diet drug

  1. New diet drug won’t kill you as much as others will

    The ugly TRUTH about that new diet drug

    This is what passes for a big win for Big Pharma these days.

    Take our new drug… it won’t kill you!

    I wish I were kidding.

    Sadly, that’s more or less the latest headline from the world of diet drugs. Sadder still, given how dangerous some of those meds have been, that kinda IS a major victory for them.

    A new study claims that the diet drug lorcaserin (a.k.a. Belviq) – which the media has been calling (not kidding here) the holy grail of diet drugs – doesn’t increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.

    In a study of some 12,000 people given either the drug or a placebo and tracked for three years, there were near-identical rates of those and other serious problems at a hair above 6 percent.

    Phew.

    No doubt, that’s a relief to the industry, which has seen promising weight-loss drugs crumble over serious and sometimes deadly safety issues.

    One drug, Meridia, was pulled from the market over heart attack and stroke risk. But get this: It took the feds 13 YEARS to yank it!

    This drug was available from 1997 to 2010. Patients bought it… and patients suffered.

    And the newer drug was approved back in 2012. The fact that it “only” took six years to figure out whether it’s killing anyone is what passes for progress at the FDA.

    Of course, even if it’s not causing deaths, that doesn’t mean the drug is safe.

    And it’s not.

    It has a whole mess of side effects, including bloody urine, bladder pain, anxiety, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and diarrhea. It also has some weird ones, like “cool, pale skin”… “unexpected or excess milk flow from the breasts”… and nightmares.

    Even if you manage to make it through all of that AND stay on the drug, you’ll find that it’s anything BUT a holy grail.

    You don’t take it and watch the pounds melt away. It only works with lifestyle changes.

    When combined with those changes, patients lost 9.2 pounds on average over the course of a year in the new study.

    Patients given a placebo lost three pounds, making the difference a grand total of six pounds.

    “Holy grail?” More like “holy cow!” – how is anyone taking this?

    That difference actually got WORSE over time: After 40 months, the difference between the drug and the placebo was just 4.2 pounds.

    All that time… all that effort… and at up to $290 a month, all that MONEY… for 4.2 pounds!

    I know the idea of a quick-fix pill is tempting.

    But there’s a better, safer, and far more effective way to drop the pounds -- and that's with a back-to-basics approach to eating.

    Replace processed foods, grains, and refined carbs with healthy whole foods – ideally on a grain-free Mediterranean diet – and you’ll lose the weight AND keep it off for good.

  2. Rejected diet drug returns from the grave

    A "no" from the FDA never quite means "no" -- not when it comes to the agency's drug-industry pals, anyway.

    Case in point: The feds said "no" to the diet drug Contrave earlier this year over its potential for heart risk -- even after an FDA panel signed off on it.

    But that "NO!" has turned into a "well, maybe…" because the drug is right now headed to market with an estimated arrival date of 2014.

    It hasn't been approved -- yet -- but the feds have reversed their call for a long-term study to help ensure the drug is safe for consumers and instead OK'd a much less demanding bit of research that could be signed, sealed, and delivered in just two years.

    In other words, the drug isn't being improved to meet strict FDA safety standards. Instead, those already-low standards are being brought down to meet the drug.

    Congratulations, guys. You managed to screw up one of the rare times you actually almost got it right.

    The drug itself isn't even all that new -- it's actually a combination of two older meds: the antidepressant Wellbutrin and the anti-addiction drug naltrexone. Since both meds have weight loss (among other things) as a "side effect," the thinking is obviously to combine them and just call it a "weight loss drug."

    Just one problem: Neither one leads to a whole lot of weight loss, and even when combined the two won't help most people slim down: Studies have shown that people who take Contrave lose an average of 4 percent more than those who take a placebo.

    But here's what else you could get in the bargain: nausea, headaches, constipation and a potentially dangerous boost in blood pressure that could put anyone -- especially an obese person looking for a quick diet fix -- at risk for a heart attack or stroke, which is why the FDA wanted that new study in the first place.

    Since these types of heart problems could be years in the making, don't expect the compromise two-year study to close the book on that risk.

    If anything, it'll be just the first chapter.

    There are much better and far safer ways to lose weight, starting with a diet devoid of sugar and the rest of the refined carbohydrates. Instead of a higher blood pressure, you could actually lower yours -- it's one of the first "side effects" of going low carb.

    Don't forget to work in a little more movement. Another new study shows how women in particular might get a boost that goes far beyond a slimmer waistline.

    Keep reading!

  3. Feds jump the gun on diet drug

    An FDA panel has voted to approve a new diet drug despite potentially deadly risks, but don't worry. They have a plan for that: They also voted to keep studying the drug once it's on the market.
  4. Bad news for bad diet pills

    How do you define "effective" when it comes to dieting? If it's shaving off a few pounds and calling it a year, then you must be a Food and Drug Administration bureaucrat.

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