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Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Medical Risks | 0 comments

Qsymia and Belviq Side-Effects

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the weight-loss prescription drugs Belviq and Qsymia in 2012 was a much needed uplift to the hopes of those suffering from obesity and the overweight.

Obesity is a serious health issue which more than a third of the total American adult population suffers from; and it is a common concern for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. This is because obesity increases in people various health risks, such as hypertension, stroke, heart attack and diabetes.

Belviq and Qsymia were approved by the FDA for chronic weight management. These weight-loss prescription drugs were specifically formulated for obese individuals, that is those with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, and the overweight (whose BMI is 27 or above) and simultaneously suffering from one weight-related illness, like dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus or hypertension. To be effective, however, those taking either of the drugs will have to follow a regular exercise program and a reduced intake of calorie.

Qsymia, which was previously sold under the name of Qnexa, is manufactured by Vivus, Inc. It combines phentermine and Topamax or topiramate extended-release (ER), two other existing FDA-approved drugs that were also developed by Vivus. Phentermine acts as an appetite suppressant; it particularly triggers the discharge of a brain chemical that directly affects the appetite-regulating hormone leptin. Topiramate on the other hand, is an anticonvulsant that has been formulated to cause weight loss by enabling the body to burn more calories, giving the feeling of being full (despite the minimal amount of food taken) and makes food less tasty, making a person easily lose appetite.

The other weight-loss medication, Belviq or lorcaserin hydrochloride, is a serotonin 2C receptor agonist that was developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.; it increases the level of serotonin, the chemical produced by the body (majority of which is produced in the intestines and found in the gastrointestinal tract), which is believed to affect a person’s social behavior, mood, sexual desire and function, memory, digestion and appetite.

Since the drugs’ approval in 2012, however, cases of dangerous side-effects associated with both drugs are continuously being reported to the FDA. The various harms already linked with both drugs include cardiovascular damage, memory loss, attention difficulties, language problems, depression, hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, reduced heartbeat, hematological changes, valvular heart disease, painful erections, and so forth.

In the hope of lessening those being injured by either Belviq or Qsymia, the drugs have been advised not to be taken by pregnant and nursing women. For Qsymia, specifically, people: with overactive thyroid or glaucoma; who are allergic to phentermine or topiramate; or, taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), an antidepressant drug, should not take it. Belviq, meanwhile, should not be taken by individuals: with a deformed penis; suffering from multiple myeloma, leukemia, or sickle cell anemia; or using medication for valvular heart disease, like Cabergoline (Dostinex), and medicine for depression, migraine, common cold, and psychotic, mood or anxiety disorder.

Besides enumerating the possible side effects of Belviq and Qsymia, the website of Williams Kherkher also mentions the legal options the drugs’ victims can take and the importance of seeking legal help immediately, so as not to delay the possibility of receiving compensation from the drug’s manufacturer, whose specific product caused the harm.

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