Magic Formulas and Snake Oil Dreams: Diet Pills and Acceptance

Q. If I’m taking diet pills, can that make my Implanon birth control lose its effectiveness? 

A. According the seemingly all-knowing and efficiently named website,, a total of “… 177 drugs, (633 brand and generic names) are known to interact with Implanon (etonogestrel).” Out of these, “13 major drug interactions (37 brand and generic names),” “156 moderate drug interactions (580 brand and generic names),” and “8 minor drug interactions (16 brand and generic names).” Ingredients that may cause Implanon to lose effectiveness? The list includes:

  • Abilify (aripiprazole)
  • Folic acid
  • Ibuprofen
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Lamictal (lamotrigine)
  • Lamotrigine
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Lorazepam
  • Omeprazole
  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Phentermine
  • Propranolol
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Seroquel (quetiapine)
  • Topamax (topiramate)
  • Trazodone
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)

However, since Implanon is not oral, there is a smaller risk of a medication diluting the effectiveness of birth control due to the absorption process. So technically, you could start taking diet pills while on Implanon with no ill side effect.

Remember, could is the magic word.

However, I do want to say to never err on the side of throwing caution to the wind. In fact, don’t even think about just throwing caution to the wind. Stop right in the face of it and pause. Why the diet pills to begin with? Why pills that promise miracle cures and brand new selves that might never come?

Why take a pill that might increase your chance of both a heart attack and a stroke, cause rapid weight loss (and then rapid weight gain)?

Why take a pill that is basically trucker speed with a thin, pretty lady on it?

Why take a pill that promises you something that won’t ever come?

I certainly don’t mean to not encourage you to lose weight if that is your goal. While it is easy for me to say that we all should be comfortable in our skin, the fact is that I’m a relatively average-sized person. The ease with which I can exist in my body, for the most part, comes with the fact that my body is largely accepted in the world. I do not know what it means to walk around in this world carrying all the weight of neurosis around food, control, purity, and fat in extra pounds. I do not know.

But I do know that magic cures and snake oil never deliver their promises. I know that pills have never once provided an effective route to self-acceptance. I know that swallowing a tiny little thing each day with the hope that you too will be regarded as “good enough” is not in any way shape or form actually realistic.

Magaret Cho talks about this, and frankly, much better than I. A woman who has struggled with her own body demons, Cho has run the gamut of pills, starvation, exercise, and desperately trying to fit in to one standard.

But the fact is that even with those pills? Even if they promise what they deliver? Even if you become thinner and more accepted just by proxy? You’ll still have been, “Overweight, fat, once a big girl, someone who had to take diet pills.” You’ll still be a person who lives with the knowledge that with new found thinness must come the continual upkeep of thinness. Thinness is a club in which no one can ever gain enough entry. Thinness is a club that lets you in, only for a second.

I am convinced that thinness is never even enough.

So please.


Put your diet pills aside.

Thinness is never enough. But kid, you being alive and well? Healthy enough to learn how to be happy, or hell, even just content with the body you have?

That is more than any diet pill will ever deliver.

Got a ques­tion to ask, sub­ject you’d like us to dis­cuss, or myth you’d like us to bust? Keep ‘em com­ing! You can send us an anonymous message via the Ask Us! fea­ture here. Tell ‘em Coco sent ya.

Leave a Reply