FDA-Approved Diet Pills: What Are the Best Approved Pills?

[message type=”info”]According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one-third of the adult population in the United States is obese. High blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, stroke, cancer, and diabetes are only a few of the many health issues that overweight people can suffer from. The main cause of obesity is binge eating—an overeating disorder, followed by feelings of shame.[/message]

A healthy diet and exercise are generally the best solution for fighting obesity, but often an extra boost is needed. Diet pills provide this boost. Before they get the FDA approval, diet pills have to undergo serious and strict testing. One of the main criteria for FDA approval is that more than 35% of users in trials must have lost more than 5% of their body weight, and twice as much than the group who were given the placebo medication.

Thus, before a diet pill becomes FDA-approved, it has to be ascertained that it is safe and effective, with minimal side effects.

FDA-Approved Diet Pills

Top FDA-Approved Diet Pills


Qsyima is an appetite suppressant approved by the FDA in 2012. Qsyima contains two main ingredients—phentermine and topiramate. The diet medication is used by obese people in addition to a low-carb diet and exercise. Just like any other weight loss pill, it has a certain number of side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, and stomach pain. Qysimia is categorized by the FDA as C-IV and is not recommended for children.


Belviq is a diet pill approved by the FDA in 2016, and is mostly used to treat obesity related to diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Using Belviq during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not recommended due to potentially harmful effects on the fetus. Before you start taking this medicine, inform your physician about any medical issues that you may be struggling with.

Belviq can cause headaches, insomnia, low blood sugar, euphoria, constipation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, etc. Belviq is categorized by the FDA as C-IV and is not recommended for children.


Contrave is an appetite suppressant prescribed to obese people with serious medical conditions. The FDA approved it in September of 2014.

Before you take this medicine, inform your doctor about additional pills you may be on, and medical issues you are dealing with. Some of the most common Contrave side effects are headaches, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, constipation, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure.


Saxenda is a weight loss medication that mimics a hormone that creates the sensation of fullness. It was approved by the FDA in 2014. It is mostly prescribed to people whose BMI is higher than 27.

This medicine can cause serious side effects such as cancer, pancreatitis, gallstones, hypoglycemia, kidney problems, depression, etc.

Adipex-P and Bontril SR

Adipex-P and Bontril SR are stimulants approved by the FDA for short-term use only. These pills are amphetamine-based prescription diet pills that stimulate the user’s central nervous system.

Adipex-P and Bontril SR should only be taken when prescribed. There are reports about dangerous side effects such as pounding heartbeat, constipation, headache, insomnia, tolerance, dependence, etc.


Alli is the only over-the-counter (OTC) diet pill approved by the FDA. This medicine acts as a fat blocker, which is why it can cause mild to severe gastrointestinal problems.

Along with a healthy diet and exercising, this medicine can help patients lose up to 10% of their body weight. Taking more than three capsules a day is not recommended.

What are the side effects of FDA-approved diet pills?

Different kinds of diet pills can have different side effects. Appetite suppressants, or anorexiants, can cause insomnia, constipation, dry mouth, low blood sugar, headache, nausea, vomiting, behavioral problems, suicidal thoughts, seizures, etc. Stimulants can cause irregular heart rate, mood changes, hallucinations, muscle spasms, ankle swelling, chest pain, allergic reaction, seizures, headache, etc.

[message type=”success”]So do why doctors still prescribe diet pills to their patients? In some cases, when obesity jeopardizes a person’s health, doctors opt to rely on the effectiveness and benefits of the diet pills, because the positive properties outweigh the potential health risks.[/message]