FDA Approves Qsymia

Qsymia has become the second diet pill approved by the Federal Drug Administration in less than two months, before the approval of these two drugs the last diet pill approved had been Xenical in 1999. The new pill, formerly known as Qnexa (the FDA asked Vivus to change the name to avoid confusion with another drug on the market), will be available by the fourth quarter of this year, according to the company’s president, Peter Tam.

Qsymia is a combination of the very successful appetite suppressant Phentermine and topiramate, an anti-seizure medication used to treat epilepsy that gives users the feeling of being full after eating.

In clinical trials, overweight and obese patients taking Qsymia for a year lost differing amounts of weight: on average, patients taking a middle dose of the drug lost 8.4% of their body weight; on a higher dose, patients lost 10.6%.

Most of the weight came off in the first three months, so doctors should monitor patients at that point to see if the drug is working. The FDA notes that people who don’t lose at least 3% of their body weight by three months are unlikely to go on to lose any significant weight, so they should either be counseled to discontinue the drug or to try a higher dose (Qsymia will be available in two doses). If patients still don’t lose at least 5% of their weight after three additional months on the higher dose, they should quit taking Qsymia.

Qsymia like all other prescription diet pills is intended for use along with diet, exercise and lifestyle change for it to realize its full potential.

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