Navigation Links
2 New Weight-Loss Drugs Won't Reverse U.S. Obesity Crisis
Date:7/19/2012

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of two new weight-loss drugs within the past month -- the first such medications in 13 years -- won't be a panacea for America's obesity epidemic, health professionals say.

And as the FDA's drug regulators reiterated when approving the two drugs, Qysmia and Belviq, no weight-loss medication should be used without also making lifestyle changes to facilitate weight loss.

"The bottom line is there's no such thing as a magic pill and I hope that individuals do not think by taking this pill that it will ensure long-term weight loss," said Keri Gans, a registered dietitian in New York City. "We need to be reminded that diet and exercise are still critical."

Qysmia, formerly called Qnexa, was approved on Tuesday and is a combination of the weight-loss drug phentermine (brand name Adipex-P, among others) and the anti-seizure medication Topamax (topiramate).

It is only approved for people who are obese (a body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or above) or overweight people (BMI of 27 or higher) and who also suffer from conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol.

Phentermine once was prescribed widely as the "phen" part of the fen-phen weight-loss drug, which was withdrawn from the market in 1997 after it was linked to both high blood pressure in the lungs and heart valve disease. The problems appeared to be related to the "fen," or fenfluramine, part of the combination, not the phentermine.

Qsymia was initially denied FDA approval in 2010 because of potential side effects, including heart palpitations and birth defects -- such as cleft lip in babies -- if taken by pregnant women.

Phentermine is believed to work by controlling appetite and Topamax by speeding up metabolism.

But Topamax also has side effects, including, possibly, numbness in the arms and legs, said Dr. Michael Aziz, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York City, who added that having two drugs together could compound the side effects.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is stressing that Qsymia not be used by pregnant women. Nor should it be taken by people who have had a recent stroke or unstable heart disease as it can speed up heart rate. Neither should it be taken by people with glaucoma or hyperthyroidism.

And the drug can only be sold via specially certified drug stores.

"The concern is with it being overprescribed," Gans said. "There's the concern that too many people may have access to it when they simply need to make diet modifications and not look for some magic solutions."

The second drug approved in the last month was Belviq (lorcaserin), also for obese adults who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes.

Belviq seems to work by controlling appetite, Aziz said, but in trials it produced limited weight loss.

Belviq may cause serious side effects, including "serotonin syndrome," particularly when taken with certain medicines that increase serotonin levels or activate serotonin receptors, such as drugs used to treat depression and migraine. The drug may also cause problems with attention or memory, the FDA said.

Other common side effects of Belviq in non-diabetic patients include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, and constipation. In patients with diabetes, side effects can include low blood sugar, headache, back pain, cough and fatigue, the FDA said.

The cost of the drug is relatively modest, at least compared to other medications on the market, and may range between $100 and $200 for a month's supply, Aziz said.

But neither drug, despite the splash they've made in the news, is likely to make a significant dent in America's obesity crisis, with two-thirds of the population either overweight or obese.

"The problem that all the drug companies are overlooking is the fact that obesity is really multi-factorial," Aziz said. "It's not only related to diet and exercise but also to hormonal imbalances, stress and lack of sleep."

More information

For more on obesity, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Keri Gans, M.S., registered dietitian, New York City, and author, The Small Change Diet; Michael Aziz, M.D., internist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City, and author, The Perfect 10 Diet


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. FDA Approves 2nd New Weight-Loss Drug
2. Weight-Loss Surgery May Not Cut Medical Costs: Study
3. Weight-Loss Keys: Food Journals, Eating In, Not Skipping Meals
4. Beige Fat Joins Brown Fat as Potential Weight-Loss Target
5. FDA Approves First New Weight-Loss Drug in More Than a Decade
6. Diabetes Can Make a Comeback After Weight-Loss Surgery: Study
7. Weight-Loss Surgery Cuts Heart Risk 7 Years Later: Study
8. Weight-Loss Surgery May Improve Diabetes-Related Kidney Damage
9. Race Might Play Role in Success of Weight-Loss Surgery
10. Some May Drink More After Weight-Loss Surgery: Study
11. Does Weight-Loss Surgery Work for Teens? Yes, Study Says
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from ... at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center ... care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures ... . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin ... injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his ... of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published ... unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable ... less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Consumers have ... and regulators/payers have placed more emphasis on patient ... patient support programs in the pharmaceutical industry have ... medications. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on becoming ... are providing products and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016   Bay Area Lyme Foundation , ... Center for Tick Borne Illness , Harvard Medical ... Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, and the ... five finalists of Lyme Innovation , the ... 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ALEXANDRIA, Va. , June 24, 2016 ... a set of recommendations that would allow ... information (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage ... determine the "value" of new medicines. The ... that does not appear on the drug label, a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: