FDA approves new diet drug

Drug helps heavy patients drop 10% of weight

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A new diet drug set to be released later this year is already making waves.

Qsymia is helping heavy patients drop about 10 percent of their weight -- the most of any other obesity medication.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Tuesday, the second diet drug it's approved this summer.

Health experts say this country needs the help because 36 percent of adults in America are 30 pounds over a healthy weight, which means they're technically obese.

That number is expected to rise to nearly 50 percent in the coming years.

Qsymia works by suppressing a person's appetite and increasing the feeling of fullness, but patients must also do their part.

Thomas Wadden, director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania, is quoted as saying: "There's no free lunch. Many dieters will need to work at changing their eating and activity habits. Dieters should expect as much from themselves as they do from medications."

Some consumer advocates are concerned about the drug's side effects, which could include an increased heart rate, hyperventilation, fatigue and anorexia.

Qsymia is designed for people who are obese, not for patients who want to lose a few pounds.

There's no word yet on how much it's going to cost.

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