Fighting obesity: A closer look at new FDA-approved drugs Belviq, Qysmia
(CBS News) More than one-third of Americans are now considered obese. Experts now say we may be entering a new era in the battle to lose weight after the Food and Drug Administration recently approved two new diet drugs. Belviq and Qysmia should be on the market this fall.
To qualify for the medications, people have to be at least 30 pounds overweight, according to Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. "This is not medication for someone who wants to lose the last 10 pounds."
Belviq, which is just one medicine, can help the average person lose five to 10 percent of their body weight. Qsymia is more effective because it's two medicines together, Aronne said. The average person loses 10 to 15 percent of their body weight with the drug, which he said is "very, very good weight loss."
Dr. Christine Ren, chief of Bariatric Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, who also appeared on "CTM," said these drugs are a "fantastic advancement in trying to take care of a very rising big problem."
"This medication may be really targeting the people who have that weight loss to lose," Ren said. "But when we're looking at heavier people, 100 pounds, 200 pounds to lose, then this may be just an additive to other treatment options. But not simply the sole treatment option."
For more on current weight loss options, including surgery, as well as common misconceptions about losing weight, watch Aronne and Ren's full "CTM" discussion in the video above.
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