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Qsymia: The Latest Way to Ignore Your Body's Needs

QsymiaThere’s a new diet pill on the block, and this one is backed by the FDA. But that stamp of approval doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe, so why burn through your wallet and your health insurance when you can burn fat the natural way?

Side effects not included.

New Approval for Weight Loss Drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved another weight loss drug, claiming Qsymia (a combination of phentermine and topiramate extended-release) can be helpful and mostly harmless as an addition to a reduced-calorie diet and exercise.  But the FDA says clearly in its own news release that while phentermine is indicated for short-term weight loss in overweight adults, topiramate is indicated to treat certain types of seizure and prevent migraine headaches.

Sure, it’s deemed safe. But why would you be putting a needless migraine medicine into your body just to help you shed those tough pounds? And what’s the research really saying?

According to the FDA, Qsymia was tested in two randomized, placebo-controlled trials of about 3,7000 obese and overweight patients who received lifestyle changes like reduced calorie diets and regular exercise. After a year with the recommended daily dose of the drug, the two groups had an average weight loss of 6.7 percent (placebo group) and 8.9 percent (drug group). That’s not an incredible difference, especially if you consider that the big Q was only found to be effective in coordination with other health efforts.

And just how safe is it? What are the guidelines for passing the FDA’s big test? Well, it’s clear that Qsymia comes with a decent list of side effects and potential issues.

The Harm of Qsymia

Like most diet medication, and really most medication in general, you shouldn’t take Qsymia during pregnancy because of the harm it can cause a fetus. Data from the FDA has shown that a fetus exposed to topiramate in the first trimester can increase the risk of a cleft lip or palate. It’s important to use effective contraception for the duration of the drug regimen.

It also can’t be used in patients with glaucoma or hyperthyroidism, and Qsymia can increase heart rate, leaving it open to debate about the risk for heart attack or stroke. At the time, the FDA doesn’t have any conclusive answers, marking more unknown territory at the bottom of the pill bottle. And additional risks like kidney stones, mood problems, and suicidal behavior also make their way into the findings.

So for a medication that has been vouched for by the Food and Drug Administration, it doesn’t appear as if Qsymia is really all that safe or effective. But with obesity rates that have topped 35 percent of American adults and associated medical costs estimated at $147 billion, something certainly has to be done.

So why not use the path that nature laid out for us, rather than waiting on a hope that the next weight loss drug will finally make things easy?

Your Options for Weight Loss

There are lots of methods out there that can help you lose weight, keep it off, and never put you in danger. You’ve probably heard it time and time again, but the best way to get healthy is to be healthy. Making small changes over a period of time can add up to serious weight lost, and if you really are hitting some roadblocks, there are other places to turn before you start downing the latest fad to hit the market.

One thing that can always help is to improve your digestion and internal health. Products exist like Appergen, which contains a soluble fiber and can help detoxify the body from heavy metals, free radicals, and other toxins. If you can keep your GI tract healthy and functioning properly, it can help aid weight loss and reduce blood fats while helping to keep blood sugar normal.

Another idea is committing to a schedule, something that you will be able to stick to. If the idea of running laps makes you want to run the other direction, take up hiking. Find a sport that interests you and trick yourself into exercising at least three or four times per week. And absolutely cut out those unnecessary ills like soda and dessert after every meal. The most important thing is to stay focused, stay active, and stay hungry.

Hungry for a better life, that is.

Cited Sources

Liscinsky, Morgan. "News & Events." FDA Approves Weight-management Drug Qsymia. FDA.gov. N.p., 17 July 2012. Web. 27 July 2012. <http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm312468.htm>.

"Adult Obesity Facts." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 Apr. 2012. Web. 27 July 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html/>.


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