Beware Weight-Loss Drugs

We are living in a time where there is so much emphasis on the general appearance and the shape of people, and in some materialistic societies, creating a fit body has become an obsession. In those societies, there are too many cases of depression when the body shape does not match the person’s expectations, which happens a lot with people suffering from obesity, and might lead to a complete isolation from society or even suicide in some cases.


Some people resort to unconventional weight-loss methods, such as using weight-loss pills without consulting a doctor.


Obesity is indeed very harmful, as the scientific evidence is mounting to confirm that being overweight has a direct negative effect on health, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, gallstones, arthritis in the knees and even an increased possibility to develop certain kinds of cancer.


As a result, we advise overweight individuals to seriously start taking the steps to lower their weights in natural healthy methods, which are more effective in most people if followed seriously and cautiously.

One of these methods is regular exercise, and portion-control of carefully selected types of food taken daily. We also advise consulting nutritionists, joining weight-loss programs that emphasize nutrition, exercise and psychological factors, strengthening willpower as well as other natural methods to help a person lose weight. Until one week ago, physicians in America had to resort to using an FDA-approved drug to treat difficult cases, when all natural methods failed and with the existence of other conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and joint pain, which are expected to improve with weight loss.


Among these medications are Redux or Dexfenfluramine, Fenfluramine and Pondimin, all of which are appetite suppressants.


We wrote in the second issue of “Your Health Today” about Redux, and warned that one of its dangerous side effects – although as rare as 24 cases in a million every year – is Pulmonary Hypertension which can be fatal. We also mentioned that it is unfortunately undetectable in early stages.


Just last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)recalled these two drugs from the markets and stopped their production due to new dangerous side effects, as the initial reports indicated that using these drugs can lead to a 30% damage to the heart valves in people using either one of these drugs.


The reader should know that most – if not all – weight loss drugs on the market have not undergone enough tests to determine their long-term side effects. In any case, it is not healthy for a person to lose 10 kg in a month, as the body thinks it is going through a fasting period and starts storing fat. That is why when some people succeed in losing weight quickly and then stop dieting, the weight usually comes back even higher than before.

The right dieting method requires progression and continuation in losing no more than a few kilograms per month for a long period of time, to let the body adjust to the changes that happen due to weight loss.


This is only achieved through willpower, persistence and following a healthy nutrition and lifestyle. It is a test to one’s sincerity, self-control and willpower.


OKAZ Newspaper – Tuesday 29 First Jumada 1418 AH falling on 30 September 1997 AD