There have been reports about the effects of the new weight loss drug, Alli, with different people. There have been speculations about its supposed purpose: to act as an OTC and reduced version of Xenical, an anti-obesity drug. Although its popularity has made big sales in the market, there are still those who are hesitant to take Alli due to lack of information about its positive and negative effects. In fact, ever since the Food and Drug Administration approved that Alli can be purchased over-the-counter or without a prescription, it has raised some questions.
Experts in this field of medicine have been bombarded with questions. This is a good thing because it proves that a majority of people with weight problems, especially women, still practice precautionary measures before taking any drug readily available in the market.
These are just some of the frequently asked questions about Alli:
Who should take Alli?
Alli, although sold over-the-counter, should only be taken by people with obesity or overweight problems. A person is considered obese once the BMI or body mass index reaches 30 onwards. For overweight individuals, the BMI or body mass index is more than 27.
Some experts believe that Alli is good for people who are at least about 10-15lbs overweight. Other experts claim that Alli is more for the medically obese people. This is because the benefits have been proven to be modest.
Although losing about 5-10lbs can still prove very beneficial to one’s overall health, Alli is not intended for this purpose. It aims to cater to those with bigger weight issues, as Alli is meant for long term use.
There have been doctors who criticize the side effects of Alli and advice their patients not to take this drug. They believe that there has been no reported evidence yet, to prove Alli’s long-term benefits. The only things proven were its short-term risks. These would include gastrointestinal problems, oily gas, oily spotting, and a major risk of actual vitamin deficiency. The worst, so far, would be Alli’s serious effect on the colon. Reports on several studies conducted show that Alli may lead to serious precancerous lesions.
Aside from this, there was also a statement made by an expert that Alli cannot meet the cosmetic expectations of most people.
How does it work?
Alli works by preventing the absorption of fats in your intestines. It is said that about 30% of the fat consumed will be automatically blocked. It also means that you are not absorbing any calories because no fat is being absorbed as well.
It is advised that once you start using Alli, you would also need to take a vitamin supplement everyday. This is because Alli is said to deprive the system of actual fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, K and E.
Is it really effective?
As mentioned earlier, it is said that there have been no evidence yet about the long-term benefits of Alli. In fact, some experts have compared Alli with Dextrim, a drug previously approved by the FDA also. Right now, Dextrim is no longer available in the market.
Experts still agree that the surest way to lose weight would be, of course, in a safe and slow manner. The perfect solution is simply through a religious diet and routine exercise. Attempting to take shortcuts is like gambling your own life.
It is dangerous to attempt to lose a tremendous amount of weight abruptly. Losing weight only about a pound every week is already good and risk-free. Pills and crash diets can be very risky if taken out of context. Of course, medical advice is necessary before taking or ingesting any drug available in the market.
Although a lot of people in the past, have testified how weight-reducing medications have solved their weight issues; there were also important caveats to it. Once a weight-loss drug, used only on a short-term basis, lead you to living a healthier or improved lifestyle; it can be considered a good thing. Thus, remember that pills and medications can never replace the natural way of exercising and changing your actual diet.
Kevin Andrews, an expert in this field for almost 8 years, believe that Alli has really helped most of his patients achieve some weight reduction and has positively modified their lifestyle. After losing weight, they have become conscious of their diet and even continue to do routine exercises. His patients were very grateful that thru Alli, they were able to lose 5% more than what they can only lose through behavioral programs. Andrews commented that losing even only 5% of your weight can really improve one’s overall health and even reduce the risk of actual diabetes.
How quickly can I expect to lose weight?
There have been reports that the drug actually works right away. This means that it would really just depend on the amount of food you eat and the amount of fat you have in your diet. When you take Alli and combine it with exercise and by actually reducing your intake of calories, you can really lose a lot more than what you can lose by taking exercise, diet and the drug alone.
It is said that if Alli does not make you lose about 2lbs within the 1st month, it would mean that it’s not working for you and it’s best to look for alternative medications. If it works, as mentioned earlier, you will lose more than what you can lose with just exercise and diet alone.
Combining Alli with modifications in your lifestyle is the surest thing. If you feel that you are incapable of improving your fitness lifestyle and diet on your own, it is best you talk to a dietician. A dietician can help you by coming up with a fitness and diet plan you can work on. Of course, make sure the diet plan specifies the only amount of fat you can take, if not totally avoid it.
Is it worth the money?
In the average market, Alli costs about 60 cents/pill. Since Alli needs to be taken before every major meal, it would amount to almost $2 a day. The maximum period suggested to use Alli would be for a period of about 6 months.
Some experts believe that Alli, when used properly and taken with exercise and diet, is really worth every penny. Others say otherwise. They claim that even if you do lose a few pounds, once you stop taking the pill, you will eventually revert back to your weight issue. This is because there have been no proofs yet about Alli’s long-term benefits.
The OTC version is half the strength of the prescription version. Could I accelerate my weight loss by doubling the recommended OTC dose?
Some experts say that you can actually double the dose to accelerate the weight loss. It is very much possible to double it but tripling or even quadrupling the dosage is already a major health risk for you. Taking in three or even four times the recommended dosage will max out the effect of the drug. Aside from this, be aware of the serious side effects it can pose. A higher dosage would lead to more severe side effects.
Another thing to consider would be the fact that Alli causes a deficiency of some vitamins. This is why you are advised to supplement with a daily multivitamin while taking Alli. When you take in more than the recommended dose, to promote a quicker and more dramatic weight loss, you are risking your health in an extreme manner. Kidney stones, gallstones, dehydration and severe gall bladder problems are just a few of the major side effects. Minor effects would be gassiness and even bloating issues. Although consulting a doctor may help save your life, it’s still very hard to know who will specifically encounter these major side effects.
The FDA actually approved that Alli may be taken twice before each meal. This would equal to a prescription dosage. Since it is purchased over-the-counter, there is really the risk of consumer abuse. Of course, they would be more than happy to sell it to you regardless of the dosage you plan to take. The sad fact would be that the risks are not really limited to only those who are actually very over weight.
Overall, others believe that the manufacturer of Alli thought that because the dosage is lesser than Xenical, the side effects won’t be as equal. What was miscalculated was the fact that people who are very desperate to lose weight would do anything, even go to extreme measures just to lose those unwanted fats. Since Alli doesn’t need a prescription, no one can monitor if someone is already taking it way past the prescription-level dosage. What these people don’t understand is that if you overdo something or abuse your body, it can possibly lead to more serious consequences. Make sure that when you learn from a mistake, it’s not yet too late, fatal or worse – you are still alive to change things.