Customized Medicines

Customized Medicines
Dr. Sonja O'Bryan, Pharm.D., ABAAHP Board Certified Health Practitioner Diplomate-American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine: "Creative Medicines" for Hormones-Weight-Pain-Fatigue-Skin Diseases-Pediatrics-Autoimmune Disorders-Veterinary Needs. Using Complimentary, Integrative, Regenerative, Bio-Identical, and Lifestyle Medicine For Health and Healing.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Before You Take That New Weight Loss Prescription, KNOW THIS

I've been at this for just a little while...okay a long while (wink wink), and in that time, I've watched weight loss medications come to the U.S. market later to  disappear due to unexpected side effects.  Most people aren't aware that the final stage of drug approval is actually when a product is released into the mass population.  Sadly, drug companies are still capturing data and information.  Truth!  That's the reason why they disappear all of a sudden.  Think about it. When you broaden the study scope, you open up greater possibility for adverse effect reporting.  This is a possibility with any medication and why I often prefer the old, trusted medications that have proven their effectiveness and safety. 

Weight loss is a $60 BILLION dollar business in America and just a 5-10% drop in weight can improve a multitude of physical problems and make us look and feel better overall.  But is getting the latest and greatest prescription the answer?  Here's some things you should know about a couple of recently approved products.

BELVIQ: This product is a serotonin 2C agonist.  That simply means it attaches and activates a serotonin receptor that is connected to appetite.  It helps patients feel full so they eat less.  About 47% of patients can achieve a 5% or greater weight loss within a year.  That doesn't seem too compelling to me, unless the person has a really high Body Mass Index.  For those people, I can see it providing a fairly significant amount of weight loss, but for the person who just wants to drop a few pounds before their high school reunion, this is not a good idea in my opinion. Unlike fenfluramine, which caused tons of problems years ago, it is not EXPECTED to cause heart valve problems.  I'm not too trustworthy of the words not expected.  Are you?  Is it worth the risk? 

 BELVIQ should also not be used with Dextromethorphan.  ~Big word I know.  Have you ever heard of Robitussin DM, Delsym, Mucinex DM, etc etc?   They all contain this ingredient.  Problem #2 exposed.  You have to be careful not to take certain over the counter medicines with Belviq. 

BELVIQ should also not be used with serotonin stimulating anti-depressants: Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc. etc.  Think about all of the patients out there taking these prescriptions for their depression and adding this weight loss medicine to their regimen.  Problem #3 It's not known what the effect will be in adding these together, but is could cause Serotonin Syndrome. (research this syndrome)

Another newer prescription weight loss product is called QSYMIA.  (Where do they get these names, right?  Actually I can tell you the process to name a medicine is quite intense.  I've been involved many times as an advisory professional on naming medicines. It's a pretty neat process.) 

QSYMIA is a combination product including phentermine and topiramate.  AKA single products Fastin and Topamax. Studies show that QSYMIA is a little more effective with a 70% effect on losing 5% or greater weight in 1 year.  The negative side is that it can cause more side effects: dizziness, insomnia, tingling in the hands and feet, impaired cognition.  Doesn't that just make you want to rush out and get some?  NOT! 

This is the HUGE warning with QSYMIA.  It can cause birth defects!!!  Appropriate counseling with those of child bearing age is critical with this product.   The list of medications that interact with this product is long.  I would certainly recommend you research that and talk with your doctor before taking this prescription for weight loss. 

I have many patients going about their weight loss in a different and more healthy approach.  I do use a host of nutraceuticals for my clients, but they are very strategic and targeted to their health and wellness needs.   I have products designed for cravings, diabetes, blood pressure, meal replacement, and more, but they are under my direct care in helping you be successful at weight loss.  Professionally prescribed supplements and a strategic lifestyle regimen unique to your needs is the way to go. 

~Just weighing in on weight loss today.  :) Be careful what you choose to do for yourself.

Have a great day!

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