The FDA appears to be on a roll in approving new diet drugs for prescription use. After approving diet drug Belvig less than a month ago, they’ve given the green light to Qsymia (pronounced cue-SIM-ee-uh), an obesity pill formerly known as Qnexa.
Qnexa was orginally rejected by the FDA back in 2010 because of risks associated with elevated heart rate, psychiatric problems, and birth defects. Now being sold under the name Qsymia, side effects include tingling of the hands and feet, dizziness, insomnia, constipation, a change in taste sensation, and dry mouth.
Still want your doctor to prescribe it for you? Be forewarned, Qsymia has strict prescription guidelines set in place to protect those most at risk for side effects. The drug cannot be prescribed for pregnant women, patients with glaucoma and hyperthryoidism, or recent heart disease or stroke victims. And, if you just want to lose a few pounds, forget it–the drug will only be dispensed to those with a BMI of 30 or over. Those with a BMI of 27 or over are eligble, but only with at least one weight-related medical issue (high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol).
So, what exactly is this drug made of? Qsymia is a combination of two existing drugs: phentermine, an appetite-suppressing stimulant that has long been used for short-term weight loss, and topiramate, an anti-seizure medication used to treat epilepsy that makes people feel fuller after eating. Many doctors already prescribe the two drugs together for patients.
Does the approval of two diet drugs in less than 30 days mean we can expect to see more on the market by year’s end? Time will tell–the FDA’s decision on a third diet drug, known as Contrave, is still pending.
Meanwhile, Qsymia will be on the market by the end of the year. To learn more, view the video below, courtesy of ABCNews.com