I remain dubious about the potential for weight loss drugs. I have served on several FDA Advisory Panels.
Recently, an FDA Advisory Panel voted (split vote) against approving the weight loss drug Qnexa; read more on WebMD:
While people taking it don’t get thin, they do lose 6% to 10% of their body weight — if they also undergo a program of diet and exercise.
But the drug has side effects, both known and theoretical. It may cause birth defects, it may increase suicide risk, it can cause a condition called metabolic acidosis that speeds bone loss, it increases risk of kidney stones, and may have other serious effects.
The New England Journal of Medicine reported on another drug, lorcaserin, which shows promise in reducing weight, without obvious side-effects.
At 1 year, 47.5% of patients in the lorcaserin group and 20.3% in the placebo group had lost 5% or more of their body weight
The justification for using lorcaserin to manage obesity is not greater efficacy than currently available drugs, but rather an apparently much better safety and adverse-event profile and very clear-cut beneficial effects on risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The FDA remains very cautious about approving obesity drugs, after Phen-Fen problems with heart valve and pulmonary circulation complications, and the current controvery over heart complications with the diabetes drug Avandia.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I suggest getting back to eating healthy foods (not starvation!), avoiding prepared foods, and maintaining an active lifestyle.