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Popular Diet Pill Causes Liver Damage
Autum Gregson
Autum Gregson is the author of this article on Carpet Cleaning. Find more information, about Furnace Cleaning here 
By Autum Gregson
Published on 08/10/2009
After storming the market in April with is magical capability to reduce weight Alli is again in the news. This time the slimming pill is linked to liver damage and hepatitis.

Popular Diet Pill Causes Liver Damage
The manufacturers of the popular diet pill Alli have hit back over claims that the product is linked to liver damage and hepatitis. After a newspaper report raised fears that the pills were causing dangerous side effects in some people, the Federal Food and Drug Administration announced that they would be carefully monitoring Alli use.

It came out that the FDA had received a series of alerts about adverse health events in patients taking Alli, which suggested that the pills might be causing problems with the liver. A spokesperson for the organisation said, “We have received rare reports of hepatitis and other liver-related laboratory abnormalities in people taking orlistat. The FDA is closely monitoring this issue to determine the need for any regulatory action."

Alli caused a storm in April when it was approved by European regulators for over-the-counter sale. It contains the drug Orlistat, the active ingredient in the slimming pills Xenical.

Xenical is still only available with a doctor’s prescription, but as Alli is a lower-dose version the regulaters agreed the pills could be sold directly to people in pharmacies. Since then, it has become one of the best-selling medications on the UK market. In America, where it has been sold since 2007, millions of packs are bought each year.

GlaxoSmithKline, who market the slimming pills, say that users of Orlistat can lose up to 50% more weight than they would through diet and exercise alone. In studies it was shown that people taking the pills for 12 weeks were 3 times more likely to lose up to 10% of their body weight.

While it has been widely acknowledged that obesity is a growing crisis in the Western world and action is desperately needed, critics have argued that slimming pills lead people to look for a ‘quick fix’ for their weight problems, rather than accepting that shedding the pounds takes energy and dedication.

They have also questioned whether it is safe to encourage people to take  medication like Orlistat when it is not absolutely necessary, as most medications can cause side effects.

The UK medicines regulators, the MHRA, have received 31 reports of side effects since Alli went on sale in Britain. Since Xenical was approved for prescription, 1252 reports have been received, 100 concerning liver problems.

However the pharmaceutical companies have remained adamant that the best-selling products are safe. In a statement, a spokeperson for Alli said that “when a product is used by as many people as have used alli over the last three years its fair to assume a small percentage of the population could, as with any drug, have an adverse reaction to using it"

They added, "But we're happy and confident in our safety and research procedures" she continued, "and we believe orlistat still has a great deal to offer 99.99% of its users".