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FDA Approves New Weight Loss Pill

Qsymia is a new weight loss drug which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July, and is now available for obese and at-risk overweight patients. Qsymia, a combination of both phentermine and topirimate, a controlled substance which can only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription.

There are strict rules set by the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners for prescribing Qsymia and other controlled weight loss drugs. The indications for prescribing are patients who have a BMI greater than/equal to 30 or greater than/equal to 27 with a comorbitity, such as hypertension and diabetes. Also, in the Letslose, Advanced Weight Loss Clinics all females of reproductive age who wants to start on Qsymia will be required to sign an agreement/release stating she will use some form of contraception and take a monthly pregnancy test, and immediately discontinue the medication if she were to become pregnant, due to the risk that Qsymia can cause birth defects.

Currently, this Rx is only available via mail order through Walgreens and CVS. The cost of this medication is much higher than other diet drugs. The following prices are as of 9/30/12.

3.75 mg – 14 day supply- $66.99
7.5 mg – 30 day- $159.99
11.25 mg – 30 day- $194.99
15 mg- 30 day- $ 219.99

3.75 mg – 14 day supply- $70.39
7.5 mg – 30 day- $162.69
11.25 mg – 30 day- $195.29
15 mg- 30 day- $ 220.59

Some patients in the clinical trial suffered an increased heart rate and a condition called metabolic acidosis, which can lead to hyperventilation, fatigue and anorexia.

Qsymia’s manufacturer, Vivus Inc., says that the drug helped lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels in obese people and that people taking it were less likely to get type II diabetes.