Pills In, Pounds Off

As we mentioned, there is a great deal of profit to be made from guiding potential investors through the intricacies of the market. The $5,450 publication Anti-Obesity Drugs: Global Market Analysis, Trends, and Forecasts mentions six specific products, which we will also discuss, albeit from other information sources. Childhood Obesity News has already looked at Saxenda, which is the generic liraglutide, and phentermine.

Qsymia is phentermine with topiramate, in extended-release capsules. Topiramate is another generic drug served up under a number of brand names — as an anticonvulsant, or to treat migraine headaches. It comes with some fairly serious warnings like permanent vision problems, life-threatening dehydration, and suicidal ideation. It is not to be stopped suddenly, but tapered off from.

After topiramate was accidentally found to cause weight loss, it was used “off-label” for that purpose, and then became officially accepted as a weight-loss aid. The literature describes a patient who shed 172 pounds while using it to prevent migraines. In an online forum for epilepsy patients, some people report their rapid weight loss with alarm, while others say not to worry, because all the weight comes back even if you stay on the medication (unlike some others, where the weight returns if you quit.)

Also, some foods taste bland and others taste horrible, including sweets (always helpful in a weight-loss situation), and sometimes hair falls out. For the technically-minded,

This medication is thought to affect appetite by antagonism of the kainate and 2-amino-3-(5-methyl-3-oxo-1,2-oxazol-4-yl) propanoic acid, or AMPA, glutamate receptors.

Contrave is another pill that has been known to cause suicidal thoughts, especially in the young; and rather than prevent seizures, it can cause them. Relatively new, it was approved in 2016. The active ingredients are naltrexone (opioid antagonist) and bupropion (aminoketone antidepressant). The literature says,

The exact neurochemical mechanism of the naltrexone/bupropion combination leading to weight loss is not fully understood. However, from preclinical study data, the combination is theorized to work synergistically in the hypothalamus and the mesolimbic dopamine circuit to promote satiety, reduce food intake, and enhance energy expenditure.

This is one of the medications meant for short-term use, and if a three-month course does not result in at least a 5 percent weight loss, the situation is unlikely to improve with further use. We will be talking about it more, along with some others.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “2019 Anti-Obesity Drugs Report: Global Market Analysis, Trends and Forecasts Through 2015-2024,” Yahoo.com, 06/12/19
Source: “Weight loss of 172 lb with topiramate in a patient with migraine headaches,” OUP.com, 03/01/12
Source: “Topiramate and Weight Loss,” Epilepsy.com, undated
Source: “Naltrexone/Bupropion ER (Contrave),” NIH.gov, March 2016
Photo on Visualhunt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FAQs and Media Requests: Click here…

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Obesity top bottom

The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

Food & Health Resources