While there are plenty of over-the-counter medications available to help you lose weight, there’s no replacement for good old-fashioned exercise and dietary changes. Sometimes, however, these solutions aren’t suitable for everybody. For instance, if you have diabetes or heart disease, then you might not be able to partake in activities such as hiking or running. In these cases, the use of an OTC anti-obesity medication may be a suitable alternative. Amoxicillin is one such drug, and thanks to recent research, we now know more about its abilities and limitations.
Amoxicillin’s Complex History
Amoxicillin was actually discovered as early as the 1950s, but it was only approved for use in animals in 1965 and then in humans in 1967. It is actually the combination of two drugs: amoxicillin and clavulanic acid that makes it so effective at treating infections. Clavulanic acid is thought to work in a manner similar to that of the antibacterial agent penicillin, with both compounds binding to the same receptor site on the bacterial cell wall and subsequently causing cell death.
Amoxicillin was originally used to treat pneumonia and other infections caused by Gram-positive bacteria, with particular emphasis placed on Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Since its approval for use, the drug has been prescribed to treat a wide variety of infections, including respiratory infections, ear infections, and skin infections. It has also been used in combination with other antibiotics to treat multi-drug resistant bacteria such as vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Amoxicillin’s Anti-Obesity Potential
While amoxicillin has been shown to be both effective and safe as an anti-obesity agent in humans, there are several reasons why it might not be the most viable choice for everybody. First off, the side effects of amoxicillin are generally mild and fairly common, possibly including diarrhea, nausea, and headaches. These effects should subside after a couple of weeks of continuous use, but they can be bothersome nonetheless.
Another limitation of amoxicillin is that it tends to be more effective in reducing body weight in people who are already overweight or obese. According to research, amoxicillin reduces body mass index (BMI) by 0.45 units for every 10mg dose compared to a placebo. In other words, if you’re already in the obese category, then you may not see as much weight loss when taking amoxicillin as you’d see with other drugs.
A third limitation is that amoxicillin has no effect on the amount of food that people eat. As a result, it has no notable impact on the body’s calorie consumption. Instead, the medication seems to work by inhibiting the growth of bacterial cells within the body. Because of this, it’s not considered a pure anti-obesity drug but is rather described as an antidiabetic medication.
Why Amoxicillin Might Not Be The Best Option For Everybody
If your primary reason for wanting to lose weight is so that you can feel better about yourself and be healthier, then you might be better off avoiding amoxicillin and instead opting for one of the following medications:
- Orlistat (Xenical)
- Rimonabant (Zimulti)
- Liraglutide (Victoza)
- Acapulco Beans (Chia Seed)
- BCL-XL (Venetoclax)
- Cannabix (Cannabix)
These medications are somewhat safer and less likely to cause side effects, particularly in people who are not already obese. In fact, some may even help to boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss. Of course, if you’re feeling better than you have in years, then you may not experience any side effects at all!
OTC Anti-Obesity Medications
While prescription medications are effective at helping to reduce weight in some people, there is an entire category of over-the-counter (OTC) medications that are specifically designed to help with weight loss. These drugs are usually safe and may even be able to reverse obesity. Some of the more popular OTC anti-obesity medications include:
- Sibutramine (Reductil) – A prescription medication that is highly effective at reducing body weight. It works by increasing the body’s metabolic rate and consequently promoting weight loss. The recommended daily dose of sibutramine is 10mg to 15mg. However, it is highly addicting and although it lowers your weight, it often does not produce a healthy appetite reduction. The most common side effects include dry mouth, hypertension, constipation, and heartburn.
- Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis) – Like most other natural products that are used in dietary supplement form, grapefruit has long been hailed for its ability to boost the body’s health. Recent research suggests that grapefruit may also be able to help with weight loss. The main active component in grapefruit, known as naringin, has been shown to have a mild inhibitory effect on the enzyme lipase, resulting in the decomposition of fat around the area of the pancreas. This indicates that grapefruit may be able to reduce obesity by inhibiting the production of fat in the body.
- Chamomile Flower Extract (Recutita Matricaria) – Chamomile flower extract can be found in supplements that support healthy gut flora and have been shown to have a potent anti-obesity effect. Chamomile flower extract has also been demonstrated to inhibit the activity of a protein known as cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1), which may play a role in appetite control. The recommended daily dose of chamomile flower extract is 600mg to 900mg.
- Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis) – As mentioned previously, grapefruit can help to reduce obesity by inhibiting the enzyme lipase. This effect may be due to the presence of naringin, which is a polyphenolic compound that is present in grapefruit. Additionally, grapefruit may prevent obesity by upregulating the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin has been known to play an important role in appetite control.
- Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum Annuum) – Similar to chili powder, cayenne pepper has a mild spicy flavor that can invigorate the taste buds and increase the body’s metabolism. Cayenne pepper has been shown to effectively reduce body mass index (BMI) in patients who are both obese and overweight by increasing their metabolic rate. The recommended daily dose of cayenne pepper is 100mg to 300mg.
So, while there are a number of limitations associated with amoxicillin, it’s still a viable solution for some people. The key is to figure out who is most suitable for the drug and then determine the reasons why they might not be ideal candidates. If you’re looking for a solution that has few side effects and appears to be safer than amoxicillin, then one of the above medications could be a perfect fit.