It has been years since the popular Fen-Phen pills were taken off the market due to serious health risks. The combination of Fenfluramine and Phentermine was considered toxic, mostly due to the Fenfluramine. A new weight loss pill called Qsymia is made up of Phentermine and the anti-seizure medication, Topiramate. But is this drug any safer for consumers?
Some experts believe that Qsymia could increase heart rate as well as other adverse side effects.
According to an ABC News report in July 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was concerned about the serious side effects of Topiramate combined with Phentermine back in 2010. However, two years later, an expert panel approved the drug in an overwhelming majority. It is believed that there wasn’t anything else available on the market to help severely obese people for whom dieting and exercise alone were not enough. The panel took into consideration the complications associated with obesity, such as heart disease and diabetes, and weighed them against the new diet pill, Qsymia, which contained only one of the disputed drugs in the original Fen-Phen pills, and felt that Qsymia would carry less of a risk than the danger of obesity.
Overweight Americans who have used Qsymia state they feel less hungry and say food has a different taste, decreasing one’s desire to eat. One of the side effects of Topiramate is weight loss and Phentermine is known to suppress the appetite. In combination, these drugs make up the new weight loss pill, Qsymia.
Monthly pregnancy tests are required for women on a Qsymia regimen, as reported by Dr. Richard Besser, Chief Health and Medical Officer for ABC and Good Morning America.
Since Phentermine was a part of the Fen-Phen diet pill, the FDA is requiring Qsymia’s manufacturer, Vivus, to implement long-term studies in order to monitor possible heart problems.
Regarding Qsymia use, Director of the Yale Prevention Research Center, Dr. David Katz, told ABC, “Honestly, I won’t be surprised if adverse effects over time result in a reversal of the approval.”
Even for patients who have been off Fen-Phen for many years, there is still cause to worry, as primary pulmonary hypertension can show up years later. For Fen-Phen patients who begin showing health problems linked to the now-banned diet drug, feel free to contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys to discuss options of a Fen-Phen lawsuit at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).