Ask the Expert: How Do Weight Loss Pills Work?

How do weight loss pills work?


How do appetite suppressants work? Are they harmful if more than the prescribe dosage is taken?


Most available appetite suppressants or weight loss pills and medication work by affecting mood and appetite.

These effects are achieved by influencing some chemicals found in the brain. When disturbed, these brain chemicals will promote weight loss by reducing the appetite or increasing the feeling of being full.

Another type of appetite suppressant works by interfering with the absorption of fats in the digestive system. This, in turn, will reduce the body’s ability to absorb dietary fats – thus reducing the caloric intake of an individual.

There are also appetite suppressants that come in the form of gum, candy or lozenges. These are kept in the mouth before a meal and aid in suppressing appetite by numbing the taste buds.

In general, those who are at increased medical risk because they are overweight could be prescribed appetite suppressants. Using appetite suppressants for cosmetic weight loss to improve one’s appearance is strongly discouraged.


Ask the Expert is where we answer questions on all aspects of your health and wellness. This panel of experts is facilitated by our content partner Only Health, which include Beldeu Singh, Datin Farah Diba Khan, Dr Ahmad Fauzi Md Sharif, Dr George Yap, Dr Harvinder Singh, Dr Kuljit Singh, Dr Leow Chee Seng, Dr Muhaya Hj Mohamad, Dr Shalini Kanagasingam, Dr Yap Yoke Yeow, Prof Dr Muhaya Hj Mohamad, and Prof Ong Kok Hai.

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