Vivus Pharmaceuticals announces that Qsymia is now available for weight loss. It is the first available weight loss drug in the last 13 years. The weight loss pill is a combination of 2 existing drugs: phentermine and topiramate. This combination has been shown to be a good tool for weight loss in addition to a plan that includes dietary change, exercise and behavior modification.
At a medical conference a few years ago, a physician discussed the studies behind a new drug in the pipeline for weight loss. As a practicing Bariatricians, we had already been using both drugs with a lot of success individually and therefore starting sometime after that conference, and in the right patient who meets certain qualifications, our office started to use them together. Since that time, we have had much success in the use of phentermine and topiramate both individually and together in the right patient.
Basically, the studies show that those taking the combo drug lost 11% more weight (up to 14.7%) over a year versus 1.8% loss in those that took the placebo. 70% of the persons taking the drug lost at least 5% of their body weight. When confronted with excess weight, the use of medications is an option that, when used as part of a comprehensive weight loss program, is a valuable tool. When prescribing these medicines, we always follow the guidelines established by the Obesity Medicine Association (OMA).
Weight loss medications such as phentermine and others have been in common use since the late 1950s. Unfortunately back in the ’50s, it was believed that overweight and obesity were due to a lack of discipline and if someone were able to lose weight, they would easily be able to keep it off. Unfortunately, this is just not true. In order to successfully lose and keep off your weight you have to change a number of factors in your life including your diet, exercise and stress on your body (primarily the quantity of sleep that we get). Thus when these medicines were first studied in the 1950s, they were only studied over 12 weeks with the false belief that if you were able to lose the weight, it would stay off with no further effort.
There are a several guidelines applied when using weight controlling medications. Scottsdale Weight Loss Center physicians have been specially trained to know which drugs to use, how to use them and more importantly, when to use them. Most of the guidelines start with your initial BMI and body fat percent along with your medical history and other medicines that you may already be taking. Weight loss drugs make it easier to stick to a lower calorie diet. Discuss the use of a weight loss drug with us to see if this one that is right for you. Once prescribed, you’ll still be advised to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly in order to encourage weight loss. The doctors at Scottsdale Weight Loss Center have your best interest in mind, should you have questions regarding weight loss medications please do not hesitate to ask.