The magic pill
December 16, 2004 1:26 PM   Subscribe

Want to lose weight, but don't want to exercise? How about quitting smoking? And, what about those other little nasty addictions? Well Rimonabant is the magic pill for you. It's so great that it can even cure your Doritos craving, commonly known as the munchies. It works by blocking the endocannabinoids/cannibas receptors in your brain. This latest and greatest cure-all even has it's own blog.
posted by Juicylicious (50 comments total)
 
Seems more like an advertisment than an actual good link.
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 1:29 PM on December 16, 2004


Pepsi Blue.
posted by ed at 1:29 PM on December 16, 2004


But pot makes me horny, not hungry.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:31 PM on December 16, 2004


think it would help internet addiction?
posted by th3ph17 at 1:31 PM on December 16, 2004


So wait a second, does this Rimonabant mean smoking the weed won't get me high anymore?

Why in the fuck would I want that?
posted by fenriq at 1:33 PM on December 16, 2004


Does it also cure baldness and enlarge penises?
posted by jonmc at 1:33 PM on December 16, 2004


Of course, not everyone thinks that it's just for addiction. Endocannabinoids appear to mediate the memory/imagination dynamic.
To wit, birds seem to be kindof forgetful of where they leave their seeds. Remove them, and they have fantastic memories - but can't seem to think of alternate solutions if the seeds are moved.

So, maybe not snake oil, but definitely oil of some unknown reptilian effect.
posted by metaculpa at 1:34 PM on December 16, 2004


There are 10 links there, exactly which one is pepsi blue?
posted by Juicylicious at 1:34 PM on December 16, 2004


Does it also cure baldness and enlarge penises?

No. But on the bright side you won't want to drown your sorrows in a bottle, pipe, or feedbag.
posted by Juicylicious at 1:36 PM on December 16, 2004


Hunger and obesity are in my opinion very good examples of how our natural existence and maximized human happiness are simply not compatible with each other. Forget whether or not the natural state is evolved or created. Well, okay, my reasoning makes more sense in an evolutionary context, but still. We desire things that are good for us but that are hard to aquire: that's why we desire them. If they fell into our laps without effort, we wouldn't need a desire for them, right? So, in this view, achieving what we desire is more likely than not to indicate that we have more of the thing we desire than we actually need, because staying right on the threshold is difficult and unlikely: if our goal is to be satisfied, which it is, then if we have the means to reach our goal then we're more likely than not to go far beyond it in order to guarantee that we've reached it and stay satisfied. So being happy more likely than not means that we've exceeded our aquisition of what's good for us. And, sadly, in many cases an excess of what's good for us is bad for us. Thus, the whole scheme only works if what's good for us is hard to get.

The environment we evolved in, nutritionally, is very different than we exist now. The things that were in short supply but that we needed, so we desired them, are now in abundance. So we get too much of them. The solution is to re-engineer our desire. The alternative solution is to enforce people into near-starvation diets like we evolved with...a solution I promise won't have much support.

So this sort of bioengineering really and truly is the best solution to the problem. Unless you believe that we can change our "desires" by force of will. Which some believe, but I don't.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:37 PM on December 16, 2004


I have better things to do with my cannabinoid receptors, thank you very much.
posted by baphomet at 1:39 PM on December 16, 2004


I think it enlarges baldness and cures penises.
posted by fenriq at 1:41 PM on December 16, 2004


What if I want to smoke doritos?
posted by damnitkage at 1:45 PM on December 16, 2004


You guys are looking at this all wrong. You have to see the income potential. Take the pill for five years, then join all the other disillusioned folks in a class-action lawsuit. That's what pills are for, right?
posted by effwerd at 1:46 PM on December 16, 2004


effwerd: just a counter-example to your (apparently) personal responsibility snark...a friend of mine was emotionally coerced into taking phen-fen by her husband, and she has heart damage as a result. The social (and familial) pressure for women, especially, to lose weight in the US is intense and in that context I think we should be sympathetic to people that eagerly embrace weight-loss medications but suffer harm to themselves as a result.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:50 PM on December 16, 2004


effwerd: teehee. agreed. that's going to be my new strategy for pill-of-the-days.

look for me: i'll be the one with the distorted face, mutated child, and sad "impotent" expression.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 1:50 PM on December 16, 2004


No. But on the bright side you won't want to drown your sorrows in a bottle, pipe, or feedbag.

Well, what fun is that? If you're gonna take something that takes the bumps out of life, you might as well catch a buzz in the bargain.
posted by jonmc at 1:52 PM on December 16, 2004


Come on, this isn't Pepsi Blue. Just think of it as a preview of what you'll be hearing about every single time you turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or stand in line at a grocery store 6 months from now.
posted by 4easypayments at 1:57 PM on December 16, 2004


No, this will be the subject of all our drug-marketing spam six months from now.
posted by mrbill at 2:01 PM on December 16, 2004


Bothered by a small bald spot and sick penis? Tr Y R1m0nabant! CHEEP!
posted by fenriq at 2:04 PM on December 16, 2004


What, no RSS feed!?
posted by asianmack at 2:24 PM on December 16, 2004


If you want to lose weight, it's easy. Stop eating.

Really.

If you need to lose weight, there is a good chance you are overweight, hence, stopping eating will force your body to eat itself, which there is plenty of. You will also notice your penis (if you have one) growing. Men lose about an inch of penis per extra 20 pounds of blubber they are carrying around.

So there ya go. That'll be (a) $6,000,000,000 (industry).

Have a good one.

Also, if you exercise while stopping eating, you won't need that viagra stuff either.
posted by wah at 2:25 PM on December 16, 2004


I love that the blog linked has a full screen of ads before content, and then the content is just links to places to buy it. In between the ads of course.
posted by mathowie at 2:39 PM on December 16, 2004


Oh jeez. I'm really sorry. I was in a hurry with the last link. I saw the ads, but I couldn't quite figure out the marketing connection since the drug isn't on the market yet. Just delete the whole thing.
posted by Juicylicious at 2:54 PM on December 16, 2004


this drug is none other than the

ANTI-WEED.

whos ready for the apocalypse?
posted by Kifer85 at 2:58 PM on December 16, 2004


I think there will be an enormous market for a drug that has even questionable ability in overcoming nicotine cravings and/or curbing appetite.

And Dr. Xavier Pi-Sunyer (who, according to one of those links, has been supervising US clinical trials) has a pretty good reputation in the US medical community.

Hey, if it can help people stop smoking and/or binge eating, it might be a great thing. Presuming it doesn't have hideous side effects, of course.

Juicylicious, I love the idea but I think that some editing of the links would have made this an even better FPP.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:15 PM on December 16, 2004


I think that some editing of the links

I'm totally open to feedback. Care to elaborate?
posted by Juicylicious at 3:24 PM on December 16, 2004


It blocks cannabis receptors? Bummer, man.
posted by neckro23 at 3:29 PM on December 16, 2004


If you want to lose weight, it's easy. Stop eating.

Really.


So if someone wants to not die of a gunshot wound, they should stop bleeding? Or if they've got Alzheimers, they should stop forgetting things? It seems so simple when you explain it like that.. all these years medical science has been making the mistake of separating symptoms and causes. Turns out they're the same thing. Thanks!
posted by Hildago at 3:31 PM on December 16, 2004


Some of the stuff I've read about early results on Rimonabant, suggest its being overly-hyped (surprise, surprise). There are two other FDA approved drugs for weight loss (orlistat, sibutramine) that help you lose about 5-10 additional pounds in a year (clinical trial data). Of course the weight-loss drug is like w/o a doubt a hundred billion dollar industry, there are like at least 4 or 5 drugs in various pharm companies pipelines.
posted by nads at 3:37 PM on December 16, 2004


Capt Bligh appeals to evolutionary theory to suggest why we are now obese--alas, if he would go to any wealthy community, he would see gorgeous women who are blond, blue eyed, and not a bit overweight...and they are married to or on the arms of guys who are heavy with mnoney if not fat...evolution? yes: beauty seeks out and gets alpha males...prols eat at fast food places or gorge etc.
Note the news item this week: immigrants coming to the USA do not become obese till they are here for ten years.
Evolution? nah, american eating habits. French babes are also a part of evolution yet seldom if ever overweight and eat lots of high calorie foods...but carefully, in small doses, and walk a good deal too.
posted by Postroad at 3:40 PM on December 16, 2004


So, when I was 20 it totally seemed like the world was divided between healthy, well-adjusted people who seemed a little unimaginative on the one hand and the pudgy (or too-skinny) chainsmoking beer guzzling pot smoking bunch of us who sat around eating doritos and playing dungeons and dragons.

Later, when the pudgy pot smoking bunch of us were all off making gazillions of dollars in the tech industry, my friend Gerry labeled these groups "mappers" and "blockers" -- one group that was good at figuring out new ways to do things (but bad at actually doing them), and one group that was good at doing the same things over and over (but not so good at finding new ways to do things). It was understood that the latter group wore ties.

Now, I look around and see my fellow slackster geekoids all concentrating hard on learning to get organized and efficient (my friend Danny's lifehacks is a good example) so that they can actually get some of their good ideas going once in a while, while executives the world over seek creativity through card decks and seminars.

Having just figured out (via awful food trial and error) that limiting my intake of cow milk does away with my ADHD/hyperactivity, reading that page about the birds makes me wonder if theo whole mappers/blockers thing is not all about varying degrees of canaboid imballance. Hmm.
posted by hob at 3:40 PM on December 16, 2004


Wah: Truly you're a guru of health and fitness! There's just one problemerooni - Death.

Stopping eating makes you eat yourself - but you'll eat all the muscle you need to keep the weight off, too. Excercise doesn't turn muscle into fat, so if you're not getting some protein and carbs, you'll just burn calories and eat yourself faster. Even if you avoid death by eating just before you die, all your body will do is store excess for later as fat as a response to starvation.

Still, there could be a market for "Leave a good looking corpse in 60 days (or less)(you fat bastard)".
posted by Sparx at 3:54 PM on December 16, 2004


I was in a hurry with the last link. I saw the ads, but I couldn't quite figure out the marketing connection since the drug isn't on the market yet. Just delete the whole thing.

No biggie.
posted by mathowie at 3:58 PM on December 16, 2004


Men lose about an inch of penis per extra 20 pounds of blubber they are carrying around.

this explains why japanese whalers are so small
posted by Hat Maui at 4:06 PM on December 16, 2004


Juicylicious, the last link, as you yourself point out, leads to an adblog. The first link has timed out. The link with the tag "Doritos craving" leads to a story that doesn't offer any information not given more compellingly in other links. And I don't think that two links to BetterHumans.com are necessarily better than one in this case; the briefer one appears to be more or less a summary of the longer one.

I think this is a very interesting topic, but I, at least, would have enjoyed the post more if it had fewer and more carefully chosen links (and--and this is my own weirdness talking, here--if you hadn't misspelled "cannabis" as "cannibas", which my brain keeps parsing as "a drug that gives you the munchies for human flesh").

I don't mean this as a slam, because I'm not so wonderful at FPPs myself, but I worry that the yowling of "not enough links!" from the peanut gallery is making people feel that more is always more. It's an interesting story, and it didn't need a jillion links to make it a good FPP in my opinion.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:30 PM on December 16, 2004


wah: If you want to lose weight, it's easy. Stop eating.

While I think that attitude is a little naive and the idea of just stop eating (as much) a bit simplistic, there is a grain of truth to it. A little over a year ago I hit my max weight of 285 (height of 5'8") and then saw a picture of myself at that weight. Something in me "snapped" and I decided that the weight was coming off.

Just eating less is something I do not think I could have stuck too. For me, the Atkins diet made sense and that is what I went with. I'm now at 220 and continuing to lose.

Once I started to lose the weight, I slept better, had more energy, and spontaneously wanted to start exercising and lifting weights. This in turn gave me more energy and created a nice positive feedback loop.

So I guess my point is that instead of saying "eat less" meaning "take personal responsibility and control the amount of your food intake" say more along the lines of "take personal responsibility and change your eating habits". While still a very tough battle, its a more winnable battle than "eating less".


As for stopping smoking, Wellbutrin is helping me tremendously. Its very nice to have the desire to smoke muted by the drug. But here too the idea of taking control and personal responsibility for my smoking is the key to my quitting. I've made up my mind that I will not smoke another cigarette. It's only been 11 days, but I have no doubt that I'll make it.

It's taken me 32 years to get to the point where my desires to control my life and myself out weigh my desires to eat junk and smoke (well, a decade for the smoking). Each person must reach that point on their own. Drugs can be an incredible help, but unless it comes from within, drugs tend to help only in the short term.

All IMHO. :)
posted by Bort at 7:40 PM on December 16, 2004


hob: reading that page about the birds makes me wonder if the whole mappers/blockers thing is not all about varying degrees of canaboid imballance. Hmm.

I thought I might mention that the mapper / blocker thing you mention is hardly new in psychology; especially corporate psychology. Your blockers sound pretty much like -S-Js in the Myers-Briggs model, for example, and your mappers sound like -N-Ps. In general, some people prefer the open spaces of uncharted territories, and others feel more comfortable with defined routines. A related way of putting it is that some are starters (working at a high level with abstact concepts) and others are finishers (working at the detail level).

This may or may not be related to canabinoids, but I am not sure if it is useful to refer to these as imbalances, especially if both personality types have their own usefulness.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:45 PM on December 16, 2004


The important thing about Rimonabant is that it will be forceably prescribed to those convicted on drug charges. It's another way for the goobermint to line a corporation's wallet with your tax dollars.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:27 PM on December 16, 2004


Without the ability to feel pleasure, how many people will have to step in front of trains, or jump out of windows, before they realize this approach is dangerous. It did interest me, that people make their own THC internally and stay obese because of it. I wonder if this is connected to the ability to daydream? Weight loss drugs only expect a 10-14% drop in weight, from the drugs alone. Diet pills are the heighth of quackery, next only to surgery for weight loss. We are all going to die, the lucky ones die happy and well fed.
posted by Oyéah at 9:39 PM on December 16, 2004


I am not sure if it is useful to refer to these as imbalances, especially if both personality types have their own usefulness.

I'm not attaching moral value to the term "imbalance," I'm just implying that some people seem to lean one way, and some people lean the other. Lean, like... not balanced.

Anyhow, I was just riffing.

Bort, I quit smoking using Welbutrin two years ago. It worked really well, but I'm still trying to figure out if I feel so much better because I quit smoking or if it's because I took a run of anti-depressants.
posted by hob at 11:20 PM on December 16, 2004


Stopping eating makes you eat yourself - but you'll eat all the muscle you need to keep the weight off, too.

Yes, that would be why one can start eating again later, after they have lost some weight.

The stopping eating part is simply a matter of training the mind to feel the body. We can fool ourselves quite easily by ingesting any number of materials. By limiting the crap one puts into the system, one returns the limits to the system.

Guess how I quit smoking? I quit smoking.

Strange that things can be so simple, but that's the long and short of it.

BTW, I have put the rest of the my life in a jumble by taking such drastic action, but when wants to test the limits of society, it helps to push oneself to the limits of society.
posted by wah at 1:32 AM on December 17, 2004


So if someone wants to not die of a gunshot wound, they should stop bleeding? Or if they've got Alzheimers, they should stop forgetting things?

If someone wants to not die of a gunshot would, one should do one's best not to get shot. Getting shot and being overweight are two distinctly different 'symptoms', IMHO, and require vastly different treatments to return the body to a more healthy state of being, natch.

One researched and confirmed way to avoid Alzheimers (sorry, to reduce the chance of 'getting' Alzheimers) is to continuously 'work' the brain. Much like the brushing of teeth, and exercise, proper stimulation helps keep a body good.
posted by wah at 1:39 AM on December 17, 2004


wah, there are good, well-researched efforts going into figuring out why some people can do the things that make them healthy without much effort and some people can't. Repeatedly making the point that they only have to do X or Y and they'll be fine when the problem is actually that for some reason they can't manage to do X or Y is not only unhelpful, it's ignorant. Nobody wants to argue this with you in the same way that nobody wants to argue about whether the earth revolves around the sun. It's just not the interesting part of the discussion.
posted by hob at 9:44 AM on December 17, 2004


wah, are these, er, insights about the human metabolism and the neurological bases of addiction part of your "quantum philosophy"?

The stopping eating part is simply a matter of training the mind to feel the body.

I don't know what that could possibly mean.

We can fool ourselves quite easily by ingesting any number of materials.

Again, not getting it.

By limiting the crap one puts into the system, one returns the limits to the system.

Would you like some vinaigrette for your word salad?

BTW, I have put the rest of the my life in a jumble by taking such drastic action,

It's certainly put your syntax into a jumble.

but when wants to test the limits of society, it helps to push oneself to the limits of society.

I don't even know what to say about this, except "please seek help". And I know that plea is going to fall on deaf ears.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:26 AM on December 17, 2004


It's interesting how the people in this thread, as well as the media seems to focus on the weightloss aspect of this drug. I first heard of it nearly one year ago when it was featured on a local news program. It was identified as a drug to aid in smoking cessation that also had a weight loss side effect. It is the tobacco cessation that got my attention.

But really, people that take this or any other drug to help them combat obesity will likely fail in the long run because they don't really get it. Fortunately, I discovered the big secret of weight loss a few years back. I'm going to share it here with my mefi friends, but promise not to tell anyone else, okay? DIET & EXERCISE! Seriously.
posted by Juicylicious at 11:05 AM on December 17, 2004


wah, there are good, well-researched efforts going into figuring out why some people can do the things that make them healthy without much effort and some people can't.

Where did I imply a lack of effort was a key ingredient? Frankly, that's the major impediment (people want difficult things to be easy, and complain when they are not).

Saying is easy, doing is damn hard. I thought that was a 'given' in the self-help circles.

Nobody wants to argue this with you in the same way that nobody wants to argue about whether the earth revolves around the sun.

Yes, some things are evident given the current dataset and arrguing them is pointless.

--
I said: The stopping eating part is simply a matter of training the mind to feel the body.

the devil replied: I don't know what that could possibly mean.

One's mind is (in part) one's conception of one's own body. One has an internal representation of one's own physical reality. If one wishes to change the physical reality (e.g. the overall mass of the body) it is useful to 'shock' the conception. The subtle pain of hunger of useful in this regard. The action of non-action (i.e. not eating) is a simple way to realize this 'human nature'.

wah, are these, er, insights about the human metabolism and the neurological bases of addiction part of your "quantum philosophy"?

yes, quite. I don't know if you've heard, but it's all made of the same stuff. You can't create it or destroy it, but you can change the ever-living-hell out of it.

As mentioned by juicylicious, if you wish you lose weight (i.e. mass, i.e. energy) BURN MORE CALORIES THAN YOU INGEST.

All the rest is fluff designed to make you think it's easier than it is.
posted by wah at 11:22 AM on December 17, 2004


the devil replied

I don't know why, but that makes me giggle**
posted by Juicylicious at 11:33 AM on December 17, 2004


err, "if you wish to lose weight..."
posted by wah at 12:33 PM on December 17, 2004


Interesting what can be discovered by studying controlled substances. Shame a lot of the research in this area is either strictly controlled or just plain illegal.
posted by skallas at 2:41 PM on December 17, 2004


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