My Experience With Simply Slim

I’m sure most of you have read the news about the diet pill, Simply Slim, being banned in South Africa. Simply Slim is touted as a natural, 100% herbal diet tablet which is sold though agents, who have very little or no medical background.

What peaked my interest in the product was that my daughter had started taking it to help her lose some of the weight she had gained during her pregnancy. Over a period of 4 weeks she lost 8 and a half kilos. This should have been red flag number one. A healthy weight loss, according to The Heart Foundation, is 1/2 to 1 kg a week, no more.

Because Simply Slim is marketed as a 100% herbal product, it falls under complimentary medicine status in South Africa.

 Although there were some negative comments about the product on the web, most people were talking about how much weight they were losing in such short time periods. I decided that the best way to find out about it was to buy a pack from an agent and take the tablets myself, and then blog about my experience.

First of all, let me give you a basic rundown of my health.  I don’t really have that much weight to lose. I’m in the healthy weight range, so I figured a maximum of 5 kilos would be fine – and good enough to don a bikini on a future holiday. I don’t have any major health problems, nor am I on any chronic medication. The only “problem” I do have, is low blood pressure – which doesn’t cause me any problem at all.

I found an agent for Simply Slim doing a promotion at the Eastgate shopping mall. I told her that I wanted to buy a pack because I wanted to lose some weight. She didn’t try and discourage me, which I thought she would, seeing as I’m not overweight – but then I’m no Victoria Beckham either. She asked me if I had any major health problems such as diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure – the usual major health risks – which I told her I don’t have. She asked me if I had any questions, to which I replied that I did have concerns about some of the negative comments I had seen on the internet. She assured me that the product was 100% natural and that the negativity was all nonsense and probably due to people buying “fake” Simply Slim products. She also told me that I should drink a lot of water, 3lt or more, and that the only side effect would be dry mouth. The reason for this, she said, was that one of the herbs that caused dry mouth was added to make people drink more water. I was told I could eat whatever I wanted and was not given any specific diet to follow. She said if I had any problems I was to contact her or use the contact information on the Simply Slim website.

There are 30 tablets in a box, packaged in 5 foil packets containing 6 tablets each. I decided to start taking the tablets on a weekend and took the first one on saturday morning. You take only one tablet a day and as early as possible. The first thing I noticed during the week I took the tablets was a very dry mouth, you become extremely thirsty. I also experienced a heaviness on my chest, as though a really large person was sitting on me. I also felt hot, dizzy, and my skin felt tight. My appetite disappeared. and I drank a lot of water, tea and coffee. My eyesight also seemed to get worse. The worst side effect by far was the insomnia. I could only manage 4 hours sleep a night, and I’m still having trouble sleeping.

Attempts to contact anyone via the Simply Slim website to discuss the side effects was impossible. Emails are ignored. The agents who sell the product, trot out the rehearsed nonsense about it being a ” fake” product that is causing the side effects; and they have no medical knowledge at all. If you insist that you are indeed taking the real thing, brought from them, they will tell you that it’s your body detoxing and that you should drink more water.

I had only taken 6 tablets out of the month’s supply when the story broke about the Medicines Control Council pulling Simply Slim off the market amid reports that the 100% natural herb tablet contained excessive amounts of sibutramine. It’s the sibutramine which is responsible for many of the side effects that people are complaining about.

Sibutramine is a schedule 5 drug in South Africa. It is used to treat obesity and the maximum daily dosage used is 15mg. Some Simply Slim tablets that were tested contained as much as 27mgs per tablet, almost double the daily dose.

As of today, the Simply Slim website has put up a page detailing the recall of their product, but don’t expect your money back. If you want a refund, you will have to show that your health has been adversely affected by the tablets, which means getting your doctor to supply a letter saying so.

I hope that this makes the Medicines Control Council take a tougher stance with regard to products that are labelled “natural” or “herbal” so that they can be classified as complimentary medicines in order to bypass the tougher restrictions required for regular scheduling.

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20 responses to “My Experience With Simply Slim”

  1. mbamg says :

    Scary to think that this could not be the only one of many other medications out there that people are taking for whatever reason that is actually harming them.

  2. Justin King says :

    reply to above…A diet pill can not be thought of as a medication and reason they are taking it is to lose weight. They want a quick fix solution to a problem they brought on from years of abuse to their bodies from too much food and too little exercise.
    Most people taking this kind of pill will even take the medical risks rather than cut down on food or go for a walk.

  3. Lisa says :

    I am sorry that u had a bad experience and i do feel that its wrong to mislead the public by saying the product is 100% natural BUT this 4 me was hope! My diet is perfect i gym and dance regularly and im still over weight. Ss was the only thing that helped! Now im expected to get the same results with a prescription which i cant get because im not obese.

  4. Michael Meadon says :

    I’m not sure this is true: “I decided that the best way to find out about it was to buy a pack from an agent and take the tablets myself, and then blog about my experience.” The best way to ‘find out about it’ is to look at the medical literature. For one thing, you weren’t blinded, for a second, you didn’t have a control group. Sure, taking it allows you to experience the side-effects, but these were already well-documented.

    • The Skeptic Blacksheep says :

      Ooops, sorry Michael I missed your comment.

      I looked at it this way. My daughter’s only symptoms were a dry mouth and headaches, which the agent she bought it from put down to detoxing. I had heard about some of the side effects, but these were easily explained away by the agent I spoke to. So I thought I would have similar side effects to my daughter, seeing as it was supposedly a natural product.
      What also made me decide to use the product was that everyone I spoke to, said that they had lost weight – some had no side effects and some had mild side effects. The best outcome would be losing the 5kgs I put on over the holiday season – at worst, I would suffer dry mouth and some headaches. Either way, I was going to blog about the experience. If I had lost the weight and had very few side effects, I would have recommended it to everyone.
      Not very good scientific study, I know.

      As I said, I had only taken 6 tablets, but the side effects were worse than those I had heard about. I don’t take meds at all. The strongest thing I’ll take is panado, so I put the stronger side effects down to not being a “pill popper”.
      It was only after Simply Slim made the news that I read that the symptoms I was experiencing were possibly due to sibutramine in the product. I am looking for a lab to have my batch tested. I will blog about the results when it’s been done and post a copy of the findings.

      After the news broke I tried looking for studies on Simply Slim to see if there were any clinical trials, I couldn’t find any, other than what was on their website – and that’s already been removed, I can’t find any of cached pages either.

      But, I understand why people will take the risk – we all want to look good. Silly, I know.

  5. Purdey says :

    Does anybody know anything about the new formulation Simply Slim that was supposed to be released 1st of March 2010. Please reply if you do, thnx.

    • The Skeptic Blacksheep says :

      Hi Purdey,

      I’m afraid I haven’t heard anything. I’ve tried searching for any info about it, but there’s nothing. Since Simply Slim was recalled, getting any sort of information out of them is impossible.

      • Blondi says :

        The new Simply slim is back on the market, but if it works is a different question on it’s own. Then again, if you don’t try it, you won’t know!!!

  6. Lynx says :

    I took a few Simply Slim pills, as the agent said it was 100% herbal. I soon realised there was something in it that did’nt work for me. I started with a terrible rash, which was diagnosed as Dermatitis Herpetiformis. My Dermatologist said that it was triggered by some chemical substance. Sibutramine definately triggered it. Dermatitis is a chronical disease, and I wonder if Simply Slim would pay my medical bills and the quality of life I will have to endure???

  7. Taryn says :

    I have been on simply slim for 5 months now and I feel great. I have lost 13kg’s. They say that it gives you high blood pressure- A friend of mine has high blood pressure and the funny part is that while on simply slim she had low blood pressure and she even stopped taking her blood pressure tablets. An cardiologist and an oncologist has recommended that people can go on it once they have stopped there treatment.

    O wait the best thing about this whole interview with Carte blanch is that one of the lady producers were using simply slim. O but I guess a job is just a job and you do what you get told to do, not what you believe in. How about lets stop running around for people to tell use there bad experiences, and lets find people who have actually been on the product and had good experiences and tell the country how it had changed their lives.

    So please do me a favour and find other things to do with your time…..

    • The Skeptic Blacksheep says :

      How about lets stop running around for people to tell use there bad experiences, and lets find people who have actually been on the product and had good experiences and tell the country how it had changed their lives.

      So please do me a favour and find other things to do with your time…..

      Taryn, so what you are saying is any bad experiences shouldn’t be reported? The reason people were having problems is because an illegal drug wsas found in Simply Slim, a drug that is known to cause heart problems. So IF someone had died, you wouldn’t want to know about it?

      In the 1950′s a drug called thalidomide was used to alleviate morning sickness in pregnant women, it was found that the drug caused serious birth defects. Some babies were affected, others not. Using your reasoning, people should have ignored the bad experiences and continued using a dangerous drug.

      Simply Slim admitted that there was sibutramin in some of their product, but ignored the complaints of their consumers. At the risk of sounding like a broken record – IF Simply Slim had investigated this whole mess properly at the begining, the capsule wouldn’t have been taken off the market in the first place.

      Taryn it must be so comfortable in your little world, how nice it would be to just ignore all the bad things that happen around us. I suppose you don’t watch or listen to the news either.
      I’m glad Simply Slim worked for you, but there were many others who had side effects and your attitude towards their experience is as bad as Simply Slim’s.

      So please do me a favour and use your brain, not everyone is content to live in blissful ignorance.

  8. Kayleigh says :

    Hi there.

    I just want to say that the old Simply Slim I used last year really worked for me. I know other people had bad side-effects so it is good they re called it. But now I’ve been using the new Simply Slim for almost two months and it doesn’t work. If anything, I have gained 4KG’s since using it. Don’t waste your time or money. I can’t believe they think they will get away with this, because from doing some research, seems like alot of people are experiencing the same as me.

    • The Skeptic Blacksheep says :

      Hi Kayleigh,

      It makes you wonder exactly what was in the old Simply Slim that made it so effective, doesn’t it? I’d be interested to know how many people are experiencing the same problem as you.

  9. sarah says :

    I took the old one with no serious side effects. a little bit of Insomnia in the first week and a little moodiness but the medication really worked. In fact if i could get some of the old ones i would still take it. I have a knee problem as a result of a car accident and no matter how much i diet the lack of exercise hampers my weight loss. Simply slim helped me to lose weight and this helped my knee problem to improve.I even started going for Aqua aerobics. I have bought the new one and it really does not work. i haven’t lost a kilo and it’s been three weeks…

  10. Ratu says :

    I used the old Simply slim last year and it worked great for me I lost 16kg’s in 6 weeks. I was very happy. This winter I gained a few Killos this winter and I went to ge Simply slim only to find out that it has changed it now comes in 60 tablets and it does suppress your appetite at all, infact it makes me over it’ I have been taking it for 4 weeks now and I have gained 3killos more. It makes me even more fat. Whatever they put in the new Simply sli definetly doesn’t work so please don’t bother waisting your R600.

  11. katie says :

    hi there..

    i have read all these comments and while reading them i have gotten mixed feelings about this “fantastic” product called simply slim.

    Im not over weight or under weight either! im 23 years old and i weigh 55kg, which is the average weight for a young woman! but like any young woman i would like to maybe just loose a few kg 4-5kg! i do gym 3 times a week. and i eat fairly healthy!

    i dont want to gain weight! is there any one maybe in my age group or if any of you have daughters that experiencing the same issues as my self, you could comment?

    hope every one that is using SS is healthy and well..

    P.S i would like to know any side affect that any one has experienced… good or bad….

  12. Ratu says :

    I am looking for the old Simply slim with 30 tablets, I am willing to pay the full price for it. Please email me if you can help.

  13. Vino says :

    I need the old SS ASAP. Call me if you can help 0732625329 or email

    I bought the new one only to get more hungry and put on a few kgs.

    I am wiling to pay full price.

    • The Skeptic Blacksheep says :

      Vino, I’m sorry, but I cannot do that. The old ones are dangerous and I would never sell them to anyone. Unlike the sellers of Simply Slim, I have a conscience.

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