Obesity Drugs, Do They Work?

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Michael White, professor and department head from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, talks about two new weight loss drugs and how effective they are.

The first drug, Qsymia, is a combination of phentermine, a stimulant, and topiramate, a drug used for treatment of seizures that also suppresses appetite. The second drug, Belviq, was just released last week and contains a non-stimulant serotonin receptor agonist.

White says the drugs should only be used in addition to diet and exercise. Patients can expect weight loss of up to 5 percent of their body weight when the drug is used properly. Side effects for Qsymia include tingling of the hands and feet, dizziness and constipation and you can’t take the drug if you are pregnant. For Belviq, side effects include trouble with memory, upset stomach and toothache.

Before trying medication or surgery for weight loss, people should consult a registered dietician, White says.

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