Should you take weight loss drugs?

I tried fen-phen in the 90s. I remember I was always thirsty. I really don’t remember much else except that there was no significant change in my weight. People usually want to believe that there will be a “magic pill.” Expectations like this are perhaps the primary reason why weight loss drugs should be considered with great caution. Even surgery isn’t “magic.”

What can a weight loss drug be expected to do for you? In clinical trials with placebos, people taking the new drug Belviq lost about 3% more than test participants taking the placebo. After about a year, less than half of the participants maintained a loss of 5% of their body weight.

Qysmia did a bit better in placebo trials. People who took it lost about 9% more weight than those taking the placebo. 70% of the test participants lost about 5% of their body weight.

After the Fen-Phen disaster, the FDA took 13 years to approve these two new drugs. Doctors will have to get a certain certification to qualify to prescribe them. I’ve read the list of warnings and some folks might find them worrisome.

Qsymia is a combination of phentermine, yes the appetite suppressant “phen,” and Topamax, an anti-seizure drug. Qsymia would cause birth defects if taken by pregnant woman.

Belviq messes with your serotonin levels in a way that at higher dosages, it could trigger LSD- like effects. Because of this, it may be classified as a controlled substance!

I think there is a clear decision point here. Will the benefits be worth it? Could either of these drugs give you a kickstart you feel you could really use? According to information currently circulating about Belviq and Qsymia, you’re supposed to take them THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. That seems weird to me. Even the effects of surgery should be viewed as training wheels that eventually you will have to be able to do without.

The basic idea for both drugs is to reduce your appetite. So consider this. Is that really your biggest concern? I honestly don’t remember, but I probably did not lose weight with Fen-Phen because I did not need to be hungry to eat whatever I wanted. For me PERSONALLY, thinking about how I used to be, I don’t think I’d be comfortable on a drug that could have altered my body’s responses to the degree that during that time of my life I was literally put off eating food.

Like everything else in life, a decision like this would be yours alone! What do you think? What would you take into consideration before going on one of the new weight loss drugs? What would be your expectations? If a major lifestyle change is what’s needed anyway, is taking a drug worth it?