The diet drug, Meridia, has been recently withdrawn from the market by its maker, Abbott Labs.  The U.S. F.D.A., or Food and Drug Administration requested it be taken off the market.  I’m delighted with this news.

It was reported in various journals that the F.D.A. found the risks of taking this drug far outweighed it’s potential effectiveness in weight loss.  “Physicians are advised to stop prescribing Meridia to their patients and patients should stop taking this medication,” Dr. John Jenkins, the FDA’s director for new drugs, said in a statement.  Read more about it in USA Today, in an report that came from the Associated Press.

It was banned in Europe last January, after health officials linked it to increased risks of heart disease and stroke.

Meridia is on the list of dangerous, banned “diet drugs,” such as Fen-Phen because of potential heart-valve and lung problems, and ephedra, also a suspect in increased risk of heart attacks.

The reality is that all medications have side-effects.  Every drug on the market needs to be carefully considered for its benefits but also the risks.

At this point, the weight loss and weight maintenance equation remains complicated.  There just isn’t a “magic pill” or drug that will solve the problem.  Those of us who have been obese, and have enjoyed recovery from it know that.  No pill ever worked for me.  My appetite may have been temporarily calmed with “appetite suppressors” or uppers, but they made me nervous and irritable, and they gradually became less and powerful as time went on.  I couldn’t take them forever.

Drugs that cause severe diarrhea, and supposedly make fat pass straight through the body without sticking (I won’t mention names) are not the answer, either.  You just cant live with severe, constant diarrhea for very long!

What works?  We know.  A combination of regular, disciplined and structured eating, with daily physical activity, ways to deal with difficult emotions and past traumas, solid loving relationships, and most of all – connection with God or your Higher Power.  Each person has their own needs, and they need to be met I ways other than compulsive overeating, or addictive behavior.

Again and again I’ve taken the position that diet pills do not work.  Don’t bother taking them.  Don’t risk your life to be thin.

Comments?  Experiences with diet drugs?  Please share and help us all stay off of them.

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