We understand if the phrase “weight-loss drug” gives you the creeps. Being cautious of gimmicky supplements that guarantee a six-pack by the weekend is a wise move. Contrary to the selection of weight-loss supplements at your neighbourhood pharmacy, however, medications for weight loss that are prescribed by doctors have gone through extensive testing in order to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
According to many scientists who research appetite and metabolism in business, government, and academia, the demand for safer and more efficient best weight loss pills and medications are growing. Doctors have been reluctant to prescribe these products in a field plagued by drugs with harmful side effects and product recalls, and businesses have been wary of investing in developing new ones.
The development of weight-loss medications has had a turbulent past. Goods have been blighted by side effects dating back to their inception, from blood pressure elevation to murder. When 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), one of the first chemicals used for weight loss, became popular in the 1930s, issues began to arise. DNP is a mitochondrial uncouples that functions by obstructing the processes by which our bodies produce and store energy. Weight loss results from the energy being released as heat because it has nowhere else to go.
All of the appetite-suppressing weight-loss medications that the FDA approved in the 1960s were derived from amphetamine. Phentermine, one of those pills, is still frequently prescribed, claims the doctor. On average, those taking phentermine lose between 5 and 10% of their initial weight. However, this class of drugs should only be used for a few weeks at a time because they can be addictive and raise blood pressure to dangerously high levels.
There was no new weight-loss medication introduced between the 1970s and the 1980s.
When the FDA approved dexfenfluramine in 1996 as a stronger variation of the previously authorised weight-loss medication fenfluramine, this came to an end. Both medications belonged to a group of appetite suppressants known as serotonergic anorectics, which work by reducing serotonin levels in the brain. In the past, doctors had combined phentermine and fenfluramine to create the infamous “fen-phen” combination.