This week, individuals fighting the bulge have will a new ally in Alli.
Alli is the only FDA over-the-counter weight loss pill scheduled to hit pharmacy and store shelves Friday. Texas A&M Health Science Center Associate Professor Dr. Rachel Bramson says the new weight loss pill is a less concentrated form of Xenical.
"In the prescription version, it's a 120 milligrams, and this new over-the-counter version is 60 milligrams," Bramson said.
The active ingredient in Alli is the drug orlistat, which acts as a fat blocker.
"The idea is to prevent absorption of fat from the digestive tract," Bramson said. "Then, the fat is passed through the stools."
Alli promises their users some weight loss, but acknowledges there can be some unpleasant side effects.
"Some times there's some gas, some fatty stool, or some diarrhea," Bramson said.
For those willing to risk the possible side effects, Bramson warns they should not think Alli is the cure all to their weight problems. In fact, on Alli's website, manufacturers stress, users will not achieve their desired weight loss goals without a low-calorie, low-fat diet and the all-important exercise.
Bramson says people who use Alli and are already engaged in good, healthy eating habitats are more likely to lose more weight and keep it off. She also says people who decide to use Alli or any other weight loss aid should make sure that is not the only part of an overall weight reduction plan.
"Take advantage of some of the online resources and resources in the community to learn more about how to eat healthy and exercise regularly," Bramson said.