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Makers of New Weight Loss Pill Are Seeking FDA Approval

Tim Boyer's picture
Balloon-in-a-pill for weight loss

There’s a new weight loss pill that has shown significant results in Europe and its makers are now seeking FDA approval to market it in America. “It’s a pill unlike any other out there because of what happens after you swallow it. Patients who have taken it are already seeing dramatic results with no surgery involved,” states NBC News anchor Lester Holt.


We’ve all heard about the non-surgical inflatable gastric balloon as a weight loss aid that works by physically decreasing empty space within the stomach. The benefit of the device is it that leaves little room for food and causes the user to feel fuller throughout the day. Although the gastric balloon device is non-surgical, it still requires sedation with both the insertion and eventual removal of the device; and sedation in itself poses some health risks. But what if someone found a way to remove this risk?

According to NBC News, a new weight loss aid advertised as a type of a “balloon-in-a-pill” weight loss pill is physically a large capsule to which a thin long tube is attached. The capsule is actually swallowed by the conscious patient and then inflated like a balloon by a supervising MD using the attached tube. The inflating tube detaches from the inflated capsule and is then pulled out through the esophagus. The novel feature of this capsule/balloon is that it naturally dissolves about 4 months later, allowing its remnants to be passed through the digestive tract.

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According to NBC News, this device was tested on 34 patients in Europe who lost an average of 22 pounds during the 4 months the device remained intact in their stomachs. One patient interviewed in the news video tells viewers that it worked for her and she is satisfied with the results.

“I’m eating less and less, and I’m satisfied and happy,” states Ms. Vanessa Lawson who lost 32 pounds when she tried the inflatable diet pill.

So how much does this latest weight loss aid cost? You can expect a medical bill between six and twelve thousand dollars, which is close to what you would have to pay for the already approved intragastric balloon procedure (with sedation) currently available. Health experts advise people wanting to try this new device that they need to understand that it is still just a temporary aid and that changes will need to be made concerning how and what they eat, and how much they exercise each day.

Reference: NBC News “Could a 'Balloon in a Pill' Be the Next Weight Loss Weapon?”