fat personOne third of Americans are believed to be obese and another third are thought to be overweight.  This is clearly a national problem, but the American Medical Association has recently classified obesity as a disease.  As a result, there will be more focus on obesity and obesity screening.  That may sound like a good thing initially, but the idea is to get more people into treatment and not necessarily for their benefit.  Obesity screening and treatment could lead one third of all Americans down the path to being put on psychiatric drugs.   

 As part of the Affordable Care Act, obesity screening and treatment will be a standard step during a visit to the doctor.  More likely than not, this type of health care will be covered under most insurance plans.  It is probably not coincidental that the AMA announced obesity as a disease around the same time that the FDA approved two new psychiatric drugs specifically designed to treat obesity.  This isn’t good news because it unnecessarily makes an awful lot of people into candidates for psychotropic drugs. 

Belviq is one new drug that is supposed to help a person lose weight by interacting with the serotonin in the brain.  Altering brain chemistry is supposed to make you feel full.  Serotonin is a familiar term to many, as SSRI antidepressants (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) claim that adjusting serotonin is key to helping with depression.   Just like there is no test to prove changing serotonin levels affect depression, the drug company that makes Belviq offers no information as to how they know serotonin affects hunger.  There is no test that identifies what part of the brain controls appetite.  For all we know, feeling full may just be happenstance.  In fact, the way Belviq “works” is not really known. 

This brings to mind the question, what makes the AMA or FDA think that altering the brain chemistry is the answer to obesity?  Since drugs are the first treatment of choice in mainstream medicine and psychiatry these days, it is more than likely they are looking for new patients.  Perhaps the increase of people using alternative medicine has cut into their share of the pie.  They have no scientific support, but their solution is to promote obesity screening and new mind-altering drugs.  This is practicing medicine for the financial benefit of doctors and drug companies and not for the health of the patient. 

With that in mind, it is no wonder that a drug like this is on the market.  To make matters worse, Belviq’s many severe adverse side effects make obesity look like a welcome condition.  There are thirty-seven common side effects, one being increased hunger.  Isn’t that the opposite of what is wanted?  

Some of the worst serious common side effects are depression, coma, seizures, slurred speech, blurred vision and difficulty breathing.  There are twenty-four less common side effects such as rapid weight gain and decreased ability to exercise.  Not only can you experience horrendous side effects while on this drug, it can also make your efforts to lose weight fruitless. 

It is hard to believe, but there are even worse potential side effects that should send anyone running from a doctor’s office that suggests obesity screening.  These are:  feelings of extreme happiness and sadness which could get you a bipolar diagnosis, being outside of your body or standing next to it, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself, hallucinations, agitation, convulsions, severely stiff muscles, restlessness, twitching and the list goes on.  These kinds of side effects certainly warrant finding a better solution to handle obesity. 

Qsymia is the other new drug that could be prescribed after an obesity screening.  It is two drugs put together, one being an appetite suppressant similar to an amphetamine and the other is an anti-seizure drug.  This is supposed to make you feel full because Qsymia targets the brain pathways that trigger overeating.  That may be the story they want to stand behind, but again it doesn’t hold any water until they come up with a test that shows which part of the brain functions as such.    

Qsymia is not lacking in serious adverse side effects either.  Even one of the following should elicit great concern:  suicidal behavior and ideation, depression, convulsions, fast irregular racing heartbeat or pulse, mood changes, blurred vision and eye pain, chest pain, red skin lesions with a purple center, shakiness in extremities, blood in urine and seizures to name a few.   

Even worse, several of these seem like a bad LSD trip:  feeling others can watch or control your behavior, feeling others can hear your thoughts, seeing or hearing things not there, trouble thinking, speaking and walking, or an unusual or false sense of well-being.  Surely these potential side effects are enough to scare anyone from taking Qsymia. 

Though a large number of people need to lose weight, the solution is not to go for obesity screening and wind up on one of these psychiatric drugs with life-threatening side effects. The risks aren’t worth losing three to nine percent of body weight as has been reported.  People don’t need dangerous mind-altering drugs to lose weight.  They need to find the root cause of their weight problem and handle that with a corresponding long-term solution.  Psychiatric drugs are not that long-term solution though drug companies and their cohorts think so. 

As a warning, the term screening almost always is a red flag for a psychiatric evaluation followed by a psychotropic drug prescription.  Don’t let obesity be a mental health issue for you.  Do your own research to find out what works for you.  Perhaps go see a nutritionist and don’t succumb to the false theories being put forth by the drug companies and the medical establishment these days.  You’ll be healthier and live longer as a result.

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/fda-approves-2-new-dieting-pills-2013-qsymia-and-belviq 

http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/18/qsymia-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-diet-pill/ 

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/07/06/branding-obesity.aspx 

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/belviq-side-effects.html 

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/qsymia-side-effects.html