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New Weight Loss Drug: Qsymia

Updated on January 15, 2014
Medications can be used in connection with diet and exercise as a treatment for obesity.
Medications can be used in connection with diet and exercise as a treatment for obesity. | Source


Qsymia is a weight loss drug developed by Vivius, under the development name of Qnexa. It was rejected by the FDA in 2010. An FDA Advisory panel voted to recommend Qsymia for approval in February 2012. The panel, which voted 20 to 2 for approval, said that Qsymia’s weight loss benefits for the chronically obese outweighed the risks of side effects that have been observed in clinical trials. Obesity is a leading cause of health problems in the United States, and Qsymia helped patients in clinical trials lose up to 10% of their body weight.

The panel did state that approval should be subject to a warning label advising women of childbearing years that Qsymia could cause birth defects like cleft plate.

Additional safety studies have been performed, and Qsymia was approved by the FDA in July 2012.

Phentermine and Topirate

Qsymia is a combination of an anti-seizure medication, topirate and phentermine, an appetite suppressant which is currently available as a weight loss drug. Phentermine has been used in combination with other drugs for weight loss previously. It was half of the diet pill Fen Phen, which was pulled from the market in 1997 because of a link to heart valve problems.

Qsymia Side Effects

Commonly reported side effects for Qsymia during clinical trials included tingling, dry mouth, constipation, altered taste, dizziness,upper respiratory infection, sinus infection, runny nose, and insomnia.

Potentially serious side effects include heart rate, heart attacks, arrhythmias, and birth defects.


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