The demand in the diet pill market shows no signs of abating; so, there is a constant development of new weight loss drugs and supplements, each promising sure results. One of the newest drugs to come to recent attention is Rimonabant.

What Rimonabant Is

Rimonabant is the generic name for Acomplia, Bethin, Remonabent, Riobant and Zimulti. It is formulated by a French pharmaceutical company, Sanofi-Synthelabo to treat obesity but it has somehow proven equally effective in curbing smoking habits. Just as it suppresses food cravings and appetite, Rimonabant also helps dampen nicotine cravings. This weight loss drug is prescribed for obese people with a body mass index of 30 and over or with waist circumferences of at least 40 inches in men and 34 inches in women. Rimonabant, however, is not FDA approved and therefore is not a legal drug in the United States. Its marketing was approved in Europe in 2006 but was taken off the shelves in 2008 following complaints on its side effects.

How Rimonabant Destroys Excess Weight

Rimonabant combats the “munchies” by working on the CB1 receptors in the hypothalamus, that part of the brain that controls appetite and energy balance. The drug blocks these receptors to suppress your appetite. Several trials involving Rimonabant show that the drug works very well. In one particular study conducted at the State University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the participants, all obese, were divided into 3 groups, all of which were placed on a not too restrictive low calorie diet. One group received a 20 mg. dosage, the second, 5 mg. and the third was given placebos. Except for the placebo group, both groups on Rimonabant lost weight. Those on the 20 mg. dosage charted a more significant weight loss than those taking a mere 5 mg. Furthermore, cholesterol and blood pressure levels improved significantly as well. Another study involving 6,625 obese participants in the U.S., Canada and Europe, showed the same results. The experiment was further stretched to two years in which time, people who stayed on 20 mg. dose maintained their weight while those who were on placebos gained a significant amount of their weight back.

The Pros and Cons

Although the pros of this drug were obviously clear, the FDA decided that the cons far outweighed whatever weight loss benefit Rimonabant can give. So, despite the advantages to this drug, namely:
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lowered triglycerides or “bad cholesterol” levels
  • Raised HDL or “good cholesterol”
  • Improved blood sugar levels
  • Reduced cravings for cigarettes
The U.S. FDA ruled that the negative side effects were not acceptable risks. Many side effects were severe enough to force nineteen percent of the participants to drop out from the studies. Some of the minor aftereffects were:
  • Stomach disorders, diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Hot flushes
  • Joint pains
  • Irritability
  • Short attention span
  • Dry mouth
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle spasms, cramps
  • Overactive sweat glands
The major ones, however, were enough to discourage the FDA from giving its approval for the drug. These were:
  • Severe depression
  • Short term memory loss
  • Psychiatric problems that included thoughts of suicide and recurrence of other mental disorders
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
It is also worth noting that those that went off Rimonabant after losing weight, gained their weight back. You have to be glued to this drug to maintain your weight unless you make drastic changes in your eating and exercise habits.

The Bottom Line

The FDA was right to choose a negative stance against the drug. The medical benefit of losing weight with the drug, Rimonabant, isn’t worth the risk of experiencing its side effects as well. Despite being banned in many countries, this drug still continues to proliferate online. It is dangerous to order Rimonabant online without your doctor’s prescription for this drug. If you feel you need a prescription strength drug, ask your doctor for his recommendations or you can look into this non-prescription supplement, Phentramin-D. This weight loss aid mimics the potency of another weight loss drug called Phentermine. Phentramin-D, however, is a safe alternative that comes with very minimal side effects, if any.

Weight Comment’s Rating: 2 / 5

Two stars only because Rimonabant is a drug that works; but it actually should be a total zero because of its illegal status.

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