), but rather like the word "ally" (AL-EYE) as in someone who is on your side.
The irony in that name is that the FDA is certainly no "Alli" to anyone desiring weight loss with their outlandish and irresponsible approval of this drug. They really ought to be ashamed of themselves for putting a drug like this one out there because obesity pills are just pie in the sky promises that don't deliver without a little effort on the part of the dieter. And the FDA even acknowledges that fact.
While they don't encourage children under the age of 18 take this drug (but who are we kidding? Parents will be buying this drug for their fat kids left and right!), it is absolutely open game for adults willing to combine it with a low-fat, low-calorie, portion control diet and exercise program. That's right, just in case you missed the fine print from the FDA about this latest cure-all for obesity, the dirty little secret is you STILL have to diet!
Don't even think about livin' la vida low-carb while taking the 60 mg capsules of "Alli" right before each of your three daily meals either because it only works well in people who eat little to no fat in their diet. Yep, not only do you get the unique pleasure of having most of the fat you put inside of your body sucked completely dry like a shallow river basin in 110 degree heat, but you also are FORCED to eat a low-fat diet in the process to make it work. Aren't you just so very happy about that?!
But wait, there's more!
In addition to not absorbing dietary fat (which can be dangerous on a number of levels that you don't even want me to get into!), this drug may very well prevent you from absorbing some of the most essential nutrients in the foods you eat. Therefore, they recommend you take a multivitamin before you go nighty-night sucking your thumb while holding a fuzzy wuzzy teddy bear.
Isn't this hilarious? While opponents of livin' la vida low-carb always chastise us for promoting vitamin supplementation on our very natural and healthy way of eating, here's the FDA telling people they need to eat a low-fat diet and take supplements if they decide to start using the "Alli" OTC weight loss pill. And this is the WEAK version of the drug Xenical--can you imagine what the full-strength one is like?
Like most drugs, "Alli" is not without some really nasty side effects. Try this on for size: loose stools, excess gas, fatty stools, possible uncontrollable bowel movements, flatulence with discharge, abdominal pain, and a general sense of poop-poopy-doop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, non-stop fun between you and the porcelain goddess! Aren't you so glad you chose to lose weight this way? NOT! Sounds about as bad as the weight loss drug for dogs I blogged about last month!
Seriously, though, orlistat is NOT for everyone (I don't think it's for ANYONE, but that's just my take on it!). People who have had an organ transplant shouldn't take it because of drug interactions and neither should people on blood thinners, who are diabetic, have a thyroid problem, binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, or malabsorption syndromes. The FDA says people with these conditions should consult with their before using this over-the-counter drug.
Um, maybe I'm thinking too hard about this, but why make a drug OTC if there are very real dangers to a large segment of the population with all those ailments listed above? Has the FDA completely gone out of its mind here (don't answer that question because we already know the answer)?!
I'm telling you, this is a class action lawsuit just waiting to happen. The FDA has no idea what it has gotten itself into approving a drug like orlistat and making it available to anyone and everyone walking through the grocery store, Wal-mart, or drugstore. The end result will be more obesity and a lot more tummy aches.
I've said it before, but I'll say it again and again if I have to. People need to stop looking for the next great diet pill to come prancing in like Prince Charming to swoop them off their feet with promises of weight loss nirvana. Sorry to burst your fantasy everyone but it ain't gonna happen...nor should it!
Weight loss can be achieved safely and naturally without the use of ANY drugs whatsoever. Not once during my nearly 200-pound low-carb weight loss experience over these past few years have I felt compelled to add a drug, prescription or otherwise, to my diet for the purposes of aiding in my weight loss. NEVER! If I didn't trust my low-carb lifestyle to do everything I needed it to to shed the pounds and restore my health, then I'd start looking for another way to eat.
It should be quite disturbing to anyone who is eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet right now that their diet all by itself just isn't good enough to bring about weight loss and improved health. Nope, they have to have something like orlistat to be added to them in order for them to work better (although the jury is still waaaaay out on that claim!). Why put yourself through all of that?!
Come on over to livin' la vida low-carb and enjoy what REAL healthy living is like. No drugs, no forced diet plans, no disgusting foods to put up with--just delicious foods that help produce amazing positive results in your weight and health.
Why would you choose any other way?