Dr. Bruce Hensel
Qsymia is the first weight loss drug approved by the FDA in 13 years. Endocrinologist Dr. Eva Cwynar says the drug “makes the stomach feel like it’s got enough food in there.” The drug is now available at retail pharmacies by prescription. Dr. Bruce Hensel reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 17, 2013.
Scott Cameron Brown has been fit most of his life. But then he fell into a rut, and gained a lot of weight.
“I was travelling overseas a lot, and living on airplane food, and out of hotels and found myself in a position where I became very sedentary and started gaining weight,” Brown said, “and I found myself 40 pounds heavier.”
He also developed health problem, like high blood pressure.
“When I gained all the weight. it became very high. And that’s something that became dangerous. So we had to take action,” he said.
This year, he finally decided that he wanted to lose the weight for good. So he went to consult an endocrinologist, Dr. Eva Cwynar.
They worked out a diet and exercise plan and used a new tool that recently became available -- the first weight loss drug approved by the FDA in 13 years -- called Qsymia. Its main active ingredient, Topiramate, has been used to treat migraines for decades.
“Topiramate controls a portion of the brain that’s responsible for a feeling fullness,” Dr. Cwynar said, “It makes the stomach feel like it’s got enough food in there.”
To counter the potential sedating effects of Topiramate, the drug makers combined it with a very low dose of the stimulant Phenteramine.
“Normal Phenteramine on the market is 37 milligram, this has a 3 milligram as a starter dose. So it’s a fraction of what’s out there, and it doesn’t have the agitation, or the cardiac effects,” Dr. Cwynar said, “I have had one patient who said it made her feel spacey, and she had a high powered job, so she stopped it.”
“The majority of patients that I put on this drug have absolutely no side effects.”
Brown says he has felt no side effects from the drug at all.
He has lost 40 pounds in 4 months.
“I feel rejuvenated, and I’m off in a whole new direction,” he said, “I’m excited for the new direction of life.”
Pregnant women should not take Qsymia, as it can cause birth defects. Moderately overweight people may need a higher dose than those are seriously obese. Every person’s plan and dosage will be different. Consult your doctor for what’s best for you.