Thinking Away Pounds
The drug is called Sibutramine, which experts say works by increasing the feeling of fullness rather than by suppressing the appetite, as do amphetamine-based slimming pills. The Arnot Ogden Medical Center says the substance has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
An Arnot Ogden spokesman says the average weight loss from taking 10-milligram doses of Sibutramine a day was about 10 pounds in test subjects, rising to about 14 pounds with a 15-milligram dose, against only 3.5 pounds lost on a reduced calorie-only diet. Scientists say the drug also speeds up metabolism, but also boosts the blood pressure and pulse rate.
Dr. Richard Petty of Britain's Wellman Clinic says he has tried Sibutramine himself, with no problems. "Side-effects are few and far between," he adds, "a dry mouth is probably the most common."