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Will Qsymia Become a Part of a Complete Diabetes Diet Plan?

Whitney | July 25th, 2012

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The FDA recently approved the second new obesity pill in just 30 days. After giving the okay to release Belviq to the marketplace, the agency has now approved use of Qsymia for weight loss in patients who are obese or overweight with weight-related medical issues. With more options on the market, will an obesity pill become a part of a diabetes diet plan?

About the obesity pill Qsymia

Qsymia is an obesity pill that packs a combination of phentermine and topiramate, two drugs that have been on the market for some time. Phentermine is one part of the previously used Fen-Phen combination obesity pill that was taken off the market in 1997 after it was linked to heart valve damage. Phentermine was the safer component in that medication, which was used to suppress appetite.

Topiramate is currently used as an anti-seizure medication and migraine treatment that also increases feelings of satiety – a useful effect for dieters interested in healthy weight loss.

In clinical studies, the obesity pill Qsymia has been shown to help some dieters lose up to 10 percent of their total body weight. However, many subjects in pre-market clinical studies who used this pill only achieved a five-percent weight loss result after a year. The studies did show that more dieters were able to shed pounds when combining the drug with a full-scale diabetes diet plan, than those who followed a diet plan without medication.

Should Qsymia be included in a diabetes diet plan?

Once the new obesity pill Qsymia is on the market, which could be by the end of the year, the next question is whether it will become a component in a healthy weight loss program. Doctors appear to be somewhat split on that point currently, with some stating they will prescribe the drug as soon as it becomes available, and others choosing to take a wait-and-see approach before incorporating the medication into a diabetes diet plan.

Dr. Michael Kaplan, director of The Center for Medical Weight Loss, has stated that while he is happy to have another tool in the weight-loss arsenal, he doesn’t believe medication should be the primary component of a diabetes diet plan. Although he currently prescribes phentermine to some of his patients, he uses the obesity pill in combination with a physician-directed program that includes diet, exercise, and personalized counseling.

“While we need additional tools in our weight loss tool kit, people should remember that no medication alone will provide the solution,” Dr. Kaplan stated at his center’s website. “I’m not convinced that [Qsymia] alone without physician counseling will be a good solution to weight loss problems.”

Dr. Kaplan added that people who used an obesity pill, without a comprehensive diet and exercise plan, generally lose less than five pounds in six months. By the same token, patients at The Center for Medical Weight Loss can use a physician-directed program to drop up to 11.1 percent of their excess weight in just 12 weeks.

There are currently 450 centers across the country staffed by physicians trained to guide people to healthy weight loss. Enter your zip code at the right to find out if there is a location near you. Special introductory offers are available at many locations for first time visitors.