Alli: The Miracle Diet Pill With Teeny-Tiny Side Effects
Editor's note: this was originally posted on the author's blog. It's reprinted here with the author's permission and with this editor's chagrin that we didn't break this story first.
I found this news on Salon.com and felt compelled to throw my two cents in. There's a "new" over-the-counter drug available in the US that's apparently flying off the shelves. It's called alli (note the way-trendy lower case!); and I use the term "new" loosely because it's apparently a lower strength version of a prescription-only drug (Xenical) that's been around for a while.
So what does this incredibly popular wonder drug do? Well, not to go all Bill Clinton on you, but it depends on what your definition of "do" is. You see, there's (1) what the drug company markets it as, (2) the medical description of what it does, and (3) the biggest effect you're actually going to notice.
The drug company markets it as a weight loss pill. They say it will give "safe, effective weight loss". And because it's FDA approved it, it must be good. What could possibly go wrong?
A simplified medical description of the drug is that it's a fat blocker. It stops your body from absorbing some of the fat in your diet. It doesn't burn calories. But fat that would have otherwise been absorbed by your body... isn't. Because fat contains calories, less calories will go into your body.
But here's the most important thing the drug does: it makes you shit oil. Worse, it makes you shit your pants. With oil.
This is not the ravings of some fringe conspiracy group -- this is what the company tells you itself on its website. "Buy our drug if you want to lose weight. Oh, by the way, you'll end up shitting your pants."
Neat, huh? No wonder it's selling so well. That large sector of the public that enjoy having their pants filled with liquefied shit has been seriously under-catered to up until now.
The drug company indulges in classic marketing bullshit that really pisses me off, but they still fail to obscure the horror of what's going to happen to you if you take their drug. The first bit of marketing bullshit they spin that makes me want to smack them in the fucking head is the old "eat healthier and exercise more to get the full benefits".
Hello?!?!?! If you eat less fat and exercise, you don't need their fucking pills. I'm sick of these sleazy companies pretending that they're promoting health. They're promoting bad habits and laziness. The subtext to the whole thing is "this drug lets you lose weight with NO exercise and NO change to your eating patterns". People who can eat healthier and exercise more aren't interested in this shit. But the company doesn't think it'll get away with an advertising slogan along the lines of "Fuck diet and exercise! Take these pills and shit your weight away!"
The second thing they do that pisses me off is deliberately using language designed to obscure the full horror of the effects of their drug. They can't even come clean and call them "side-effects" -- instead, they go with "treatment effects". Hell, maybe they're right, these aren't side effects. Side effects are incidental to the main effects. Shitting your pants is the main effect of this drug. It literally *is* the treatment effect.
Try as they might, their weasel words can't hide how horrible their drug actually is. Following are actual quotes from their website, followed by Mr Angry's no bullshit translation.
Website Bullshit (WSBS). You may get:
No Bullshit Translation. The following things will happen to you:
WSBS: "The excess fat that passes out of your body is not harmful. In fact, you may recognize it as something that looks like the oil on top of a pizza."
No BS: Oh dear god. Pizza is one of my favorite foods and these evil fucks have done their best to turn me off it for life. It will be very hard to look at a pizza again without wondering if someone on this drug has taken a shit on it.
WSBS: "Eating a low-fat diet lowers the chance of these bowel changes." (my emphasis)
No BS: Even if you do cut back on fat, you're still going to shit oil.
WSBS: "...pick a day to begin taking alli, such as a weekend day so you can stay close to home if you experience a treatment effect."
No BS: Do not go out in public after taking this drug. You are going to shit yourself. Stay close to a toilet.
WSBS: "If you're getting ready to travel or attend a social event, hold off on starting with alli until the event is over."
No BS: Don't say you weren't warned. You are seriously going to shit yourself.
WSBS: "You may not usually get gassy, but it's a possibility when you take alli. The bathroom is really the best place to go when that happens."
No BS: You're old life is over. Forget what you think you know about your body. You are going to fart uncontrollably. And there will be follow-through. This is not going to be something you want to share.
And my absolute favorite (which is to say, the part of the website that horrifies me most):
WSBS: "You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it's probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work."
Oh. My. Fucking. God. They are so sure you are going to shit your pants they are saying you should accept the inevitable. There is no way to avoid this. So wear dark pants to hide the liquid shit stains. And bring a change of clothes. Because your first set are going to get impregnated with liquid shit.
To me, this is the ultimate evidence that western society is utterly fucked. You can tell people that taking a pill will make them shit their pants uncontrollably. And your pill will be an utterly out-of-control success.
On their site, there is also a link to a video where you could "watch alli in action". I assume this is a video showing people shitting their pants. I couldn't bring myself to look.