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Qsymia - Weight Loss Drug

Updated on September 26, 2018
Pamela99 profile image

I spent 22 years in the nursing profession. I enjoy writing, reading historical novels, gardening, and helping people live a healthier life.

Best Weight Loss - Qsymia

Weight is really a balancing act between the numbers of calories you consume versus the number of calories you burn; so how to lose weight effectively is a question many people would like answered.

Vivus Inc. developed a diet medication called Qsymia, which was originally called Qsymia is a combination of phentermine, which suppresses the appetite, and Topiramate, Topiramate is acually a medication that treats epilepsy and prevents migraines with the side effect of weight loss.

This medicaiton was been approved by the FDA in 2011. This drug was initially rejected by the FDA in 2010. Three other drugs were also approved, but according to JAMA Qysmia has been the most successful with people losing 5 percent of body weight in a large study.

Vivus Inc’s market value soared by 80% the day after this recommendation. Diet medications, whether over-the-counter or a prescription, are a multi-million dollar business as people are desperately seeking an effective or easier way to lose weight.

Weight Loss


Obesity Epidemic In the US

Scientists had searched for nearly a century to find a weight loss drug without side effects, which has been a huge challenge. Here are 75 million obese people in the US, which is an obesity rate of almost 35%. Qsymia is meant for people with a body mass Index of 30 plus ( 27 kg/m2), claiming 3 times the success of a diet for weight loss.

Obesity causes diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, heart disease, arthritis and other serious medical problems. Most people that are obese have tried every type of diet that has been advertised or written about, and many are still unsuccessful.

The problem for researchers has been the way our bodies work in storing calories or fat. Human beings are programmed to consume calories and store them for energy or fat, so when we reduce our intake this biological mechanism signals our brains to store more calories, Drug companies have tried to develop a drug that will block that brain signal associated with food cravings and the storage of fat.

Monitoring Weight Loss

Qsymia Patient Study

During the 28 week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study on 756 patients, the drug was effective in the loss of 9.2% of their weight as compared to people taking the placebo. The patients taking the higher doses of the medication lost more weight.

The drug was well tolerated by most patients; however, some of the side effects associated with this drug were itching, dry mouth, constipation, memory loss, altered taste, higher heart rates and blood pressure. Depression was also noted but the number was equal to the placebo group. The patients in the study group were allowed to exercise three times weekly, and they were given a diet which was 500 less calories than a normal diet.

Diet Drug Approval by FDA Rare

The last time the FDA approved a diet medication was 20 years ago, and it has withdrawn many diet drugs from the market due to concerns about side effects. The panel that voted for this medication felt the health risk of obesity and the benefits of weight loss outweighed the risks of the drug. This diet medication is recommended for obese adults with at least one comorbidity, which include hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia. Women must be on birth control, or if they become pregnant they must quit Qsymia.

According to Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center stated, “desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Is the new diet drug Qsymia Safe to take?

Diet Plans

Generally people want to lose weight fast. The ideal weight loss philosophy as described by Mayo Clinic means understanding the necessity of burning more calories than you take in; you can set your weight loss goals and develop your own weight loss program.

Obviously this is ideal, but easier said than done. Weight lose diets can work if you adhere to a plan, and one of the tools that can make you successful is journaling every single thing you eat each day.

You will be surprised how little bites of something can add up to a larger calorie intake than you realized. The ideal diet plans to keep it off is 2-3 pounds for week, which is advocated in Weight Watchers.

In Conclusion

Some employers are now paying for their employees to join weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers, as this benefits the employer by cutting down of their employee's health care costs. Obesity is a serious problem and there are numerous available programs to assist an individual.

There are also numerous over-the-counter diet medications, as well as, prescriptions. Has Qsymia been the answer to the question of “The Best Way to Lose Weight? I don't think we can say that, as there are many new types of diets now, such as the Keto diet and several others.

The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.


Submit a Comment
  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Marc-Carillet, Thank you so much for your very flattering comments. I try to explain medical issues in simpler terms as I am an RN. Thanks again.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Marc-Carillet, I am glad you found this hub to be helpful and I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Roberta, I think most people agree with you. Thank you for your comments.

  • Roberta99 profile image


    7 years ago

    I think the side effects make taking drugs to lose weight too dangerous. Exercise and watching calories seem to be a better option.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Marcy, I agree that some people are so obese and have associated health problems that medication might be a better choice if they can't lose weight, particularly if they are incapacitated in some way. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    7 years ago from Planet Earth

    This is a very informative hub. As with others here, I am wary of medications for weight loss. Although I am certain they are a life-saving choice for some people. It's better to go that route than to put your health (and life) in jeopardy, if no other route works for someone. Voted up, useful and interesting.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Nell, I agree with your comments. Thank you.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    7 years ago from England

    Hi, just looking at the side effects would be enough to put me off, to lose weight it should be exercise and eating less calories, anything that isn't done naturally can't be good for you, thanks for letting us know, rated up! cheers nell

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    anginwu, Thanks so much for your comments.

  • anglnwu profile image


    7 years ago

    Thanks for the interesting information. Like the expressed concerns of others here, I feel that losing weight by using medication may not be effective in the long run. Thanks for keeping us abreast of new health development. Rated up.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    drbj, I understand your concern about phentemine. I appreciate your comments.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    7 years ago from south Florida

    Interesing info about this new diet drug, Pamela. But I would be wary of any 'weight loss' medication including phentermine, a drug that has caused problems for many patients in the past. Thanks for your excellent research, m'dear.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    sofs, I expected most people to agree with you as that is the healthiest way to lose. I appreciate your comments.

  • sofs profile image


    7 years ago

    I honestly have to concur with the others here that weight loss should be through a change in lifestyle and not through drugs. I do realize that for some to even get to a level of physical activity they need some help and that is where a drug without side effects might come into play. Thanks for sharing this information. I believe it is good to be informed. Have a lovely day!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Cardisa, In the studies most people didn't have side effects, but you are right. There is still the risk. Thanks for your comments.

    Frog Prince, It's more fun to be on a weight gain program. I am glad you are recovering. I appreciate your comments.

  • The Frog Prince profile image

    The Frog Prince 

    7 years ago from Arlington, TX

    Great write up Pamela. I'm on the weight gain program right now since relocating took its toll. I'm recovering though.

    The Frog

  • Cardisa profile image

    Carolee Samuda 

    7 years ago from Jamaica

    Pamela, you are a wealth of information. This drug is new to me. I wish there were no side effects and saying the the benefits far out-weigh the side effects is not rational to me. A side effect of elevated blood pressure means that you are putting your life at risk for aneurysms and strokes as well as other serious health issues.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Madurai, I agree that is by far the healthiest approach. Thank you for your comments.

  • Madurai profile image


    7 years ago from Online

    In my opinion, controlling weight by consuming drugs, not advised. If you want to reduce weight, it should be performed in natural way through exercise like walking, jogging and swimming. Thanks for sharing:)


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