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Slimming or Weight Loss Patches: Do They Work?

<p>Slimming or Weight Loss Patches: Do They Work?</p>
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 6 min read

Because losing weight can be difficult and time-consuming, many people look for quick fixes to help them lose weight quickly. Slimming and weight loss patches have gained attention recently. But the million-dollar question remains: Do they work?

Slimming or weight loss patches are adhesive patches that you apply to your skin. Once you put one on, ingredients in the patch are then transferred to your body over a predetermined period of time. These patches can be used with prescription medications. Ingredients found in weight loss patches are believed to be plant-based and natural. There are many different weight loss patches on the market.   

Weight loss patches are a relatively new phenomena that is not approved by the FDA. Weight loss patches are not guaranteed to work. They are designed to help people lose weight. They typically contain ingredients such as acai berry, green coffee bean extract, hokuto mint, a type of Japanese mint, or green tea. Some contain ingredients such as ephedra, bitter orange, and flaxseed oil. 

According to the National Library of Medicine, weight loss patches or transdermal patches are used to transfer ingredients in the patch onto the patient’s skin. Ingredients in the patch are small enough to fit through the skin. While drug manufacturers claim that these patches are effective, experts say they are not. Ingredients in these patches may be so minimal that they don’t help you lose weight.

So what are weight loss patches?

Weight loss patches are large adhesive bandages that are applied to the part of your body that you are hoping to slim down. They can be placed on the abdomen, the arms, or thighs. Consumers can find them on sites like Amazon and other individual brand websites, according to Women’s Health. They are designed to work by transferring ingredients in the patch to the skin, so it bypasses the digestive system completely. 

Studies have found that some of the ingredients in weight loss patches increase heart rate and boost metabolism. However, effects of the patch are minimal. Weight loss patches are not regulated by the FDA, so you don’t know the possible side effects and risks of using them. Because these patches are not regulated by the FDA, it is not possible to know how many ingredients you are transferring through your skin. Weight loss products as a whole are not regulated. 

Unfortunately, there is no established research on weight loss patches. However, it is important to know the ingredients in the patch you are using, as these ingredients may determine the success or failure of your weight loss efforts. 

If you are using a weight loss patch that contains green tea extract, you may actually see a small amount of weight loss. However, it’s not going to be the answer in the long-term. Green tea extract is safe, for the most part. However, a patch may also contain ingredients that can lead to other problems. In fact, some patches have been found to cause liver damage.

Many have said that hokuto mint blocks the body’s absorption of sugar and starches. However, this theory has not yet been verified. Ephedra is another common ingredient found in weight loss patches. Commonly called ephedrine, Ephedra is known to be very dangerous. The drug was banned from the market in 2004. Further use of the drug in sports drinks was also banned, because it increased the risk of strokes and heart attacks, which often result in death.  

Bitter orange extract is another ingredient found in many weight loss patches. It can be found in citrus fruits, such as oranges. Bitter orange extract contains synephrine, a stimulant with properties that are similar to ephedrine. Doctors warn people not to use bitter orange extract because of its potential to cause serious and often fatal conditions. Proponents of this ingredient claim that it facilitates weight loss by helping you burn more fat and calories. Experts also assert that it suppresses appetite. However, research has shown that its effects are quite small. More research is needed to verify this claim.

Ashwagandha is another ingredient found in weight loss patches. It has been found to relieve stress, which can lead to compulsive eating. Additionally, it contains a compound called cortisol or the stress hormone. Reduced stress levels can make you less likely to binge eat. However, it is not guaranteed to help you lose weight. 

So how do you use slimming or weight loss patches? Experts advise wearing the patches between four to eight hours three or four times each week. Experts say that weight loss patches are beneficial, because ingredients do not pass through the digestive tract. Because of this, you don’t experience gastrointestinal problems that oral diet supplements can cause. Pain relief patches have been proven effective when they are used on the surface of the skin, which is not the case with weight loss patches. 

However, weight loss patches are not the answer. Even if you may be eating healthy and exercising, weight loss patches are not going to speed up your weight loss efforts. Many people believe these are effective, because they contain many ingredients that are believed to cause weight loss. But the truth is that one small ingredient believed to cause weight loss is not going to help you lose large amounts of weight.   

Because weight loss patches are relatively innocuous, you may want to talk to your doctor about using them. If you have any allergies to ingredients found in these patches, your doctor may be able to advise you on which patch to choose. However, because these patches are ineffective, buying them might be a waste of money. As with any fad diet, people get excited by the idea of being able to lose weight with minimal effort. According to WedMD, you cannot trust fad diets, like the weight loss patch. In reality, there are no easy fixes for weight loss that work immediately. The only true way to lose weight is to go on a traditional diet that involves eating healthy and regular exercise. 

 Because the FDA has not approved weight loss patches, there is no clear evidence showing that they are, in fact, effective. Weight loss patches contain many ingredients that the manufacturers claim are effective in helping you lose weight. Because the FDA has not approved and does not regulate these patches, there is no solid evidence that they are effective or safe.

Many weight loss patches contain several weight loss ingredients that the manufacturer believes will help you lose weight. Because they transfer ingredients through the skin and to the bloodstream, you are unlikely to suffer any gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea, constipation, or bloating. While some experts believe that you will not suffer from side effects, other professionals are not so sure. According to My Unique Medical, weight loss patches can pose a number of dangers to your body. While these are typically made with natural ingredients, this does not mean that these ingredients are good for your health. 

These patches may have adverse side effects, but chances are you’re not going to experience these or know what they are right away. Because weight loss patches must remain on the skin for several hours, it may take a long time for you to experience adverse side effects. And in many cases, you may not be able to see if the patch is actually working. If you have adapted a healthy lifestyle and are losing weight, the weight loss may be a result of the lifestyle change, instead of the patch.

There are a number of weight loss patches on the market. Many of them claim to be holistic alternatives to other weight loss methods. Manufacturers say the patches are completely safe and claim they help you see results quickly. Some brands say that you can use multiple patches at the same time—a scary prospect for those with allergies to some natural compounds. These patches typically vary in price. They can be as inexpensive as thirty dollars or as high as one hundred dollars. 

Some of the most popular weight loss patches on the market are made with ingredients such as L-Carnitine, Guarana, and Zinc Pyruvate. L-Carnitine is often used by athletes and bodybuilders to stay trim and build muscle. Guarana is a natural type of caffeine, and slowly causes energy to build up in your body. Also called transdermal patches, weight loss patches require more thorough research to determine if there is any benefit to taking them.

Many brands say that their patches break down fat cells and that they can be used alone or in conjunction with other weight loss pills. Many of these brands are made in the United States. According to the Federal Trade Commission, one weight loss patch manufacturer was banned from the market, because the positive effects of its patch could not be confirmed, but the patch was endorsed by other parties. The manufacturer of this weight loss patch was fined $180,000.

Like most fad diets, the weight loss patch promises miraculous results from wearing a patch. However, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

9 Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/weight-loss/weight-loss-patches#about

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4403087/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/weight-loss-patch#what-are-they

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/a32134722/weight-loss-patches/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30502763/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/news/20210917/be-careful-with-miracle-weight-loss-promises

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/weight-loss-patch#risks

https://yuniquemedical.com/weight-loss-patch/

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2007/08/weight-loss-patch-manufacturer-banned-selling-weight-loss-patches-will-pay-180000


This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.