Qsymia [kyoo-sim- EE-uh]
A new diet drug, the first one in ten years, has been approved by the FDA.
The good news:
- Studies indicate that when using the drug along with diet and exercise, people are able to lose about 10% of their weight. In other words, a 270# person will lose about 27#, reaching a weight of 243#.
- A weight loss of 10% can help to decrease the risks of obesity-related conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and others.
- The drug is a combination of two drugs. One, a stimulant (phentermine), helps to decrease appetite. The other, a seizure and migraine drug (topiramate), helps promote weight loss.
- For those not eligible for bariatric surgery, we don’t have any other tools to fight obesity.
The bad news:
- 10% weight loss is not enough for most people to reach a healthy weight.
- You need to plan to take this drug for the rest of your life, because if you stop, you will regain the weight.
- Like all medications, there are side effects to this drug. The risks that the FDA was most concerned with were the potential for dangerous heart problems, birth defects and cognitive effects such as mental fogginess or lack of concentration in patients taking the drug.