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In 2000, an antiobesity pill that blocks the absorption of almost one-third of the fat people eat was approved. Unfortunately, this prescription drug, called orlistat (Xenical), can cause diarrhea when the fat content in your meal exceeds 20 percent. In the absence of thyrotoxicosis, to avoid the drug's side effects, simply avoid fat! In the presence of thyrotoxicosis it is likely that usual problems with frequent bowel movements will become much worse. Critics of this medication are concerned that it can decrease absorption of vitamin D and other important nutrients.

Another antiobesity drug, sibutramine, was approved for use in 2001. Sibutramine is meant for people whose body mass index (BMI) registers at 27 or higher. But if you're on thyroid hormone, as well as medications for depression, seizures, glaucoma, osteoporosis, gallbladder disease, liver disease, heart disease or stroke prevention, kidney disease, migraines, or Parkinson's disease, you should discuss whether sibutramine is appropriate.

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