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The Hope Offered by Qsymia®

          Many people struggle with their excess weight. They want to lose weight, but find that it is not an easy thing to do. In the USA these people have followed with great interest the articles and programs on television about a new medication that offers a great deal of hope for them, and they are waiting anxiously for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to grant approval for its use. That drug is Qsymia®. (Formerly Qnexa®)

News Update:
Qsymia® Has Been Approved!



          Why is excess weight such an issue? Well, firstly, in Western society it is regarded as not good to carry extra weight. Thinner people are seen to be more attractive and to have a higher status than overweight people. But it is not only a matter of appearance: obese people struggle with various health issues which are brought on by the fact that they are obese. Type 2 diabetes, for example, is caused by being overweight. The incidence of high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and heart attacks are all higher in obese people than in the general population. The extra weight places great stress on the joints: so obese people have a greater tendency to get osteoarthritis, and at a younger age than slender people. Some cancers are much more prevalent in the obese.  Obese people tend to be less mobile than their slimmer colleagues because they find it difficult to move around as much or as quickly: so many of them are less productive in the workplace.
          Society loses out as a result of obesity, as obese people tend to take more sick days, and they may earn less than they would if they were slimmer. They may also need to take earlier retirement as their ill health prevents them from working. So their families lose out on the income they would have earned.
          How does it come about that our people so easily become obese? It is largely due to our love for fast foods. These are very high in fats and refined carbohydrates, so are high in calories. We love sweet foods and eat vast quantities of them. Foods which are sweet and rich in fats are very appetizing, so people keep eating more of them than what their bodies need. And over-eating becomes a habit. Then our children learn the eating habits in the home, so they develop a preference for such foods too, and they learn to keep eating beyond the point where their bodies tell them that they have eaten enough. So our children carry these habits over to the next generation.
          Having become overweight, people find it very difficult to lose the weight and achieve a healthier and more attractive body size. There are all sorts of reasons for this. It is difficult to change one's habits: having become accustomed to eating certain kinds of foods, and certain quantities, it is not easy to break away from such habits. Then, eating is a social activity. When one is in the company of others, and everyone is indulging in foods of a certain type, it is difficult to be different. People feel they are being deprived when they cannot join in with feasting, or enjoy treats that they have become used to. For some people food has an emotional connotation and such people will eat in order to gain comfort.
          Plus, there is no doubt that a lot of people's satiety centre seems to not function as well as it should. People continue to experience the sensation of hunger even though they have eaten as much as their bodies need, and crave more foods.
          For such people as the latter, taking an appetite suppressant is a useful part of the treatment of their obesity. An appetite suppressant makes it easier to adhere to a healthy eating plan.This is where medication such as phentermine, long used by obese people, is such a great help. And, when it is found that phentermine's action can be enhanced by adding a second active ingredient to it, and formulating both so that their actions work sequentially, then there is a great deal of interest in that kind of medication. Hence the interest in Qnexa®.
          As stated above, the obese population in the USA has been following with great interest the progress of Qsymia's manufacturers in applying for registration of this drug which holds such huge promise for people who need to lose weight. Anything that will help obese people in their quest for weight loss would be welcomed. There is also a great deal of impatience: people want to get hold of Qsymia® as soon as possible. But it is important that the FDA takes care to identify the possible risks to the public from a new drug. If the new drug were to have negative effects which outweigh its clinical value, then such a drug should not be registered for use. The safety of the citizens is the FDA's prime aim.
          It is all very well to argue that the two active ingredients of Qsymia® have both been prescribed successfully for years. The point is that one of those ingredients, topiramate, has not previously been registered for use in obesity, and its effects on weight loss when used as a single drug have not been thoroughly assessed. But more than that, it is important to note that Qnexa® is not just a simple mixture of the two drugs. In Qsymia® the two drugs are formulated so that one is in a fast-release form and the other in a slow-release form; and the exact proportions of the two drugs have been carefully calculated so as to achieve the optimal clinical effectiveness.
          Because of the very specific pharmaceutical formulation, Qsymia® is in fact a new drug. The FDA is obligated to perform a very thorough assessment of the clinical effects and the side effects, and any other negative effects on the users.
          Thus the public who are waiting impatiently for Qsymia® to be released onto the market are going to have to wait a little longer. Once the FDA is satisfied that it is safe to be used, the manufacturer will be given the green light to produce it in large quantities, and only then will it come onto the market and be available for doctors to prescribe for their patients.
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