Friday, 15 June 2007

Diet is a dirty word. Take pills instead.

I don't know who chooses the names for new drugs, but many of them sure sound unpleasant to me.

Take Rimonabant, for example. It's a diet pill that was launched in the UK last year. But it has been rejected by a US committee advising the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of concerns that it increases the risk of suicide.

Rimonabant can aid weight loss by reducing appetite. Apparently, it can help users lose up to 10 percent of their body weight and it's currently recommended for obese people who are at risk of diabetes or heart disease. About 37,000 people have been prescribed the drug in the UK. at the cost of £720 a year.

But the US committee of experts, after reviewing studies on Rimonabant, say that it is linked with an increased risk of suicidal thoughts even in those with no history of depression. They warn that the drug is targeted at obese people who have a higher incidence of depression and eating disorders than the rest of the population.

UK experts had also raised concerns about the side effects of Rimonabant: anxiety and depression. But the increased risk of suicide is small, according to Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of UK-based Weight Concern. He says the risks of the drug have to be balanced with the advantages.

Are there other ways for obese people to improve their quality of life, without risking anxiety and suicide by taking a weight loss drug? Sure, dieting is one way to achieve that. To find out about a safe and effective weight loss programme, go to http://www.nutritioniq.co.uk/

3 comments:

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