Alli OTC Fat-Blocking Drug Selling Fast
Alli, the over-the-counter version of the fat-blocker Xenical, is selling lot hotcakes.
It’s only half as powerful as its prescription-strength predecessor, but the new fat-blocking drug Alli (pronounced “ally”) is creating a serious buzz among dieters. The first over-the-counter weight-loss pill approved by the FDA, Alli works by blocking about one-fourth of consumed fat. The drug’s makers don’t claim that it’s a miracle drug — a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet and regular exercise are necessary companions for it to be effective — but dieters are eager to reap its potential rewards.
Alli users must contend with some less-than-glamorous side effects — gas, oily discharge and an inability to control bowel movements — and skeptics of the pill’s enduring benefits point out that those aren’t the only reasons to think twice before taking the drug. “There are demonstrable short-term risks and no possibility of long-term benefit,” Sidney Wolfe, MD, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group in Washington, told WebMD. “You need to make a mild change in how much you eat and a mild change on how much you exercise. If you walk 2 miles more and eat 300 calories less per day, you will lose a pound a week or one-half a pound a week. It’s slow but it works and has no risks.”
But that advice isn’t likely to dissuade serial dieters who are looking for a less grueling way to lose more weight.
Indeed. Of course, walking an extra two miles a day isn’t exactly a “mild change” in exercise levels. My guess, though, is that taking a pill that blocks fat will simply encourage people to eat more fat.