NewsChannel 11 has the skinny on the new diet pill Alli which landed on store shelves just a few weeks ago. It's the over-the-counter version of the prescription drug Xenical, but with only half the strength.
When taken on a low fat diet, the pill prevents the body from absorbing fat. But in talking to the experts NewsChannel 11 learned if you continue to eat a high fat diet while on Alli, you could pay an uncomfortable price.
"It may work for some people, but it's probably not an option for everybody out there," says Shelley Fillipp, a Covenant Dietician.
You might be wondering who wouldn't want to take a FDA approved diet pill? Well, we all know that something that sounds too good to be true is often just that.
"Blocked fat has to go somewhere. If you don't absorb it, it is going to go somewhere," says Fillipp.
It's recommended that people taking Alli ingest no more than 15 grams of fat at each meal. If you do so, you will suffer the consequences which could mean severe stomach cramping and sudden oftentimes uncontrollable trips to the bathroom.
"Some of my patients have said, 'Yes it's definitely noticeable if you go eat Mexican food.' It's not pleasant afterwards and they say you really shouldn't go on first dates when you start this drug until you know how your body responds to it,'" says Fillipp.
At Wal-Mart the starter pack for Alli sells for $49.63 and each bottle contains about 90 capsules. But cost doesn't seem to be a factor because Wal-Mart managers say Alli is flying off the shelves.
"It's not that bad. I actually already bought it," says one Lubbock woman NewsChannel spoke with.
She says the side effects haven't been severe, but they do take getting used to.
"It's just really weird when you go to the bathroom," she says.
But some say they aren't sure they want Alli as an ally in their fight against fat.
"I would rather be a little heavier and be able to control my bowels," says one Wal-Mart customer.
"Oh no nobody want that," says another Wal-Mart customer.
Fillipp says there are no known risks or health concerns, but an immediate red flag if you over-indulge.
She says the best ally in the weight loss games is yourself, and with the right attitude, diet and proper exercise you will lose weight with no loss of bodily control necessary.
NewsChannel checked around town and found that CVS Pharmacies, Walgreens and Wal-Mart all carry Alli.