Medication in the Treatment of Obesity (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Obesity Medications Should I Avoid?
Some medications are not recommended for weight loss because of safety concerns. Some are no longer available in the United States. Avoid them. Be sure to check any weight-loss products you acquire without a prescription, such as through mail-order pharmacies, to make sure they do not contain any of these products.
Two drugs known as fenfluramine (Pondimin) and dexfenfluramine (Redux) affect serotonin levels in the brain.
Ephedrine (ephedra, ma-huang)
A ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Apr. 12, 2004, prohibits dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids (ephedra).
Ephedra, also called ma-huang, is a naturally occurring substance derived from plants. Its principal active ingredient is ephedrine, which, when chemically synthesized, is regulated as a drug. In recent years, ephedra products have been extensively promoted to aid weight loss, enhance sports performance, and increase energy. However, the FDA has determined that ephedra presents an unreasonable risk of illness or injury. Ephedrine has been linked to significant adverse health effects, including high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, stroke, and death.
Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/22/2016
Gayle M. Galletta, MD, FACEP
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