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Approved by FDA, Obesity Drug Qsymia Rejected in Europe

Ryan | October 13th, 2012

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A new obesity drug manufactured by Vivus, Inc., approved by the FDA for sale in the U.S. under the brand name Qsymia, has not received approval from a European drug regulatory agency.

According to Vivus, the European Medicines Agency chose not to approve the drug, going by the name Qsiva overseas, because it contains the appetite suppressant phentermine, which in combination with other drugs has been linked to dangerous side effects in the past. Specifically, phentermine was combined with fenfluramine in diet drug “fen-phen,” which was recalled from both U.S. and European markets due to a high risk of side effects, including serious heart damage.

Qsymia does not include fenfluramine, but instead combines phentermine with with anti-seizure drug topiramate. The FDA approved it for sale on the U.S. market in 2012.

How To Lose Weight Safely

Despite the discrepancy in evaluations of Qsymia by the FDA and the EU Committee, one thing is not disputed: Obesity drugs alone will not help people lose significant amounts of weight. As the weight loss specialists at The Center For Medical Weight Loss advise their patients, the best way to lose weight fast and keep it off long-term is through a personally designed diet and exercise program, which may or may not incorporate an appetite suppressant such as Qsymia.

“We often prescribe phentermine to help control appetite as part of an overall program,” says Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder and chief medical officer for The Center For Medical Weight Loss. “For some people, it really helps. Topiramate slows brain activity and theoretically should help with food cravings. In combination with phentermine it should lead to an increase in energy, which is exactly what you want while losing weight.”

Obesity Drugs: Easiest Ways to Lose Weight?

Vivus launched Qsymia on September 17, 2012. The FDA also approved another diet pill this summer, the drug Belviq, manufactured by Arena Pharmaceuticals. Belviq is expected to be available to consumers early in 2013. Previous to Belviq and Qsymia, the FDA had not approved an obesity drug in over 10 years.

“I’m not convinced that Qsymia (Qnexa) alone without physician counseling will be a good solution to weight problems, says Dr. Kaplan about the potential benefits of weight loss pill Qsymia. “However, Qsymia combined with professional physician counseling could be a great option for doctors to have at their disposal to help their obese patients.”

How Do You Lose Weight Effectively?

The Center For Medical Weight Loss is the largest group of non-surgical weight loss physicians in the country. According to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, patients at the Center lose an average of 11.1% of total body weight in just 12 weeks. That comes out to approximately 28 pounds for a person initially weighing 250 pounds. Researchers concluded that the results last: Over 95% of patients kept weight off for at least a year.

The Center has produced thousands of testimonials of successful weight loss. To see if there is a location near you, enter your zip code in the box on the upper right. Introductory offers are available at select Centers for first-time visitors.