The FDA announced its approval for a new anti-obesity drug in a press release dated July 17, 2012. The drug is called Qsymia and is actually a combination of two older drugs, phentermine and topiramate.
Obesity is a problem that plagues America and much of the world. Very few pharmaceutical solutions have been made available lately. Qsymia, marketed by Vivus Pharmaceuticals, is the first drug in a while to come out of the slowly emerging anti-obesity drug market. It actually is just a combination of two previously FDA approved drugs. Phentermine is an appetite suppressant and stimulant. Topiramate is actually an anti-convulsant drug which is used to help patients feel more satisfied after eating.
There are two categories of adults that Qsymia has been approved for. The two categories are based on the Body Mass Index (BMI). If an adult has a BMI of 30 or more, they are considered obese and are eligible to use this drug. If an adult has a BMI of 27 or greater, they are considered overweight and must present one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure (hypertension), type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol (dyslipidemia). If you would like to figure out your BMI, use the formulas in the image below. Note that if you measure in pounds and inches, there is an extra step. Metric users should follow the bottom formula. You can also easily find BMI calculators online if you’re not comfortable doing it by hand.
Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said, “Qsymia, used responsibly in combination with a healthy lifestyle that includes a reduced-calorie diet and exercise, provides another treatment option for chronic weight management in Americans who are obese or are overweight and have at least one weight-related comorbid condition.”
The FDA has been careful to note, as you can see in the quote above, that this pill is effective in conjunction with a reduced calorie diet and exercise. There are also some pretty strong warnings about using this drug during pregnancy due to some serious side affects for newborns. For more information, see Vivus’ website at http://www.vivus.com/products.