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Is Diet Drug Qsymia the Answer to Fast Weight Loss?

Weight Loss DrugsQsymia is one of the first prescription weight loss pills to hit the market in over a decade. For overweight individuals who need to lose weight for health reasons—such as lowering the risk of heart disease, or managing type 2 diabetes—Qsymia may be one solution. However, the medication is not a miracle treatment for obesity; diet and exercise are required if patients are serious about reaching their health and weight loss goals.

Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder and Chief Medical Officer for The Center for Medical Weight Loss, agrees that Qsymia may be effective, but is only one tool in the weight loss arsenal. Dr. Kaplan and his team of physicians design individualized programs that incorporate diet, exercise, personal counseling – and medication when appropriate.

“I’m not convinced that Qsymia alone without physician counseling will be a good solution for weight problems,” Dr. Kaplan stated. “However, Qsymia combined with professional counseling could be a great option for doctors to have at their disposal to help obese patients.”

First safe diet pills approved by FDA

The FDA approved Qsymia in July 2012, but asked drug manufacturer Vivus to change the name from Qnexa to avoid confusion with another drug on the market. Qsymia became available to consumers in September of this year. The pill is only available through mail order to prevent overuse, as it is specifically targeted for people who fall into the obese category. Qsymia may also be prescribed for patients who are overweight, but also exhibit at least one other weight-related health condition, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

Qsymia works through a combination of two drugs: phentermine, which suppresses appetite, and topiramate, a migraine drug which also works to increase feelings of satiety or fullness after meals. The medications are not new – in fact, physicians at The Center for Medical Weight Loss and other doctors have been prescribing phentermine for some time to aid in weight loss. However, Qsymia provides both in a single pill. The drug was shown to help dieters lose weight in clinical trials, with patients dropping from an average weight of 227 pounds to 204 pounds. Patients in the clinical trials were able to lose between 11 and 14 percent of their body weight over the 52 weeks of the study.

“Safe” weight loss pills are not without risks

When thinking about using diet pills as the answer to how to lose weight fast, patients must also think about the risks. Qsymia has been linked to birth defects, including cleft palate, when taken during pregnancy. For this reason, women of child-bearing age must be on birth control to qualify to take the drug. Qsymia may also increase heart rate and the potential for a condition known as metabolic acidosis that can cause fatigue and hyperventilation. Those who take Qsymia must do so under a doctor’s careful supervision.

The Center for Medical Weight Loss utilizes diet pills like Qsymia when appropriate in their physician-guided weight loss programs. When medication is combined with a low-calorie diet, exercise and personal counseling, many patients can realize their weight loss goals in a healthy and safe manner. There are currently 450 locations around the United States; read testimonials of successful weight loss, and then enter your zip code in the box at the right to find a center in your area. Introductory offers are available at some locations for first-time customers.