My doctor says I'm obese. What are the diet pill options for me? Do they really work?
Kristen A. Binaso, RPh, FASCP, CCP
American Pharmacists Association
I have to talk to a lot of patients about weight loss. One of the things that I will ask them is, did the doctor go over what their BMI or body mass index is? That gives us an idea of really how obese they might be and then incorporate lifestyle changes first. So many times we think of a pill as an instant quick fix. And that's really not the answer.
I'll ask patients how active they are and are they incorporating some type of exercise into their daily routine. Simple things like walking can really help reduce weight and make you feel better. You should be walking at least 10,000 steps a day and to help you track that, you can actually buy a pedometer in almost any store today. They're not expensive, they are under about $20, and you can actually track your progress through a diary and feel good.
Also, making changes to your diet, that can include decreasing the amount of fatty foods that you have, making more healthier options. Try these options first before you go down the path to medication.
There is one over-the-counter medication approved by the FDA to help people lose weight, and it's called Alli, or orlistat. Orlistat helps people lose weight by blocking some of the fat they eat from being absorbed. Even though orlistat is available over-the-counter, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor before you take it.