The FDA has approved yet another weight loss drug, Qsymia. It is the second diet drug to be approved by the FDA in the past month (along with Belviq). Qsymia and Belviq are the first FDA-approved drugs in over 13 years. In a study conducted by the manufacturer Vivus, participants lost an average of 10% of their body weight. Qsymia seems to be more effective than Belviq. Participants taking Belviq only lost 4% of their body weight.
Qsymia is a combination of two drugs. Phentermine, a stimulant related to the amphetamines that suppresses the appetite, and topiramate, a drug used to treat migraines and epilepsy that has weight-loss effects. The side effects of Qsymia are possible heart problems, birth defects, mental fogginess, ad lack of concentration.
What is my personal opinion of Qsymia and weight loss drugs in general? I believe this quote sums it up the best: “I do think it will help a subpopulation lose weight. However, I am concerned that mass marketing of this drug will perpetuate the magic bullet approach to weight loss, which is limiting and does not address the root problem,” said Dr. Gerard Mullin, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.