New weight loss drugs coming this year

Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-06 17:43:56-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Several new weight-loss medications will hit the market this year; each one works in a different way, and the first to be released has been so popular that some pharmacies have had trouble keeping it on their shelves.

Dr. David Jack said Qsymia is the first of these drugs to become available.

“When people are eager to get going it’s hard to tell them to wait a week or two to get a prescription in the mail,” he said.

Jack said some of his patients have seen success with the new medication.

“I have a couple patients who have been on that that are doing pretty well,” he said.

Dr. Nichole DeLaPlante said the drug is a combination of two existing medicines.

“Qsymia, which is a combination of a medicine called phentramine..It’s an old drug, but they’ve combined it with another medicine called Topamax, which we often use to treat headaches and migraines and sometimes even seizure disorders, but they found that a nice beneficial side effect to that medication was weight loss,” she said.

Jack said another new drug is expected to be available soon.

“There is a brand new medicine that has been approved but has not been available yet on the market yet called Lorcaserin, and that will work on the head hungry,” Jack said. “The hungriness that, you're full in the stomach, but you still want to eat.”

DeLaPlante said there is more to weight loss than just one pill, and different things work for different people.

“Weight loss has got to be individualized,” she said. “Not one diet works for one person, just like not one medication works for one person. Everything needs to be individualized for that patient's needs, and that's where the doctor also can help.”

The doctors featured in this story are putting on a free lecture to answer questions about this topic. The event will be on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the St. Mark’s Hospital in the Lamb Auditorium.