The New Medical Weight Loss Pill that Tricks Your Appetite Hormone

By on July 31, 2013
According to recent statistics, America is one of the fattest nations on the planet–and that trend doesn’t seem to be declining.

Yet a new drug, called Belviq, claims it may be the panacea for the millions of Americans struggling with their weight.

“The drug is not a fat burner,” explains Dr. Steven Vig, a doctor of internal medicine in Tucson, Arizona. “It simply lowers your appetite, decreases your cravings for food, decreases your hunger, you eat less and then you weigh less.”

The drug, which was approved last year, hadn’t been released until early last month, when manufacturers finally made it available via prescription. Since then, Vig claims he’s written nearly 250 prescriptions–and many of his patients say they’ve been losing weight with minimal side effects.

It certainly beats other drugs such as ephedrine, which was banned in 2004 due to an increased risk of heart attack, which claimed a handful of lives in the United States.

“This thing actually targets a receptor in the brain which is very specific for appetite,” says Vig. “It is almost like a laser gun going to the appetite center of your brain.”

What is Belviq?

Unlike other weight loss drugs, Belviq is unique in how it suppresses appetite. Most drugs help control the sensations of the hunger in the stomach, but Belviq works on something else that controls overeating–serotonin receptors.

“Belviq affects the serotonin receptors in the brain, changing the neurotransmitter action of serotonin, the brain chemical you hear about related to mood,” says William Anderson, M.A., a weight loss expert and Huffington Post contributor. “Drugs that change the action of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine are used to treat many psychological conditions, even psychotic disorders, because they change the way we think and feel.”

For those dealing with obesity, Belviq is revolutionary because it targets the chemicals that can trigger a sudden binge or desire to eat bad foods. Oftentimes the bad-for-you foods that people love to eat, such as cake or cookies, trigger a release of hormones that causes that feel-good effect–the same hormone that Belviq also targets.

By taking this drug, you’re essentially mimicking the same release you get by eating bad foods, and therefore, the temptation to eat more disappears.

“Reliable clinical studies have shown that people given the drug lost weight slightly more than people given a placebo, even without instruction in weight loss protocols,” says Anderson. “In studies where people were instructed in weight loss technique, people taking the drug did about twice as well as those taking the placebo.”

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. According to recent reports, Belviq may also carry adverse effects such as headache, nausea, back pain, and dry mouth. Serious side effects such as low blood sugar, hallucinations, and trouble breathing can also occur.

To make matters worse, Vig is one of the few doctors in Arizona prescribing the drug–most doctors just refuse to prescribe it. And the reasons why are valid, according to them: It seems too risky to prescribe a diet drug with so many side effects that’s hardly been out on the market for a month.

Readers: Would you take this weight loss drug? Why or why not?

New Diet Drug Targets Appetite

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