Tuesday, September 16, 2014

FDA Approves 3rd Weight Loss Drug

Over the last two years the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two weight loss drugs and now has approved a third one. The new drug, called Contrave, follows the approval of Belviq and Qsymia. All three of these drugs work by decreasing appetite, but not without side effects. Contrave is approved for people who are overweight and obese and is made of a combination of two drugs. These drugs have previously been used to help people stop smoking and treat drug and alcohol dependence.  

Weight loss from taking a pill sounds good in theory, but is it really worth it? Contrave will come with a warning that it might increase suicidal thoughts. It has also been shown to increase heart rate and blood pressure both of which can be detrimental to your body over long periods of time. In trials, participants who took Contrave lost 2% - 4.1% more body weight than those participants taking the placebo. This is a minimal difference. Finally, weight loss pills are expensive, $200 or more per month, and insurance does not typically cover the cost.

Weight loss is a difficult process and can often be frustrating. Hard work, eating right, and exercising are the keys to successful weight loss. A registered dietitian is a great resource to help with weight loss. Find one in your area at http://www.eatright.org/programs/rdnfinder/

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