New Diet Pills Not Doing So Good

Based on a survey of MedPage Today readers the recently approved diet pills Qsymia and Belviq haven’t been prescribed by doctors as much as predicted. Among nearly 1,000 responses from doctors, only 6.4% said they prescribed Qsymia (phentermine/topiramate) simply 3.3% wrote for Belviq (lorcaserin) — although survey, conducted jointly by MedPage Today, Everyday Health, and The Daily Meal, did concentrate on dietary interventions, subjecting the final results to the chance of selection bias.

Some participants did note, however, which costs of the new drugs were a barrier to prescribing. “Qsymia is the better concept, but middle-class and below cannot afford it,” one commenter wrote. “So I give … them generic phentermine 37.5 mg (1/2 tablet qAM) and topiramate 25 mg (generic, nontime release, BID) … Works great and [is] inexpensive.” Both kinds of orlistat — over-the-counter Alli or prescription Xenical — became available as the most notable drug therapies, with 20.5% of clinicians prescribing these medications, accompanied by generic phentermine at 16%. Perhaps as evidence with the study’s selection bias, 54% select the “other” category, together with the majority of these responders commenting which they would never prescribe medications for obesity, or how they didn’t have prescribing powers given that they were nurses or educators.

A couple of respondents prefered type 2 diabetes drug metformin, anti-epileptic agent topiramate (Topamax), liraglutide (Victoza, a diabetes type 2 drug which isn’t yet indicated for obesity) or cognitive behavioral therapy instead. Doctors’ Diet Choices The most of respondents (about 90%) said they prescribe diet and exercise since the first-line therapy against obesity — more evidence that runners who have faith in dietary changes was more inclined to answer a diet survey. About a 3rd of respondents said they generally recommend a selected commercial diet, and also the clear winner was Weight Watchers, with 75% of respondents saying it can help patients slim down most effectively and steadily.

Weight Watchers also took the superior slot for helping patients maintain fat loss (75%), and since the diet clinicians would feel most comfortable prescribing on their patients (78%). In most instances, the South Beach diet was the runner-up, but it really only garnered in regards to quarter with the votes for effectiveness, maintenance, and the majority recommended. The Atkins diet appeared by far the most controversial; about 23% said hello helped patients slim down effectively, but only 14% stated it was good for weight-loss maintenance, and simply 20% would recommend it on their patients. And 35% said they’d absolutely not recommend it thus to their patients.

Such recommendations could turn into a major part of clinician’s practices, with a lot more groups are emphasizing a proactive procedure for treating obesity, as evidenced by recent guidelines and initiatives from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists plus the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and The Obesity Society.

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