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Obesity is often considered a risk factor for other conditions; It is a disease in itself. It is the subject of intensive scientific and clinical research to develop effective treatments. But the search is elusive.
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Four drugs approved by the FDA since 2012 — Ximia (phentermine and topiramate), Belvic (lorceserin), Contrav (naltrexone and bupropion) and Saxenda (liraglutide) — have added options for treating obesity, Dr. says Lee Kaplan. Institute of Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “We now have six FDA-approved drugs, but only a small percentage of the number available to treat high blood pressure and other chronic diseases, so we need even more options to treat obesity more effectively.” “.
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As with older medications, newer medications are best used as part of a comprehensive weight loss program that includes close supervision by an experienced physician. Approved drugs are usually prescribed to people with a BMI greater than 30, especially if they have other conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems or sleep apnea, that can be relieved losing weight.
Not everyone reacts the same way to every drug. Some people may lose a lot of weight with a particular drug, while others may lose little or none. “Currently we have no way to predict this reaction in advance”, said Dr. says Kaplan. Fortunately, however, if you don’t respond to one drug, you may do well with another. Each person may need to try many medications to find the right one.
Weight loss pills don’t melt off the pounds overnight. When they are successful, they lose an average of about 5% weight over a period of six to 12 months. However, modest weight loss can improve your health and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
You may recall some disturbing reports about weight loss drugs in the past. Dexfenfluramine and fenfluramine were later withdrawn from the market after being linked to heart valve damage. Sibutramine (Meridia) was discontinued in people at high risk for heart attack and stroke.
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Options in the market today come with their own caveats. Phentermine, an ingredient in Adipex-P, Ionamine, and Xemia, is generally not recommended for people with high blood pressure or other heart conditions. Topiramate, another ingredient in Qsymia, has been linked to an increased risk of birth defects, so women taking it should take special precautions to avoid becoming pregnant.
If a drug helps you lose 5% of your body weight in a few months without side effects, you might want to stick with it. But drugs are not a substitute for lifestyle changes. They work best when used as part of a broader medical weight loss program. They should be part of a lifelong plan that includes diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep and stress reduction.
Some weight loss medications contain drugs that are used to treat other conditions. You may want to consider “dual-purpose” medications if you have:
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Do not use phentermine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. Dangerous drug interactions can occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxylates, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.
Even if you are overweight, losing weight during pregnancy can harm the unborn baby. Do not use phentermine if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant during treatment.
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Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty in breathing; Swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You can report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Avoid driving or engaging in dangerous activities until you know how this medicine affects you. Your feedback may be impaired.
Use Phentermine (Lomaira) as directed on the label or as directed by your doctor. Do not use in large or small amounts or for longer than recommended.
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Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or leaflets. Your doctor may change your dose from time to time. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Phentermine is usually taken before breakfast, or 1 to 2 hours after breakfast. Follow your doctor’s dosage instructions very carefully.
Never use phentermine in large doses, or for longer than prescribed. Taking too much of this medicine may not be as effective and may cause serious, even fatal, side effects.
Phentermine is for short-term use only. The effects of appetite suppression may wear off after a few weeks.
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Phentermine can be habit forming. Misuse can lead to addiction, overdose or death. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
Call your doctor right away if you think this medication isn’t working or if you haven’t lost at least 4 pounds in 4 weeks.
Do not stop using phentermine suddenly, or you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
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Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is later in the day. Do not take two doses at the same time.
Overdose symptoms may include confusion, panic, hallucinations, extreme restlessness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, feeling tired or depressed, irregular heartbeat, weak pulse, seizures, or slow breathing (may stop breathing).
If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on: Phentermine (Lomaira), call your doctor or poison control center.
This medication should be taken as part of a weight loss plan that includes diet and exercise.
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Phentermine should only be used by people who cannot lose enough weight with diet and exercise alone; It is not recommended for individuals who want to lose a few pounds.
Drugs A-Z provides daily health and drug information from our partners, as well as reviews from our members, all in one place. Cerner Multum™ provides data in several sections of summary, uses, warnings, side effects, pregnancy, interactions, dosage, overdose and images. The information in all other sections is owned by Everyday Health. The pill, approved in 2014, was once predicted to be a huge success: With one-third of Americans obese, the market seems ripe for a drug that promotes weight loss. Today, however, Orexigen, based here in Southern California, is on the verge of a Nasdaq delisting with shares trading at less than 50 cents.
And company executives acknowledged in a recent earnings call that Contra sales are essentially flat and show only minimal growth next year. (Contrav’s sales in the first quarter of this year were $13 million, up from $11.5 million for the same period in 2015.) CEO Mike Naracchi said his team has developed a “focused and creative” plan to promote the drug . — in part by targeting patients who are highly motivated to lose weight — and predicts the company will turn a profit in the “short term.”
But in a note to clients, RBC Capital Markets analyst Simos Simeonidis projects “zero to limited upside” for Orexigen and expects “the next 12 months to be very difficult.”
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Five years ago, analysts predicted that sales of anti-obesity drugs would grow to $3 billion by 2020. Companies are racing to develop the next generation of drugs that boost metabolism, suppress appetite and melt away fat.
In 2012, Arena Pharmaceuticals of San Diego
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