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Alli- a New Weapon for War Against the Bulges

A new revolutionary weapon for the war against the bulges and fat has arrived in pharmacies across the United States. Alli- a fat blocker is the first FDA approved diet drug to be available over- the -counter without a prescription.

The prescription diet drug Xenical has been introduced to drugstore shelves with a new name and in nonprescription strength on Friday in a reincarnated form dubbed Alli. It has been introduced by the world GlaxoSmithKline Plc, the world's second-largest drug maker.

Despite an explosion of diets and exercise regimes, Americans are fatter than ever. More than two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese, and that doesn't include the growing number of children who weigh too much. The epidemic is especially crucial in Michigan, which has the nation's fifth-highest obesity rate.

Unlike the hundreds of other weight-loss products for sale without a prescription, alli (pronounced AL-eye), is the only diet drug that is considered safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration. Dieters who will follow a low-fat, reduced-calorie diet and exercise regularly can lose more weight when they add the fat-blocking pill, according to manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline.

Alli decreases the amount of fat absorbed by the body. In addition to causing loose and oily stools and unfortunate and uncontrollable oily discharge, the drug may also interfere with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K and E. It is recommended that people taking Alli also take a multivitamin.

While Alli has been shown to help people following a healthy diet lose weight, studies show that consumers should not expect dramatic results from taking the drug. The retail price for Alli is $49.95 for a starter package of 60, $64.95 for a starter package of 90, and $76.95 for the refill package of 120 capsules.

The drug maker emphasizes that people can only take alli when eating 15 grams of fat at each meal and upto three pills in a day. A higher fat consumption could lead to unsavory side effects including gastrointestinal issues such as urgently needing to go to the bathroom. The pharmaceutical company has been up-front about this, even recommending that people wear dark pants or bring a change of clothes to work until they adjust to the drug.

Glaxo is also preparing 250 pages of educational materials to accompany the starter pack, a Web site, 200,000 copies of a diet plan and 800,000 copies of a book to help dieters combine the pill with weight-loss programs. People who take Alli while improving their diets and exercise regimens can lose 50 percent more weight. This is according to Glaxo Vice President Greg Westerbeck.


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