A drug-safety watchdog group is calling for the ban of the popular diet drug Alli, one of the nation’s most marketed over-the-counter (OTC) weight loss drugs. According to Cleveland.com, Public Citizen sent a 31-page letter to the FDA summarizing its concerns about the drug. Alli’s active ingredient is orlistat, which Public Citizen says can “expose patients to serious risks that greatly outweigh their minimal clinical benefits.”
Alli works by blocking the absorption of fat in the body. Alli’s maker, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) maintains that Alli is safe. But scientists in Canada say they’ve found that Alli users showed a 2 percent increase of kidney damage within one year of starting the drug. Alli’s sales plummeted after users began reporting other side effects that included loose stools, oily spotting of underwear, fecal urgency, and flatulence with discharge.
Also, last year the FDA made GSK add a warning to Alli’s label about rare reports of “severe liver injury.” On a side note, GSK announced that it was selling off the drug.
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