Qsymia, Another Weight Loss Drug, Wins FDA Approval

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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And away we go! Another weight loss drug, Qsymia, has won FDA approval.

Surprise! The “new” medication for weight loss is a combination of two existing medications. On the heels of Belviq, a weight loss medication approved a month ago, we now have a combination of phentermine and topiramate (Topamax) called Qsymia.

Qsymia is a combination of the FDA-approved drugs phentermine and topiramate (Topamax) in an extended-release formulation. Phentermine has been used for years for short-term weight loss and Topiramate is used for the treatment of seizures and the prevention of migraine headaches.

Here are the stats on Qsymia:

1. The average weight loss is about 9 – 10%.

2. The most common adverse reactions with Qsymia were tingling sensations of the hands and feet, dizziness, altered taste, insomnia, constipation, and dry mouth.

3. People who CAN’T use Qsymia are: those with glaucoma, hyperthyroidism or those with a history of heart disease or stroke.

4. If you don’t have weight loss after 12 weeks on Qsymia you should consider discontinuing it.

For those of you interested in prescription medications for weight loss you now have two new options: Qsymia and Belviq, which work by different mechanisms to help out with weight loss.

For more information on Belviq see my previous blog.

Dr O.

Qsymia is available in pharmacies as of September 2012.

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