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The weight loss drugs Qsymia and Belviq give hope to obese patients, but questions of their effectiveness compared to diet and exercise remain. Glycine propionyl L-carnitine is also a popular supplement for those working out and watching their weight.
It’s not that diet pills are a dime a dozen, although a few are close; but there are many, many of them. Few of them are actually effective, or to put it another way, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves very few of them.
In fact, the FDA has approved no new weight loss drugs in thirteen years. Now in short order, it has approved two drugs, Qsymia (Vivus Pharmaceutical) and Belviq (Arena Pharmaceuticals).
There are important differences and similarities between the two drugs which can be very clear with the use of a 10 panel drugs test. The FDA considers both of them ‘controlled substances,’ meaning they are sold under restrictions and controls similar to narcotics. They are also drugs that work by affecting the chemistry of the brain.
Qsymia is a combination of two relatively common and FDA approved drugs, phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine, an appetite suppressant, was part of the notorious diet drug fen-phen (fenfluramine phentermine).
The ‘fen’ part turned out to cause fatal lung and heart valve problems, which caused the widely sold drug from the market. Phentermine, the safe part of fen-phen, works by triggering the brain to release norepinephrine, which in turn increases output of the hormone leptin, an appetite regulator. Continue Reading