Drug manufacturer Vivus, Inc. is officially the latest to get a diet drug approved by the FDA.
Vivus’ new drug, Qsymia, is a combination of two relatively well-known diet drugs. Phentermine, formerly one-half of the very dangerous fen-phen, and topiramate are the two components of the drug.
Phentermine works by suppressing a person’s appetite through the release of the hormone norepinephrine. Topiramate, typically used to treat seizures and headaches, creates a feeling of fullness while decreasing the appeal of food and increasing calorie burn.
The combination has been said to be an “effective therapy in a new generation of anti-obesity pills designed to help patients safely shed pounds.”
Clinical studies for Qsymia involved over 3500 obese and overweight patients who were either on Qsymia or a placebo for a one-year period.
Those taking Qsymia lost an average of 3.5 to 9.3 pounds more than those taking the placebo.
Not only were the results not staggering, but it was also revealed that Qsymia is only effective when combined with a nutritious diet and exercise.
But Vivus insists diet and exercise are simply not enough, saying "Obesity is not being adequately addressed by diet and lifestyle changes or currently available therapies."
Of course there were a few more dramatic success stories in the Qsymia trials.
Meg Evans is one participant who lost 48 pounds during her year on the drug, and another two pounds the following year. Meg’s blood pressure also quickly dropped due to the drug.
With the obesity rate in America now pushing one-third, and associated medical costs are reaching 150 billion dollars, drugs like Qsymia seem like a great solution.
But, like all diet drugs, Qsymia does come with a number of risks and side effects.
Increased heart rate, glaucoma, kidney stones, and birth defects are just a few of the more serious side effects. As such, people with heart problems as well as pregnant women are discouraged from taking Qsymia.
The FDA has also required Qsymia to conduct additional trials to further assess the cardiovascular risks that may come with taking the drug.
And while doctors can technically prescribe any drug they wish to their patients, the FDA’s approval is specifically for those who have a body mass index of 28 or higher and who are also suffering from weight-related health problems.
Contact a doctor for more information.Sources
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