Weight Loss Drugs
Can a weight loss capsule take off 20, 30, 40 pounds?
By Colleen Moriarty
Americans are learning to downsize everything — except for food portions and our bodies. Despite efforts by government and private organizations, the obesity epidemic is a runaway train. And, just as there's no magic bullet for any big health problem, there's no magic weight loss capsule.
A few years back, promising new weight-loss research had many in the diabetes and scientific communities optimistic about pharmaceutical answers to obesity. The weight-loss drugs in the drug manufacturers' pipelines seemed to offer the elusive weight-loss panacea. Some of these new drugs promised losses of five to 10 percent of body weight. One drug, Qsymia by Vivus, projected weight loss of up to 14.7 percent of body weight—but once approved, the actual results were exciting, although significantly lower than projected: an 8.9 percent weight loss in one year for patients taking the highest dose and 6.7 percent for those taking the recommended dose. Yet, these results are nothing to sneeze at for those in need of a solution to supplement healthy eating and exercise programs.
When new medications that are safe and effective are released, they are "a welcome addition to the treatment of any overweight patient but especially diabetes patients," R. Keith Campbell, RPH, FASHP, FAPHA, a professor of diabetes and pharmacotherapy at Washington State University College of Pharmacy in Pullman, WA. More than 80 percent of type 2 diabetes is related to or exacerbated by weight.
The combo affect
Many new drugs—both approved and proposed— are based on formulas that combine two or more drugs."We realize that there are many pathways that affect overeating," says Caroline Apovian, M.D. director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center in Boston, MA, and a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association. "The research is indicating that we need to use combinations in order to get the weight off and keep it off," Apovian says.
While the new combination drugs look good in the lab, in the real world, many were unable to gain the FDA's rigorous stamp of approval. There's still no miracle weight loss capsule. Even if there were, "It is more than just giving a patient a drug, and magically weight melts away," says Campbell. "It takes an empowered patient who also learns to eat in a healthy manner and exercise to lose weight and keep it off."
Chicken with Artichoke Hearts and Olives Keys-Style Citrus Chicken Broiled Caribbean Sea Bass with Mango Salsa Spinach, Raisin, Pine Nut, and Garlic Stuffed Pork Fiesta Fajitas Tilapia with Fresh Tomato Relish Turkey Burgers with Pineapple Slices Citrus Halibut Spicy Garlic Potatoes Chicken Cordon Bleu
This morning it wasn’t the sun, the wind, or the birds that woke me up. It was the soft, insistent vibrating of a medical device urging me to check my blood sugar. Opening my eyes, still safely under the covers, I checked my blood sugar with a meter smaller than a deck of cards, calibrated my continuous glucose monitor, and then glanced at my insulin pump — which reminded me that today was the day I needed to change my infusion set. My dLife is pretty high tech. And I’m...