How is a weight loss patch different from a pill or other supplement?
A weight loss patch is a small, adhesive patch with some amount of a weight loss drug imbedded in it. So far, weight loss patches contain basically the same ingredients as weight loss pills and shakes.
How does a weight loss patch work?
In theory, a weight loss patch sticks to a person’s skin and releases some amount of the drug through the person’s skin throughout the day, similar to transdermal medication patches used to deliver medications for pain or neurological conditions. However, weight loss patches have not undergone the rigorous development and study processes that other medicated patches have.
Are weight loss patches effective?
There is little evidence to indicate that weight loss patches currently on the market are more effective than placebo patches. They often contain very low doses of the active ingredients, use poor quality adhesives, and have not been studied sufficiently to understand whether or not and how quickly the active ingredients are absorbed through the skin.
What side effects can I expect from the weight loss patch?
Any weight loss patch presents the same possibility of side effects that active and inactive ingredients might present in another form, such as in a pill. If you have a reaction to an ingredient in a weight loss supplement, you may have the same reaction to that ingredient in patch form. In addition, skin irritation and allergic reactions to the adhesive are a distinct possibility with the weight loss patch.
Who should use weight loss patches?
Because of the lack of clinical trials to prove the safety and effectiveness of these products, weight loss patches should probably be avoided unless the following criteria apply:
- You have already changed your diet, exercise, and social eating habits, without reaching a healthy weight.
- You have difficulty consuming weight loss supplements in pill or drink form.
- Your physician suggests that this may be the best delivery system for you.
How should I decide which weight loss patch to use?
As with all weight loss products, you should discuss your desire to use a weight loss patch with your physician before selecting one. Certain ingredients may increase your risk of health problems, even or especially if delivered through the skin; other ingredients may necessitate the consumption of additional dietary supplements to prevent malnutrition. Since there is no way to tell at this point whether weight loss using a patch is due to active ingredients or to a placebo effect, it is particularly important to ensure that you experience minimal side effects.