New Prescription weight loss pills Belviq™ and Qsymia™, now have the US FDA’s approval – their first in 13 years.
Review of Belviq™ and Qsymia™ and their side effects
Both Belviq and Qsymia are now approved by the US FDA as weight loss drugs by Prescription only from your doctor. Both drugs were expected to be available to consumers in the USA at the end of 2012 or early 2013. Both drugs are promoted as Appetite Suppressants to help the fight against obesity by acting on chemicals in the brain that affect appetite and feelings of fullness or satisfaction with less food intake.
For the first time, Researchers now realize that obesity is a disease in itself. Obesity greatly increases all kinds of other serious medical risks, from diabetes to heart disease to depression.
Because both Qsymia and Belviq carry risks, the US FDA advisory panels had to think long and hard about recommending approval for these drugs. In the end, the panels were swayed by what most members saw as the much greater risk of untreated obesity. This is a quantum shift in thinking about diet pills and the argument of risk vs reward or the greater risk to health in society.
Belviq is a brand name for lorcaserin which is the active ingredient. Belviq is recommended to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise and is available only from select pharmacies due to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration determining that Belviq has a potential for abuse.
Lorcaserin is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, weight control, and possibly testing your blood sugar.
Belviq is sometimes used by your doctor to treat obesity that may be related to diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
There are many other drugs that can interact with lorcaserin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
To make sure you can safely take Belviq, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- congestive heart failure;
- a heart valve disorder;
- sickle cell anemia;
- leukemia or myeloma;
- kidney or liver disease; or
- a physical deformity of the penis (such as Peyronie’s disease).
Qsymia is a combination of two currently US FDA approved drugs. One is the prescription appetite suppressant phentermine, which is the safer “phen” part of the infamously unsafe fen-phen diet pill.
Phentermine is thought to suppress appetite by triggering release of the brain chemical norepinephrine. This suppresses the appetite by increasing blood concentrations of the appetite-regulating hormone leptin.
Phentermine is though to be a habit forming drug.
The other half of Qsymia is the anti seizure/migraine drug topiramate. Topiramate causes weight loss in several ways, including increasing feelings of fullness, making foods taste less appealing, and increasing calorie burning.
Phentermine is a stimulant that is similar to an amphetamine. Phentermine is an appetite suppressant that affects the central nervous system.
Do not use phentermine if you haveused an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.
Taking phentermine together with other diet medications such as fenfluramine (Phen-Fen) or dexfenfluramine (Redux) can cause a rare fatal lung disorder called pulmonary hypertension. Do not take phentermine with any other diet medications without your doctor’s advice.
Phentermine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of this medicine.
You should not take phentermine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- a history of heart disease (coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension);
- severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;
- overactive thyroid;
- if you are pregnant or breast-feeding;
- if you are in an agitated state;
- if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse; or
- if you are allergic to other diet pills, amphetamines, stimulants, or cold medications.
Topiramate is a seizure medication, also called an anticonvulsant.
Topiramate is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat seizures in adults and children who are at least 2 years old.
Topiramate is also used to prevent migraine headaches in adults. Topiramate will only prevent migraine headaches or reduce the number of attacks. It will not treat a headache that has already begun.
To make sure you can safely take topiramate, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- kidney disease or a history of kidney stones;
- liver disease;
- a history of depression or suicide attempt;
- a growth disorder;
- a history of metabolic acidosis;
- osteoporosis or low bone density;
- asthma, emphysema, or other breathing disorder; or
- if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using topiramate.
You may have thoughts about suicide while taking topiramate.