Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- A weight loss drug that claims to help you lost 10 percent of your body weight is now available by prescription. Qsymia works by suppressing your appetite and curbing your cravings. Doctors say the medication could play a key role for obese and overweight patients.
Diets didn’t work for Judy Flynn, who at her heaviest was 238 pounds and a diagnosed Type II diabetic.
“Just about everything is different. It’s a whole different lifestyle being thin as opposed to being heavy,” Flynn explained. “Everything that is out there I tried, which is just like most people who are heavy, they try just about everything.”
Flynn ended up losing 110 pounds after gastric bypass surgery – a complicated and expensive procedure that doctors hope many patients will be able to avoid with the new weight loss drug Qsymia.
More and more patients have been coming to weight loss surgery centers in CNY like St. Joseph’s Hospital. Dr. William Graber, the Medical Director of the Bariatric Care Center at St. Joseph's Hospital, says the pill could be a great option before surgery, or even to supplement the surgery afterwards.
“Before surgery we often get people on a diet to try to get them to lose weight, and sometimes we try medicines to try to help them lose weight. If we can get them to sustain a weight loss surgery, well, that’s better,” said Dr. Graber.
However Qsymia is not a magic pill.
“You have to also watch what you eat. It's not like you can take the pill and suddenly now go, 'I can go have my 42 ounce prime rib.' You have to also eat less, and that takes an effort. You have to think about what you're doing and pay attention and work at it,” Dr. Graber said.
Flynn enjoys trail hiking and running now that she's lost weight. She says she's never felt better and encourages people struggling to lose weight to try this medication before surgery.
“Don't think you'll always be heavy because you don't always have to be heavy. And trust me, I thought I was going to be heavy for the rest of my life and I'm loving it,” Flynn said.
Flynn says if she had an easier way to lose weight years ago she would be running marathons by now.
Qsymia is the first new drug the FDA has approved for weight loss in more than 13 years.