Diet Pills, do they work safely?

I’m wondering what it is in most diet pills that makes them work, and if they do indeed work as well as the manufacturers claim. It just seems like they probably have more of a placebo effect on the users than an actual physical effect, but I may be wrong. Any and all information on this topic is welcomed, thanks.

They’re all stimulants of some sort, and work centrally in the nervous system to reduce the urge to eat. The ones that work are all horribly addicting, and have generally been banned for use as diet pills. These include such wonder drugs as benzedrine (amphetamine sulfate) and ritalin. These drugs are used for attention deficit type disorders and narcolepsy, but not for dieting anymore.

Some related compounds which are less addicting have been, and still are prescribed as diet aids. Phentermine is one. Fenfluoramine and Dexfenfluoramine were others, but they got pulled from the market when they were associated with heart valve damage.

Phenylpropanolamine was a common diet pill ingredient for OTC diet meds, but was pulled a few years ago (needlessly I believe) because of a slight association with stroke risk increase in young women who were dieting and taking it in conjunction with other appetite suppresants. It was a dandy decongestant too.

Pseudoephedrine is still used for OTC diet pill purposes. Not to be confused with ephedra, which is different (but also used for dieting)

All the above drugs act as stimulants to some extent, and are all abusable to a greater or lesser extent. They can raise blood pressure, heart rate, and autonomic nervous system irritability. They can disrupt sleep.

Bottom line: They work, at a significant risk. The lower the risk, the less likely they are to work.


My two cents: Put less food in one’s mouth, move one’s body around more.