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Appetite suppressants for weight loss

Using appetite suppressants seems like a good idea for those who struggle to control their eating. You pop a pill, don't feel hungry, lose weight - what could be simpler?

The truth is, appetite suppressants are not that simple. Many of these drugs are stimulants of the phenethylamine family, related to amphetamine (speed). Overuse can lead to fatal pulmonary hypertension and heart valve damage, which has prompted governments worldwide (including the UK and the USA) to ban many of these drugs - most notably ephedrine.

However, many of these illegal appetite suppressants are still available illicitly on the internet. Should you buy them? Experts warn that what appears to be a cut price aid to slimming can have potentially lethal effects - quite simply, you don't know whether the product you are taking is genuine, or whether you are taking it appropriately.

Overall there are at least 14 different drugs that reduce food cravings, some of which are prescribed on a short term basis clinically to treat obesity, others of which are available over the counter.

If you are seriously overweight or obese (BMI of more than 30), talk to your doctor, who will provide advice and guidance, as well as setting you up with a healthy eating plan and exercise guide - this is essential for these drugs to be fully effective.

Over the counter supplements usually contain natural or herbal ingredients - your local pharmacist can advise you which would be suitable for you.