Benefits and Harms of Herbal Weight Loss Drugs

The majority of over-the-counter herbal products for weight loss are appetite suppressants. They work by "trapping" the body into thinking that it is not hungry. This can be effective; however, long-term use can lead to addiction and may cause health problems. In addition, weight loss only occurs while you are taking the medicine, unless other behavioral changes such as improved diet and increased exercise are made.

Some commonly used over-the-counter weight loss drugs and appetite suppressants. Patients should be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any of these over-the-counter drugs or herbal remedies for weight loss, as some could be a waste of money, or worse, dangerous.

There are many varieties of herbal diuretics that are commonly found in over-the-counter weight loss products as well as herbal weight loss preparations. Most of the diuretics used in over-the-counter treatments are derived from caffeine. Most of the herbal diuretics are not toxic but have been known to interact with medications such as, lithium Lithobid, Eskalith, Lanoxin, or conventional diuretics such as Lasix or Esidrex. Herbal diuretics do not provide enough water loss to be considered effective in losing weight. More importantly, long-term weight loss is loss of fat, not water. Herbal Medicines available on the internet regarding their benefit but not all these claims are necessarily true. Patients should read about each one in the link provided and they should find the latest research. Appetite suppressants are drugs that may help you lose weight by "tricking" your body into making you feel full and no longer hungry.

Appetite suppressants can work, but they only work while you are taking them. However, long-term use can lead to addiction and create health complications. To lose weight, you must also adjust your eating habits; otherwise you will simply regain any lost weight. Any appetite suppressant product may be associated with an increased risk of strokes.

However, herbal preparations will not produce permanent weight loss. Also, herbal weight-loss products contain many ingredients, some of which have serious side effects and can lead to dangerous health situations (toxicities). Most people who sell herbal products have limited knowledge how these products work and wouldn’t be able to tell you about reported problems with the herbs or how they might affect the drugs you may be taking. Many herbal manufacturers also make "false claims" about the health benefits of these products. For all of these reasons and lack of proven health benefits, use of herbal products as weight-loss aids is not encouraged.