Side Effects of Weight Loss Pills

Not all weight loss drug methods are safe; little wonder why prescription drugs for weight loss cannot be under self-medication use. Otherwise, you may be causing more harm than good. Some of these drugs cannot be effective without forming other healthy habits for better results.

This article examines some of the side effects of some prescribed drugs for weight loss from a medical perspective. It is important to note these things before embarking on the weight loss journey if you choose this method. It may also discuss some of these brand drug names, their category, and the side effects users can expect.

Common Side Effects of Weight Loss Drugs

1.     Adipex-P (Phentermine)

This drug belongs to the anti-suppressant or sympathomimetic amine category of weight loss pills. Some of its side effects may include increased blood pressure and heart rate, difficulty in sleep, restlessness, and nervousness. Over a long time, the user may become more dependent on the drug or even abuse it. Doctors also recommend not using this drug at bedtime.

2.     Alli (Orlistat)

Alli is a Lipase inhibitor that is sold over the counter. Some of its side effects to expect may include oily spotting, soft stools, fecal incontinence, fecal urgency, flatulence, or release of gas. Therefore doctors recommend that Alli should be taken alongside a daily multivitamin at bedtime. This pattern of use can reduce all the side effects to a reasonable level.

3.     Belviq (Lorcaserin)

Belviq is a selective serotonin 2C receptor agonist that helps to suppress your appetite through a chemical process in your brain. However, it has its side effects: nausea, headaches, dizziness, cough, dry mouth, constipation, and fatigue. On the other hand, overuse of the drug may also cause euphoria or dissociation. Therefore, the doctors recommend user should not exceed 10 mg of the drug per day.

4.     Bontril PDM (Phendimetrazine)

Bontril and Bontril PDM are also appetite suppressants and sympathomimetic amines. Consistent use may cause users to experience increased blood pressure, decreased appetite, restlessness, nervousness, insomnia (sleeplessness), and heart rate increase. Also, long-term use may lead to dependence, abuse where withdrawal can be complicated. As a result, medical experts recommend not using the drug at bedtime.

5.     Contrave (Bupropion and Naltrexone)

Contrave is an antidepressant, a weak inhibitor of norepinephrine and dopamine, and an opioid antagonist. Some of its side effects include vomiting, dizziness, increased blood pressure, unusual taste in the mouth, and hot flush. Others include anxiety, difficulty in sleep, dry mouth, diarrhea, fatigue, constipation, tremor, headache, faster heartbeat rate, and nausea.

6.     Desoxyn (Methamphetamine)

As an appetite suppressant and a sympathomimetic amine, Desoxyn has high abuse potential and is therefore not frequently prescribed, except for rare cases. In such cases of use, alternative treatments must have been ineffective. Other side effects that one may experience include insomnia, restlessness, and an increase in blood pressure and heart rate.

Users can also experience some level of nervousness. Besides, dependence, withdrawal, or abuse can be a result of long-term use. Consequently, doctors recommend that this drug should not be used at bedtime.

7.     Didrex (Benzphetamine)

Didrex is yet another anti-suppressant with which users can come with several side effects, including increased blood pressure and restlessness. Other symptoms may include a higher heartbeat rate, loss of appetite, and insomnia, while continuous use for a long time may lead to dependence, abuse, or difficulty to withdraw. Doctors recommend not using this drug at bedtime.

8.     Diethylpropion

Diethylpropion is an appetite suppressant and a sympathomimetic amine drug for generic use only. These drug users may experience some level of constipation, increased blood pressure and heart beat rate, dry mouth, restlessness, nervousness, and insomnia. Whereas dependence, abuse, or withdrawal of this drug may result from extended overuse of the drug. As a result of the associated side effects, doctors recommend not using the drug at bedtime.

9.     Qsymia (Phentermine and topiramate extended-release capsules)

Qsymia is a particular drug that combines the effects of an appetite suppressant and a seizure drug. Medically, the exact action of the topiramate content on weight loss is still unknown simultaneously. Some of the known side effects may include a numbing sensation (also known as paresthesias) or tingling, taste changes, and constipation. Users may also experience a level of insomnia (lack of sleep or difficulty in sleeping), dizziness, and dry mouth.

Moreover, the dose is meant for a one-per-day dosage, only in the morning. In other words, one should avoid taking it in the even as it may keep you awake and overactive. Most definitely, this drug is not meant for use at bedtime. Another warning with this drug is that pregnant women should not use it because it can cause congenital disabilities in the fetus.

10.  Saxenda (Liraglutide)

Saxenda is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist that regulates the appetite for food and the actual food intake. However, this drug’s use comes with side effects that may include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, constipation, and dry mouth. Users may also experience heartburn, poor appetite, fatigue, stomach pain, gas release or flatulence, stomach pain, low blood sugar in patients with type II diabetes. Continuous use may result in an increased lipase content and an elevated heartbeat rate.

11.  Xenical (Orlistat)

Xenical is simply a Lipase inhibitor that can be effective in weight loss. However, the side effects may include oily spotting, fecal urgency, fecal incontinence, flatulence or release of gas, and soft stools. Doctors recommend using this drug only when a daily multivitamin is added that contains fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E, and K.


On the last note, weight loss through drugs is strictly on prescription by doctors and other medical experts. However, these drugs have their side effects, which can be minimized if users follow the doctor’s precise prescription. Also, uses should also adhere to all other instructions and limit the use for only the recommended time. Otherwise, overusing many of these drugs may cause more severe medical complications for the user.

On the other hand, there are alternatives to weight loss, apart from using drugs that include special workout exercises and striking dietary combinations. Therefore, before you begin the weight loss journey, decide which options are most suitable than the rest.