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New Weight Loss Drugs Generate Questions, Opinions

07/20/12

  12:12:08 pm, by MedBen5   , 318 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

New Weight Loss Drugs Generate Questions, Opinions

With two new weight loss drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration within three weeks of each other, questions about their comparative effectiveness are inevitable. In response, WebMD has developed a Belviq/Qsymia FAQ. Here, we highlight their response to the question likely on the mind of potential users:

Which works better, Belviq or Qsymia?

There’s no way to know for sure. Qsymia and Belviq have never been tested in a head-to-head clinical trial.

In the placebo-controlled clinical trials that led to approval:

  • People taking Belviq had an average weight loss that was 3% to 3.7% greater than people taking placebo.
  • After taking Belviq for one or two years, some 47% of people without diabetes lost at least 5% of their body weight. Only 23% of patients taking an inactive placebo lost this much weight.
  • People taking Qsymia for up to one year had an average weight loss of 8.9% over those taking an inactive placebo.
  • 70% of people taking Qsymia lost at least 5% of their body weight. Only 20% of patients taking an inactive placebo lost this much weight.

These numbers cannot be used to compare the two drugs, as the clinical trials had different designs.

Meanwhile, Healthday News talked to two health experts about how the drugs will affect the country’s obesity epidemic – and both said some perspective is needed:

“The bottom line is there’s no such thing as a magic pill and I hope that individuals do not think by taking this pill that it will ensure long-term weight loss,” said Keri Gans, a registered dietitian in New York City. “We need to be reminded that diet and exercise are still critical.”

And Dr. Michael Aziz, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, said, “The problem that all the drug companies are overlooking is the fact that obesity is really multi-factorial. It’s not only related to diet and exercise but also to hormonal imbalances, stress and lack of sleep.”

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