Offered weight-loss meds by doctor (UK)

I went to the doctors this morning for other prescriptions and mentioned my weight loss struggles. He said that I could be prescribed some medication to help me lose weight.

Has anyone tried this before (on UK meds) and has it been successful? My main worry is unpleasant side effects e.g. awful diarrhea! I watched a program a few years ago where the women said that it gave them terrible oily diarrhea.

I still want to eat healthily and exercise along the medication, but especially as I am getting married in a few months I am tempted to try it.


  • emmaprocopiou
    emmaprocopiou Posts: 246 Member
    Hi I'm from the uk, even at my biggest I was not offered meds by the gp.
    I have tried Alli in the past, my well intentioned mother thought it might help. I didn't find that it made a difference, but because I didn't want to experience the ( horrific) side effects I was eating lower fat and TMI - poos were greasy.
  • emmaprocopiou
    emmaprocopiou Posts: 246 Member
    How annoying it cut off my post
    Anyway basically I just gave up on it and just went to eating healthier and eventually found mfp.
    I would look at what you are eating now make small changes following a moderate deficit and get in some exercise ( walking is great) and look forward to your wedding.
    I'm pretty positive your new husband will think you look stunning x
  • nicola8989
    nicola8989 Posts: 381 Member
    It's Orlistat that they prescribe - yeah I am worried about the side effects.

    I have been exercising and eating well though and not seeing results.

    Thank you xx
  • nicola8989
    nicola8989 Posts: 381 Member
    sorry just looked that up and seen Orlistat/Alli are the same thing!! xx
  • Gun4a
    Gun4a Posts: 68 Member
    I think the best way forward is exercise and good nutrition. Also, might want to look at other factors (like wedding stress) that might be preventing you from reaching your goals. Nutrition is definitely the key when it comes to losing weight.
  • ladyreva78
    ladyreva78 Posts: 4,080 Member
    edited April 2016
    In my case the side effects were not pretty (both short term and long term side effects). (I was on Xenical, but it's the same category of medications and I seriously regret ever hearing about it).

    For long term success the approach propagated by MFP (learn how much energy your body needs and how much energy is contained in the food you eat) is not only healthier, but safer with less risk of embarrassment.

    Since you're not seeing success, it is highly probably that you're eating more than your body needs. The numbers MFP gives tend to be accurate enough for most people. The problem is often inaccurate logging (when my logging slacks, I stop losing.) Try weighing your food on a food scale and logging accurately to see how much you eat while keeping more or less to the calorie goal set by MFP. From there make small changes downward or upward in portion sizes until you hit a weightloss rate which does not exceed 1% of your body weight per week.

    Best of luck to you :smile:

  • nicola8989
    nicola8989 Posts: 381 Member
    thanks everyone - I am mega stressed with lots of things with work, family and wedding right now!!! MFP and calorie counting have always worked for me in the past but this time around, when I am so heavy the weight should be dropping off me, it hasn't. So it is quite frustrating. But I don't want the awful side effects!
  • Spyer116
    Spyer116 Posts: 168 Member
    It blocks 1/3rd of the fat you eat from being absorbed. So it comes out the other end - hence the oil/grease, that also destroys the toilet, since water doesn't work well on getting removing oil/grease.

    Its useless really. At best, it'll deter you from eating fatty foods. Either you'll eat less of them when they're in front of you, or you'll replace the usual fat giving foods with carb or protein foods which usually results in more of a calorie reduction (since fat is over double the calories as the other two).

    (gross coming up)
    So it does nothing but make you unable to eat fatty foods. As you'll experience alot of intestinal discomfort, and #2s that destroy the toilet. + Quite often because its very different to your normal #2s, it leaks out alot. Almost all farts or wind will also make it leak/spurt out too, destroying your underwear / pants in the process, as that stuff doesn't come out in the normal wash.

    If you're going to take stuff that isn't going to have horrible results on your pants or toilet, try;
    Carb Blocker: White kidney bean extract / Phase 2.
    There may be some intestinal discomfort + wind. But your #2s will be solid, and at least not leak out or destroy your toilet or pants. Blocks some of the carbs from being absorbed. Not all. Used on starches though. Not sugars (so wont work to reduce calories from sugary sweets or junk food).

    ECA stack: Ephedrine / caffeine / aspirin. Stimulant based. If using pharma grade ephedrine (not the herbal ephedra mixtures), is very safe once used with responsible dosages, and you're relatively healthy. (obviously bad idea if you can't tolerate stimulants, or have heart/bp problems, or are on blood thinners).
    Increased energy buzz, concentration + motivation are up, and some appetite suppressant effects

    Yohimbine / Rauwolscine: Stimulant too, but less noticeable than ephedrine. Works best when fasted. Will increase fat burning during low/medium intensity exercise. Horrible to take after eating carbs, or to eat carbs 1-3 hours after taking it is also a bad idea.

    These can't replace a daily calorie deficit for weightloss. But they may increase the total weight lost by the end, by a little bit if you're looking for an extra couple of pounds gone. Or make your weight loss journey feel a little easier with the temporary energy boosts and appetite suppressing.
    Regarding health - thats still up to eating a varied and healthy set of foods, with the calorie limit you do have each day.
  • Vetticus_3
    Vetticus_3 Posts: 78 Member
    edited April 2016
    The thing is... this board and this website is very anti-weight loss drugs.

    It's going to be up to you to do research on the meds, and decide if they are appropriate to you. I'll give a brief summary of what's available - trying to be as factual as possible.

    There are several common drugs that can be prescribed -
    Orlistat which prevents about 1/3 of fat from being digested. This is usually prescribed if you have a BMI over 30, or over 28 plus a weight related condition (ie, high blood pressure). There are side effects - which you can use google to look up. Orlistat will not work on it's own. It will need a calorie controlled, fat controlled, diet (and exercise) to be effective. Does it work - yes. Will it keep the weight off - only if you maintain a healthy life style.

    Then, there are the appetite suppressants.
    Phentermine, which is not commonly prescribed by a GP (usually available through a weight loss clinic). This should be prescribed to persons with a BMI over 30, or over 28 plus a weight related condition. Also, it cannot be prescribed to persons with heart problems (or a history of heart problems), or mental health issues. It works in part by suppressing your appetite. This was once part of the infamous fen/phen problems of the 90s. Though the fen part was shown to be the cause of the heart issues, there is a lot of guilt by association. Phentermine isn't a magic pill. It also requires a calorie controlled diet (and exercise) to be effective. There are also side effects - which you can look up on google. Studies show that the side effects are usually mild to moderate, but for some people these effects are too much. Used for a short period - not long term. Does it work? yes. Will it keep the weight off - only if you maintain a healthy life style.

    Diethylpropion, also rarely prescribed by a GP (I've only heard of it's availability through weight loss clinics when phentermine doesn't work). I'm under the impression it's only prescribed to persons with a BMI over 30... and without a history of addiction. This has a relatively high addiction rate. It works in part by suppressing your appetite. Once again... you can look up the side effects on google. Short term use only. Does it work? Yes (sort of - it's not as effective in reducing body weight as phentermine). Will it keep the weight off - only if you maintain a healthy life style.

    There are a few other drugs that are being tested - these include a combination of phentermine + topiramate, lorcaserin, liraglutide, and a combination of naltrexone + bupropion . I don't think these are available through a GP yet.

    My opinions:

    Do research on the actual medication using pubmed and google (google scholar is really helpful at getting the studies rather than blog posts). Look at your life and where you want to be, and decide what is the best course of action for you. There are going to be a lot of anecdotes, horror stories, and bad information mixed in with some good advice. Arm yourself with the facts before sorting through it all.

    Regardless of what road you choose to take, know that nothing will work without maintaining a healthy life style during and after the weight loss (even this website - just look at how many people rejoin after gaining their weight back).

    You only get out, what you put in.

    Medication can be the kick start you need. The threat of medication can be the kick start you need (be it, OMG my doctor wants me to take weight loss pills or OMG my doctor said I'm pre -diabetic and need to take blood pressure pills). Looking at an outfit you want to fit into can be the kick start you need. Starting a family might be the kick start you need. Just, find something that motivates you to continue working towards a better you - and stick to it. You don't have to justify your reasons to anyone but you.
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,179 Member
    I have no personal experience. I have however a relative who was prescribed orlistat. It worked. And then she stopped and gained everything back and some more, as her eating habits had not improved at all.
  • SusanKing1981
    SusanKing1981 Posts: 257 Member
    I tried Xenical in my 20's. They were not prescribed to me, they were prescribed to a friend who let me take some. Silly I know. In short, I had severe anal leakage at work. The smell was appalling and my clothes were ruined. I couldn't hold it in, it just leaked out. Please don't take them, a calorie deficit is all you need.