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Posted Aug 26 2008 4:08pm
Back in February, the FDA approved Alli, an over-the-counter version of the weight-loss drug, Xenical. Alli, which cleverly sounds like a comrade in war or a girlfriend you'd meet for brunch (depending on how you pronounce it, though the correct pronunciation is the first), hit store shelves last week to an uproar, as expected.

The $50-something Alli starter pack sold out in hours in many pharmacies, in a furor typically reserved for a life-saving remedy. The Los Angeles Times interviewed Santa Monica pharmacist, Roe Love, who equated the Alli sellout with the post-9/11 anthrax-induced Cipro dash, reporting that the bulk of Alli purchasers at her store have been women, adding, "And they're not fat."

Love's store is in Santa Monica. Did we really think they would be?

If you haven't heard, Alli, which results in weight loss due to blocked fat absorption, comes with some minor side effects, of the gastro-intestinal sort. The manufacturer's (GlaxoSmithKline) website euphemistically refers to these as "treatment effects": 1) gas with oily spotting

2) loose stools 3) more frequent stools that may be hard to control.

Not terrible, but the site goes on to say: "You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it's probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work." That bad, huh? And, manufacturers warn that the product won't work without the adoption of a low-fat, low-calorie diet and commitment to an exercise plan. Seems like what we've been told for years. . . without the need to change our oily, loose-stooled pants.
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