This article aims to inform what diet pills are available on prescription and what the current legal and safety issues are. We are providing links to the relevant sources as situations can change. We recommend strongly that you visit the manufacturers website or the link provided to for the latest real information. Do not attempt to buy any diet pill that is prescription-only on the internet.
Dieters today only have to do an online search and they will be bombarded with a mind boggling amount of diet pill options.
However, anyone who seeks the help of their doctor or healthcare provider may very well receive advice about diet and exercise, but unless they are already seriously obese, or their extra weight is aggravating another health condition, they are unlikely to be provided with a prescription for a weight loss pill.
Few such pills are approved for use in the world (USA, UK, Canada and Australia) and some that had prior approval have since been deemed unsafe, so even if the situation does warrant a prescription the options are probably limited to just a few approved weight loss pills.
There are diet pills that are available to buy without prescription that have a similar mechanic of action to those commonly administered by the medical profession.
Prescription only diet pills are drugs for want of a better word and although they can contribute greatly to weight loss they can present other problems by way of side effects. For this reason a valid prescription is required after a doctor consultation.
Table of Contents
Xenical – A Legitimate Brand
Xenical is a branded version of the weight loss brand Orlistat. It is only available via a GP and is generally only prescribed to patients who are so obese they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more. It assists weight loss by blocking dietary fats, and is very efficient in this regard.
Xenical (along with Phentermine) is one of the most prescribed diet pills in the world. It is not legal to buy anywhere without a prescription. You may find adverts on the internet claiming to supply or sell Xenical, Orlistat – be very careful at is highly likely that it will be the genuine, authentic product you will be buying.
How Xenical Works
Xenical is designed to be used as part of an overall weight management program that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. The prescribing doctor will probably provide recommendations on diet and levels of physical activity. Xenical comes in the form of a pill and is generally taken three times per day just before eating any meals that contain dietary fats.
Fat is high in calories. There are nine of them for every gram of fat that is consumed and a diet that contains too much fat can quickly provide the body with more calories than it needs. All the excess calories are then stored as body fat. Xenical can interfere with this process, by limiting the amount of calories fatty foods can provide.
After it has been ingested Xenical makes it way to the intestines, where it acts on the enzymes (lipases) that are required to break down dietary fats and prevents them from fulfilling their function. Three (120mg) doses per day can block up to 30% of dietary fats. Instead of releasing its calories the blocked fat simply passes through the intestines and is passed with the stool.
The volunteers in one 12-month study were placed on a strict low calorie diet and given three doses of Xenical each day. The members of the placebo group had to adhere to the same dietary restrictions. At the end of the study the placebo group had succeeded in losing weight, but the Xenical had lost more than double the amount.
Although Xenical can provide powerful fat blocking, it may not be the best option for people who are already following a healthy low-fat lifestyle with low calorie foods because there will be very little for it work upon.
Xenical is also an unsuitable option for women who are pregnant or nursing a child and may be problematic for people who suffer from certain health conditions including liver or kidney diseases and diabetes.
The prescribing doctor will probably be aware of any conditions that may make Xenical an unsuitable option, but not all patients keep their doctor informed if there are any changes to their health. It is important the doctor is made aware of any changes so they can be sure Xenical is the best option.
Xenical Side Effects
Xenical is capable of causing a number of side effects, some of them severe, and is important that patients keep their doctor informed if any negative issues are experienced. The doctor will then be better able to decide if Xenical continues to be the most suitable option.
Xenical related side effects may include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Kidney-related problems
- Swollen lips, face or throat
- Swelling to the ankles
- Pain when urinating
- Blood in the urine
- Feeling tired
- Stomach pain
Different people respond to medication in different ways, and some Xenical users may experience little or no negative issues at all. However, due to the way the pill works, most users are likely to notice a difference to the texture of their stools, which will likely be softer and more greasy than normal.
The changes in stool are a good indication that the ingredients are working in the required way, but problems can ensue if users do not make healthy changes to their diets. If a high amount of fat is present there will be an increased amount of fat to block.
This can produce a very laxative effect that creates a need for the toilet that is so great it can take users by surprise.
The results of this can be unpleasant to say the least and may cause untold embarrassment depending on where and when the need arises. For this reason, Xenical should never be seen as a cheat pill or a magic ticket that allows the holder to eat whatever they want and still lose weight.
By blocking the digestion of fats in the way that it does, Xenical can also prevent the absorption of beta carotene and a number of fat-soluble vitamins that are necessary for good health. This is problem that can be easily rectified by the use of a good multi-vitamin, which should be taken a couple of hours before or after Xenical is consumed.
Where To Buy Xenical Orlistat
As highlighted above it is not available to buy either in-store or via the internet.
Reductil and Acomplia – Now Withdrawn
The weight loss pills Reductil (Sibutramine) and Acomplia were both subjected to extensive trials before they were made available as prescription-only weight loss medication, but both of them had to be taken off the market when they were linked to dangerous side effects the studies had failed to reveal.
Reductil is an appetite suppressant that works by triggering elevated levels of serotonin. Its use was first sanctioned in 2001, but it was later found to increase the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.
Around 3,000 adverse reactions were reported since its introduction.
Acomplia is also an appetite suppressant, but it further assists weight loss by blocking receptors utilized by the endocannabinoid system, thereby influencing the processes that are necessary for regulating energy balance and sugar and fat metabolism.
Acomplia was withdrawn from the market after at the request of the marketing authorisation holder. It was discovered its use may lead to mental problems and suicidal tendencies.
Acomplia is the trade name for Rimonabant, also known as SR141716
Orlistat is generally distributed under the Xenical brand name (covered above). It has the power to interfere with the normal function of the digestive enzymes that process dietary fats. Each gram of fat provides nine calories so, by disrupting the digestive process, Orlistat can be very effective for lowering the amount of calories the body receives.
There is a lower dosed version called Alli – it is available to obtain for anyone who has a BMI higher than 25
The fact that doctors prescribe it is the best testament to how well it works, but it is not a magic pill. The prescribing doctor will normally also provide a strict diet and exercise schedule.
Although Orlistat is deemed safe as a prescription-only weight management tablet, the restrictions on its availably are not without good reason. It can cause a number of side effects and requires qualified supervision.
Possible Orlistat side effects include:
- Swelling of the lips, face, and throat
- Kidney-related problems
- Pain while urinating
- Breathing difficulties
- Blood in the urine
- Abdominal pain
- Swollen ankles
Phentermine – Appetite Suppressant
Phentermine’s reputation for providing powerful appetite suppression has caused it to become one of the most sought after diet pills in the world. However, it is closely related to amphetamine and can be just as addictive; so the reasons for its prescription-only status should need no further explaining.
Phentermine provides appetite suppression by triggering the release of specific hormones that would normally only be secreted during times of danger, when the body’s built-in need for self-preservation enables it to quell feelings of hunger that could otherwise prove to be a dangerous distraction.
This ability is called the “fight or flight” response and has been an inherent part of the human genetic makeup since the time of early man, when dangerous situations were a common part of everyday life. Phentermine’s ability to bypass the need for danger and stimulate hormone secretion a pill at a time makes it a valuable weight loss tablet but, like Orlistat, it is designed to be used with diet and exercise and is equally capable of causing unpleasant side effects.
Phentermine-related side effects can include:
- Changes in bowel movement (constipation/diarrhoea)
- Unpleasant tastes in the mouth
- Changes to the state of mind
- Swelling of the feet or legs
- Elevated blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Problems walking
- Skin irritation
- Loss of libido
- Racing heart
- Dry mouth
When the potential for so many side effects is coupled with the pills addictive nature, it could be seen as being a risky choice, but used in the correct manner, under a doctor’s supervision, the potential benefits outweigh any potential for harm.
Concluding Thoughts on Phentermine
Bearing in mind the availability of so many weight management supplements, it is quite surprising how limited the options are when it comes to prescription-provided medications. It really just comes down a battle between two, with Phentermine being the most likely weight loss medication to be prescribed.
This is a fact that in no way detracts from the abilities of Orlistat. Fat blockers are at their most useful for treating people, who eat high fat diets. Some dieters receive their excess calories from other sources, but Phentermine’s appetite suppressing abilities can be effective for dieters of all kinds—including those with a love of greasy foods.
If the appetite is not there the food intake will be reduced, be it high fat food or food that is laden with sugars and starches, so Phentermine is easily the most useful of the two prescription-only weight management medications presently available. Over the last years there has been a market for Phentermine alternatives – naturally formulated weight loss pills that are available to buy over the counter without the need for a prescription.
Contrave – Legitimate Brand
Contrave is a prescription-only weight loss medication developed in the USA by Orexigen Therapeutics. In 2014, the FDA approved its use in the US and the EU’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) sanctioned its use in Europe the following year.
Unlike many other prescription-only weight loss pills, such as Phentermine and Belviq, that contain only one substance, Contrave is a combination of two parts—Bupropion and Naltrexone. Bupropion is primarily used as an antidepressant and can also help people to cope with the stress of stopping smoking. Naltrexone is often used as a treatment for alcohol and opiod dependence. However, both tablets have shown potential as weight loss providers, but they also have the ability to cause some side effects and some of these negative issues are carried over when the two substances are combined.
As far as potential goes, Contrave is probably comparable to the weight loss product Qsymia, but may be more effective than Belviq. In a comparison of clinical trials, the volunteers who took Qsymia reduced their bodyweight by an average of 9%. The volunteers recruited for a the Belviq clinical trial showed an average weight reduction of 3%. Contrave came somewhere between the two, with the volunteers showing an average weight loss of 5%.
Eligibility for Prescription Weight Loss Medication
As with other weight loss pills, doctors have strict guidelines they must follow when deciding whether or not to issue a prescription. Contrave can only be prescribed to adult patients who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. However, people who have a BMI of 27-30 may still be eligible for treatment with Contrave is they suffer from at least one weight-related health condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. If a patient has failed to lose at least 5% of their body weight after 12 weeks of treatment the use of Contrave as a weight loss aid will be discontinued.
How Contrave Works
Contrave is an appetite suppressant that targets the neural pathways that influence appetite and food intake. It’s ability to suppress the appetite was evaluated in a number of early clinical trials. A total of 4,500 obese individuals took part in the trials. Some of them had weight-related conditions, others did not.
The treatment period was 12 months and everyone who took part followed a reduced calorie diet and exercised regularly. The resultant data showed the volunteers who received Contrave showed an average weight loss that was 4.1% better than the placebo group.
Contrave Usage Guidelines – Contrave capsules should always be swallowed whole, they must never be chewed. The normal dose is four capsules per day, but new users need to start off with a reduced dosage and gradually increase it over a period of weeks.
- Week 1: One capsule each morning.
- Week 2: One capsule each morning and one capsule on the evening.
- Week 3: Two capsules each morning and one capsule on the evening.
- Week 4 onward: Two capsules each morning and two capsules every evening.
Contrave must be used as part of an overall weight management routine that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. The doctor who prescribes Contrave will offer advice on both these things based on each patient’s individual level of mobility and fitness.
It is also important not to take crave with high fat meals as this may lead to seizure
Side Effects & Suitability Issues
Contrave is not suitable for everyone and any decision to issue a prescription will not be based on the official recommendation alone. Each patient’s medical history will be taken into consideration, as will any medication he or she may be using at the time.
It is not suitable for women who are pregnant of for people who suffer from certain medical conditions including:
- Eating disorders
- Seizure disorders
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular problems
Contrave is also unsuitable for use alongside certain medications including:
- Other products that contain Bupropion
- Opiods or treatments designed to treat opiod addiction
People who drink a lot of alcohol can also have find Contrave problematic because taking alongside large quantities of alcohol could result in seizures. However people who are accustomed to drinking a lot of alcohol and then suddenly reduce the amount also face an increased risk of seizure while taking Contrave.
Some of the more common side effects Contrave users may experience include:
- Dry mouth
- Trouble sleeping
However, potential users need to be aware Contrave is capable of causing more frightening side effects, including suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
Belviq – Legitimate Brand
Belviq is a pill for losing weight that can only be legally obtained with a doctor’s prescription. The FDA sanctioned its use in 2012, but it did not become available until the following year. It’s manufactured by Arena Pharmaceuticals and Belviq is a brand name, the products generic name is Lorcaserin.
Dieters who use Belviq can expect a to lose 3-3.7% of their bodyweight within a year, but research suggests any weight that is lost can return quite quickly after the treatment is ceased. In one study patients who were prescribed Belviq for a year successfully lost 5% of their body weight, but by the end of the following year the patients had regained 50% of the weight they had lost while taking. So in this respect Belviq does not compare well to some of the other prescription-only weight loss medications such as Phentermine and Orlistat.
Eligibility for Treatment
The FDA did approved Belviq for distribution via prescription but has now since requested it be withdrawn. As is generally the case with such medications, it must be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program and it is only suitable for adults.
Further restrictions are also in place. In order to be eligible for treatment with Belviq, patients must have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. Some patients who have a BMI between 27 and 30 may also be eligible, but only if they suffer from at least one weight-related condition. A few examples are: high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and diabetes.
How Belviq Works
Belviq works by causing changes in the action of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Serotonin levels can effect the mood and many pills that have the ability to stimulate changes in serotonin appear to be capable of influencing the appetite, thereby helping people to sustain a low calorie diet without being troubled by feelings of hunger. capsules or supplements that can suppress the appetite can often help people to reduce their daily calorie intake by an extent that is sufficient to cause a calorie deficit that necessitates the burning of body fat for extra energy. However, if the best results are to be obtained appetite suppressants need to be used in conjunction with healthy eating choices and exercise.
Belviq Usage Guidelines – One 10mg tablet is required two times each day. If a 5% reduction in body weight is not apparent after 12 weeks of treatment the prescribing doctor will issue no further prescriptions.
Side Effects & Suitability Issues
Belviq is not suitable for everyone, regardless of how heavy they may have become. It is unsuitable for pregnant women and women who are nursing a child. The FDA has several categories relating to the dangers specific medication may present to an unborn child. Belviq is a category X drug that may present a serious risk to a fetus.
A few users may find they are allergic to the active ingredient (lorcaserin) and others may be unsuitable candidates due to existing medical conditions.
A few examples include:
- Heart valve disorder
- Congestive hart failure
- Sickle cell anaemia
- kidney/liver disease
- Peyrones disease (deformity of the penis)
Like Phentermine, Belviq can also have an addictive nature, so it may be an unsuitable weight loss option for people who have past problems with drug addiction and abuse.
Anyone who is considering using Belviq for weight loss purposes also needs to be aware the products has been linked to some side effects, some of which may effect the mind as well as the body.
Belviq usage can interfere with the memory and the ability to focus the mind on any given task. It can also cause hallucinations, so the manufacturer suggests new users refrain from driving a car or operating machinery until they are sure it will not interfere with their ability to safely do so.
Other side effects people may experience when using Belviq include:
- Feelings of fatigue
- Dry Mouth
- Back pain
- Thoughts of suicide
- Low blood sugar
- Slow heartbeat
- Painful erections
Qsymia – Legitimate Brand
Qsymia is a prescription-only weight loss medication that contains a combination of Phentermine and Topiramate. The first is an appetite suppressant, the second is an anticonvulsant that is sometimes used to treat children with epilepsy. It appears to encourage a slight degree of weight loss as a secondary ability, but Topiramate is also known to cause birth defects.
Although many weight loss medications need to be taken two or more times per day, Qsymia only needs to be taken once because it has been designed to release the two it provides at a steady rate, throughout the day, rather than all at once.
A Short History of Qsymia
Qsymia was developed by the California-based pharmaceutical company, Vivus. It was submitted to the FDA for approval in December 2009, but in the October of the following year the FDA rejected it in its current form, stating concerns about side effects including elevated heart rate, birth defects, and adverse cardiovascular events.
These side effects continue to be an issue, but when Vivus resubmitted in 2011 the FDA approved its use and Qsymia became available, in September 2012, as a prescription only medication. European regulatory authorities were not so forgiving of the products potential shortcomings and refused to sanction the use of Qsymia in Europe.
Eligibility for Treatment
The FDA has only approved Qsymia for chronic weight management and the pill must be used in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise.
People who have BMI that is less than 27 are not eligible for treatment with Qsymia, and people with a BMI of 27-30 will only be considered if they also have weight-related health issues.
High blood pressure, for example. However, people who have a BMI of 30 or more may be eligible for treatment with Qsymia even if they do not have such health problems.
How Qsymia Works
The exact method of action is not known, but Phentermine is an appetite suppressant that works by triggering changes in the brain that cause a a condition called fight or flight.
It seems likely that Qsymia may share that ability. It has also been speculated the product may produce other changes that may speed the metabolism and encourage the body to burn calories faster than normal. Although nothing is known for sure, a combination of appetite suppression and faster calorie burning could cause the body to run low on calories and begin burning its fat.
However, despite the confusion over the mechanisms involved, Qsymia appears to work for weight loss. After a 12 month clinical trial, obese patients who were given the lower dose (23mg) of Qsymia lost 8.4% of their bodyweight. Patients who were given the higher dose (46mg) reduced their body weight by 10.6%.
Qsymia Usage Guidelines – The initial dose is one 23mg capsule taken each morning. After 14 days the capsule strength is increased to 46mg. If a patient has failed to lose at least 3% of their bodyweight by the 12th week of use it will no longer be supplied.
Side Effects & Suitability Issues
Qsymia is unsuitable for some people, regardless of how out of control their weight may have become. For starters, it should never be used by pregnant women. It may also be addictive, and is unsuitable for patients who have high blood pressure, or disease of the heart, liver, or kidneys.
Other medical conditions that may make Qsymia an unsuitable option include:
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Low bone mineral density
- Kidney stones
- Overactive thyroid gland
It can also react badly with some medications, including MAO inhibitors, and women who are taking birth control pills could experience irregular vaginal bleeding.
Side effects can also be an issue for many users and some of the side effects can be quite frightening.
Some of the known side effects are:
- Breathing difficulties
- Swelling of the tongue, lips, and face
- Pounding heart
- Fluttering heart
- Eye pain and/or sudden vision problems
- Problems concentrating
- Impaired speech
- Memory problems
- Extreme thirst
- Low blood sugar
- Sleep problems
- dry mouth
- Tingling sensations