After the $3.75 Billion Fen Phen settlement in 2000, Obese adults have not seen many safe, FDA approved, weight loss options. Many have resulted to risky gastric bypass surgeries, which has increased dramatically in popularity due to the new lap band procedure. However, the FDA just recently approved the second weight loss drug in two months, Qsymia. Qsymia, originally called Qnexa, was approved less than a month after the Food and Drug Administration approved Belviq.
The FDA previously rejected both Qsymia and Belviq in 2010, but recently approved these two weight loss drugs, after the manufacturers Vivus and Arena Pharmaceuticals, respectively, provided new data. Orexigen Therapeutics, who also presented the FDA with a drug that was rejected is conducting a clinical trial for their drug Contrave, which could end up hitting the market later within the next two years.
While this drug may be a safer alternative than surgery, it may not be safe for everyone. Risks associated with Qsymia can include memory loss, elevated heart rate, confusion, and birth defects if taken during pregnancy, due to the presense of Topirimate. To the millions of Americans suffering from morbid obesity, these complications are not as bad as the health complications they face daily as a result of their weight.
The FDA is already providing potential users with safety tips, stating that patients should start on a middle dose, and should consider a high dose only if they do not lose 3% of their body weight after 12 weeks. The FDA also advised that this is not a long term drug, and that Qysmia should be discontinued after 12 weeks if the user does not lose 5% of their body weight. Qysmia is expected to help heavy patients drop at 10% of their body weight, which is more than any other approved obesity medication.
If you are considering taking Qysmia or Belviq, It is important that you consult with your physician and make sure that you understand all of the risks and the benefits of taking diet drugs. You should also ask your doctor about any lifestyle changes that you should make while taking Qysmia or Belviq.