OTC DIET DRUG
ANCHOR LEAD: A DIET DRUG PREVIOUSLY SOLD ONLY BY PRESCRIPTION WILL NOW BE SOLD OVER THE COUNTER, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
The diet drug Orlistat has received FDA approval for sale directly to consumers, albeit in a reduced dosage formulation. Is this good news for people concerned about their weight? Lawrence Cheskin, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, says the drug won’t be a panacea.
CHESKIN: I believe it’s going to be called ally or allie, and it will have a smaller dose than the prescribed drug but should work almost as well. It has a small, modest effect but it can be of some help to people, especially those who are prone to eating high fat or junk foods, where this will give you what we sometimes call an antibuse like effect, where it will make you sensitive to fatty foods so you’ll get GI side effects if you stray from the diet you should be eating, and it also blocks about a quarter of the fat that you eat from being absorbed so you don’t get the calories. :33
People who use the drug should also take a multivitamin supplement as fat soluble vitamins are also lost. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.