Buying an Over The Counter Weight Loss Product - Is it Safe?

A typical over the counter weight loss product can be a little expensive or cheap depending on the ingredients added in them. However, before you go shopping for an over the counter weight loss product, you need to do a little research on your own about its ingredients, whether it is approved or not by the FDA, and consult your doctor whether it is fit for your condition and overall health.

What is over-the-counter?

An over the counter weight loss product is something that you can buy from the drugstore or pharmacy without a doctor's prescription. Some of these products are generic and you have to be careful when buying them because they tend to have excessive toxins that can be harmful for your body.

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A lot of OTC weight loss products do not support their claims or do not have enough scientific and medical evidence or research backing up the claims. However, there are credible OTC weight loss products that are known among consumers since they are proven to be effective and safe by those who have used and are still using them.


An over the counter weight loss product can be in the form of a fat burner, fat blocker, or appetite suppressant. In some cases, the products can be a combination of two or all of those qualities. It is important that you know what these types can do for you. Here is a simple guide.

Fat burners

Fat burners work by breaking down your fat so they can be used for production of more energy and faster metabolism. They work by aiding the breaking down of fats in your body. A lot of fat burners contain caffeine to increase the heart rate. Some fat burners also work by promoting body heat so you can burn more calories. However, side effects include anxiety and nervousness, and they are not recommended for those with heart diseases and those with anxiety disorders.

Appetite suppressants

A popular over the counter weight loss product is the appetite suppressant because they prevent you from eating to keep your fat consumption to a low level. They also prevent you from giving in to cravings and binging, which can aid in weight loss. Appetite suppressants are one of the oldest types of weight loss products since a lot of people experience high weight loss success rates when taking them. In fact, the popularity of these products increased when Hoodia Gordonii was introduced in the market. Although Hoodia is considered as the best and effective appetite suppressant by many users, there is not much research to back up its effective claims.

Fat blockers

Another popular over the counter weight loss product is the fat blocker. According to users, it is more effective and very safe to use compared to other weight loss products available in the market. Xenical (orlistat) is an example of OTC fat blocker product. Fat blockers work by preventing the lipase enzymes from absorbing the fats coming from the foods you are eating. Through this method, a lot of people were able to lose weight especially when they used it with proper diet and exercise.

Side effects of fat blockers

However, side effects include diarrhea, abdominal discomforts, oily stool, and your body's inability in absorbing essential vitamins and minerals that are fat soluble. Other examples of fat blockers are Proactol, Alli, and the natural one called chitosan. Both of them have the same side effects, sometimes, more. However, the latter is proven by scientific evidence to be weak in blocking fats.

Can they make you lose weight?

Despite several manufacturer claims, using an over the counter weight loss product may not be able to help you lose weight. Be careful with claims that are misleading especially if they are promising fast results within a week. Remember that there is no such thing as a "magic" diet pill that can make you shed off those unwanted pounds in only a short period of time.

What to avoid

Avoid any over the counter weight loss product that has ingredients that are not approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Examples of these products include ma huang, ephedrine or ephedra, white willow (salicin), and guarana. These products have no proof for effective weight loss and they have a lot of harmful side effects. For instance, ephedra is linked to side effects like seizures, stroke, heart attack, and death. Chromium is another popular ingredient in OTC weight loss products that has no back up proof on its claims that makes it effective for weight loss.

Safety measures

Only buy OTC weight loss products after consulting with your doctor so you can be sure if they are right for you or not. Furthermore, make sure that they are recognized and recommended by other users to ensure safety and effectiveness.

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