Physician Prescribed Weight loss medications
Some patients find that diet and exercise is not a viable option; for these patients, anti-obesity drugs or “weight loss pills” can be option under careful medical supervision. Some prescription weight loss drugs are stimulants, which are recommended only for short-term use, and thus are of limited usefulness for extremely obese patients, who may need to reduce weight over months or years.
In September, 2014, FDA approved Contrave, a sustained release combination of Bupropion and Naltrexone for weight loss.
FDA approves weight-management drug Qsymia in July 2012
The combination of phentermine and topiramate, brand name Qsymia (formerly Qnexa) was approved by the U.S. FDA on July 17, 2012, as an obestity treatment complementary to a diet and exercise regimen.
Cost of Qsymia – Generic combination versus Brand name
The manufacturer cost of Qsymia retailed through various pharmacies is approximately &160.00 per month. Due to this steep price, some patients of W8MD Medical Weight Loss Centers requested if they can try the generic combination (Phentermine and Topiramate) as both the ingredients are generic and we had good success in trying the generic combination. Since each of these two components can be obtained for about a dollar a pill each, with a total monthly cost of $60.00 USD for Qsymia, it works out much cheaper to do the generic Qsymia combination compared to the brand price.
Here is the information from the FDA regarding Qsymia weight loss medication.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) as an addition to a reduced-calorie diet and exercise for chronic weight management.
The drug is approved for use in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater (obese) or adults with a BMI of 27 or greater (overweight) who have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure (hypertension), type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol (dyslipidemia).
BMI, which measures body fat based on an individual’s weight and height, is used to define the obesity and overweight categories. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese.
“Obesity threatens the overall well being of patients and is a major public health concern,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Qsymia, used responsibly in combination with a healthy lifestyle that includes a reduced-calorie diet and exercise, provides another treatment option for chronic weight management in Americans who are obese or are overweight and have at least one weight-related comorbid condition.”
Qsymia is a combination of two FDA-approved drugs, phentermine and topiramate, in an extended-release formulation. Phentermine is indicated for short-term weight loss in overweight or obese adults who are exercising and eating a reduced calorie diet. Topiramate is indicated to treat certain types of seizures in people who have epilepsy and to prevent migraine headaches.
The most common side effects of Qsymia are tingling of hands and feet (paresthesia), dizziness, altered taste sensation, insomnia, constipation, and dry mouth.
Qsymia is marketed by Vivus Inc. in Mountain View, Calif.
Orlistat Orlistat (Xenical) weight loss medication reduces intestinal fat absorption by inhibiting pancreatic lipase. Some side-effects of using Orlistat include frequent, oily bowel movements (steatorrhea). But if fat in the diet is reduced, symptoms often improve. Originally available only by prescription, it was approved by the FDA for over-the-counter sale in February 2007. On 26 May 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a revised label for Xenical to include new safety information about cases of severe liver injury that have been reported rarely with the use of this medication. Of the 40 million users of Orlistat worldwide, 13 cases of severe liver damage have been reported.
Lorcaserin Lorcaserin (Belviq) For Weight LossThis weight loss medication was approved June 28, 2012 for obesity with other co-morbidities. The average weight loss by study participants was modest, but the most common side effects of the drug are considered benign.Sibutramine (Reductil or Meridia) is an anorectic or appetite suppressant, reducing the desire to eat. Sibutramine may increase blood pressure and may cause dry mouth, constipation, headache, and insomnia.
In the past, it was noted by the US that Meridia was a harmless drug for fighting obesity. The US District Court of the Northern District of Ohio rejected 113 cases complaining about the negative effects of the drug, stating that the clients lacked supporting facts and that the representatives involved were not qualified enough. According to new research, however, it is clear that the drug is injurious to health.
Rimonabant for weight loss
Rimonabant weigth loss medication (Acomplia) is a recently developed anti-obesity medication. It is cannabinoid (CB1) receptor antagonist that acts centrally on the brain thus decreasing appetite. It may also act peripherally by increasing thermogenesis and therefore increasing energy expenditure.
Weight loss with Rimonabant, however, has not been shown to be greater than other available weight-loss medication. Due to safety concerns, primarily psychiatric in nature, the drug has not received approval in the United States or Canada, either as an anti-obesity treatment or as a smoking-cessation drug.
Sanofi-Aventis has received approval to market Rimonabant as a prescription anti-obesity drug in the European Union, subject to some restrictions. However, in October 2008, the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) recommended that Acomplia no longer be available in UK. One month later, Sanofi-Aventis decided it would no longer study rimonabant for any indication.
Exenatide For Weight Loss
Exenatide (Byetta) is a long-acting analogue of the hormone GLP-1, which the intestines secrete in response to the presence of food. Among other effects, GLP-1 delays gastric emptying and promotes a feeling of satiety. Some obese people are deficient in GLP-1, and dieting reduces GLP-1 further.
Byetta for weight loss
Byetta is currently available as a treatment for Diabetes mellitus type 2. Some, but not all, patients find that they lose substantial weight when taking Byetta. Drawbacks of Byetta include that it must be injected subcutaneously twice daily, and that it causes severe nausea in some patients, especially when therapy is initiated. Byetta is recommended only for patients with Type 2 Diabetes. A somewhat similar drug, Symlin, is currently available for treating diabetes and is in testing for treating obesity in non-diabetics.Pramlintide (Symlin) is a synthetic analogue of the hormone Amylin, which in normal people is secreted by the pancreas in response to eating. Among other effects, Amylin delays gastric emptying and promotes a feeling of satiety.
Many diabetics are deficient in Amylin. Currently, Symlin is only approved to be used along with insulin by Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. However, Symlin is currently being tested in non-diabetics as a treatment for obesity. A drawback is that Symlin must be injected at mealtimes.
Metformin For Weight Loss
Metformin In people with Diabetes mellitus type 2, the drug metformin (Glucophage) can reduce weight. Metformin limits the amount of glucose that is produced by the liver as well as increases muscle consumption of glucose.
Other drugs Other weight loss drugs have also been associated with medical complications, such as fatal pulmonary hypertension and heart valve damage due to Redux and Fen-phen, and hemorrhagic stroke due phenylpropanolamine.Many of these substances are related to amphetamine.
Unresearched nonprescription products or programs for weight loss are heavily promoted by mail and print advertising and on the internet. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends caution with use of these products, since many of the claims of safety and effectiveness are unsubstantiated.
Individuals with anorexia nervosa and some athletes try to control body weight with laxatives, diet pills or diuretic drugs, although these generally have no impact on body fat.Products that work as a laxative can cause the blood’s potassium level to drop, which may cause heart and/or muscle problems. Pyruvate is a popular product that may result in a small amount of weight loss. However, pyruvate, which is found in red apples, cheese, and red wine, has not been thoroughly studied and its weight loss potential has not been scientifically established.
ZGN-433 is undergoing initial human trials, starting in early 2011.
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