New weight-loss drug Qsymia by Vivus available by prescription starting Tuesday
First new weight loss drug in 13 years
Last Updated: 246 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - The first new weight loss drug in 13 years is now available by prescription.
Qsymia is a combination of two medications that have long been used in weight management -- one is an appetite suppressant and the other reduces cravings for food.
The manufacturers claim the drug can help patients lose about 10 percent of their body weight.
But doctors stress that it's meant only for those with serious weight to lose.
"The standard is if your body mass index is greater than 27 and you have some health problems related to your weight," said Dr. Adrianne Gomez with the St. Vincent Health Network. "It could be a medication that could be used for you if you have a BMI over 30."
Approving Qsymia is the Food and Drug Administration's latest move to give doctors and their patients more tools to fight excessive weight gain as obesity rates continue to bulge in Indiana and across the country.
A third of adults in Indiana are classified as overweight. A new report predicts that 56 percent of Hoosiers will be obese by 2030 if they don't change their eating habits.
"It's a trend that's happening across the nation and it's highly concerning," said Indiana Health Commissioner Dr. Gregory Larkin. "The report was spot on to project the impact it would have on the health status of our community and cost of health care."
Contrary to other weight-loss products, Qsymia is an approved product for female patients of child-bearing age. Patients in that category can use the drug as long as they have a negative pregnancy test before and while taking it, and use effective birth control consistently while taking Qsymia.
But health experts stressed that losing weight is not all about popping a pill. Qsymia has to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise.
Larkin said Indiana's future depends on changing habits now.
"We didn't get overweight overnight, and we're not going to get thin either overnight," he said.
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