Posted: Jul 18, 2012 11:42 AM by Carina Corral, KSBY News/NBC News
The Food and Drug Administration approved a new diet drug yesterday created by a Central Coast doctor.
Doctor Thomas Najarian of Los Osos developed the diet pill Qsymia, originally known as Qnexa.
More than 4,000 people tested the drug in clinical trials and more than half lost ten percent of their body weight, totaling about twelve pounds for a 252 pound person.
Qsymia is a combination of two drugs: phentermine, an appetite suppressant, and topiramate, an anti-seizure drug.
Some doctors are concerned widespread use of the diet drug will lead to birth defects because topiramate has been shown to increase the risk for cleft lip and palate.
There were also reports of increased heart rate among people taking the drug.
The drug manufacturer, Vivus, said it plans to test the effect Qsymia has on the heart after the drug is approved.
None of the women who became pregnant during the trial had a child with birth defects.
Women of childbearing age who are prescribed Qsymia will be strongly urged to take birth control.