How to Safely Use Appetite Suppressants

If you are trying to lose weight, appetite suppressants could be your surefire way to do so without undergoing the rigors of exercise. As the name obviously implies, appetite suppressants act by reducing your appetite or your desire for food. Most appetite suppressants create a sensation of fullness in the gastrointestinal tract through bulking agents that absorb water and expand when ingested. An example of a bulking agent is guar gum.

Other appetite suppressants directly act on the food centers of the brain to reduce appetite. They are called sympathomimetic agents, and examples of these include phentermine and sibutramine. However, with improper use, appetite suppressants may be a threat to life, causing a wide variety of complications, including gastrointestinal obstruction (in the case of guar gum), rapid and irregular heart rate, hypertension, heart attacks, strokes, mental disorders and even cancer.

If you are lured by the weight loss promises of appetite suppressants, here are some helpful tips to ensure that you take these preparations safely.

Do Research

Before trying out any appetite suppressant that you have seen on advertisements or was recommended to you by someone, learn more about it by doing extensive research on the Internet. Check if the ingredients are among those approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Make sure that the appetite suppressant does not contain any banned substances.

Take Note of Side Effects

If you have a current medical condition, make sure that the ingredients of the appetite suppressant will not cause side effects or aggravate symptoms. Check for potential interactions with any medications that you are taking for your medical condition.

Consult with a Doctor

You should not take an appetite suppressant without consulting a doctor first and, more so, without the doctor’s approval. Only your doctor will know if the appetite suppressant is safe for you to use and will not aggravate any diseases that you may have. The doctor will also advise you on the recommended daily dose and how long you are supposed to take the appetite suppressant. Have emergency contact information ready in the event that side effects develop.

Never Play with Dosages

You may be one of those who take higher dosages of appetite suppressants to shed those excess pounds faster, and then lower the dose to maintain your current weight. However, higher doses of appetite suppressants will not lead to rapid weight loss. Instead, it will put you at great risk for dangerous overdose complications, including severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting, rapid and irregular heart rate, palpitations, confusion, hallucinations, convulsions, coma and even death. It is strongly advised that if you are taking appetite suppressants, you should make a daily record of your intake, including the dose and times that the suppressants were taken.

Know When to Stop Intake

If you develop side effects, such as rashes or hives, sore throat, difficulty of breathing, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, fatigue, confusion and lethargy, convulsions and fever, you must stop taking the appetite suppressants. Ask someone to take you to the nearest hospital for immediate evaluation and treatment.


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