Plenity: The New FDA-Approved Pill Ready To Tackle Weight loss

Charlotte Hulme

Hey, I’m Lottie, a Deputy Editor based in London writing about all things lifestyle.

Aside from indulging in a vast amount of article writing, I adore keeping myself fit as a yogi and regular gym-goer.

Sandwiched between writing about restaurants and grabbing quick lunches are my regular gym sessions, but if I’m not here you can find me firing up my Strava and training for my up-coming duathlon.

As a keen runner and cyclist I take part in regular races, moving myself from office chair to open air.

Fitness is of huge importance for me – a decent dose of it not only makes me feel healthy, but it keeps my mind healthy too which, of course, is key for writing.

Read all of Charlotte's articles here!

Or visit her on Instagram here!


If you had your ear to the ground circa 2010 then you’d have been aware of hydrogel capsules by Attica, making weight-loss waves in the news.

Since, the capsule has evolved and is now known as Plenity; a diet pill that causes a swell in the stomach that could aid significantly with weight loss and is giving us Plenity to think about.

Why all the chatter now?

Well, Plenity has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a move TIME magazine has deemed “rare.”

Developed by Gelesis, the weight loss capsule will help overweight or obese adults with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 25 to, supposedly, shed weight.

Thus far, the pill has been trialled on over 400 people, producing a 59 per cent success rate.

Participants chances of losing 5-10 per cent of their body weight was indeed doubled but it is still advised that you research whether or not the pill is best suited to you before consumption, despite its success rate.

The pill contains hydrogel; a material made from cellulose found in fruit, vegetables and citric acid that’s formed into a three-dimensional matrix, donning an appearance much like most weight loss pills.

Consumption is advised by taking three capsules with two glasses of water 20 minutes before a meal.

The gel then travels through the small intestine and is broken up in the colon.

Then, water is reabsorbed, and the remains of the capsule passes out in the faeces.

Remember when a good bit of old fashion exercise and the 1960 cabbage soup diet were hot on the weight-losing front?

Now, pills such as Plenity are rocketing in popularity.

However, Plenity should be considered as more of medical device as opposed to a medine; the only NHS-approved diet pill being Xenical.

So, should you give it a whirl?

Well the Obesity report did not raise any major safety concerns about Plenity, however it did reveal that those who had taken Plenity were more likely to suffer gastrointestinal issues and only followed participants for 24 weeks, which thus has its limitations.

In addition, as illustrated in Forbes Magazine’s The Biggest Loser show, short term weight loss does not necessarily mean long-term weight loss.

Of the pill, Bruce Y. Lee, Executive Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Centre, says:

“While it is good to have another option for weight management, Plenity certainly should not be the first thing that you try to manage your weight. Instead, lifestyle modifications should always come first. Since Plenity has been approved for a wide range of BMIs, the concern is that some may try to use this as a method to get away with eating unhealthy diets (e.g. the All Margarine and High Fructose Corn Syrup diet) or not exercising.”

Plenity’s side effects have been listed in Gelesis-sponsored study Obesity.

The overarching effect was gastrointestinal symptoms, with clinical trials illuminating that side effects were similar to that of placebo (sugar pill).

Further side effects listed include fullness, bloating and flatulence.

Plenity is not yet available for sale but there are plans for the U.S launch in the second half of 2019 and broader availability by prescription in the U.S. in 2020.

The price is still TBC.

You can gain regular updates on

Report an error or give feedback on this post

Leave your feedback!

Will you share this article?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *