Today on Fox News Live with E.D. Hill, we discussed a new weight loss pill, Acomplia (rimonabant). This pill currently being sold in Europe has been seen by many patients struggling with obesity as a "miracle pill."
Many studies have shown that this medication helps patients loose weight when compared to a placebo. Most of the weight reduction results from patients limiting the number of calories they consume on a daily basis. Acomplia helps to control appetite-- something that for many patients involved in weight reduction programs is a major obstacle to success.
Even though the safety of the medication is being monitored, no major problems have yet been reported. There are some mild side effects that people should be aware of, including nausea, dizziness, anxiety and depression.
Many Europeans have accepted the efficacy of this medication. Sweden, for example, has approved reimbursement of the drug through their public service program.
How does it work? It controls the urge to eat. Many are calling this the "anti munchie effect." Acomplia works in the central nervous system by affecting the cannabioids receptors in the brain. Yes, the same receptors that give people the urge to eat when exposed to marijuana.
The point of all the hype around accomplia is that it has been a long time since we have seen a medication so effective in controlling appetite. The FDA is considering approval of this drug in the U.S., but there is no clear indication as to when it will happen. In the mean time, other pharmaceutical companies are working on similar typed of drugs.
Why? Because the world is severely overweight and obesity is creating pockets of epidemic proportions of diabetes and heart disease.
Of course, a simple pill is not the answer to an unhealthy lifestyle. But hopefully, this "miracle drug" will be the miracle we all need to start focusing in eating right and exercising.
Dr. Manny Alvarez is the managing editor of health news at FOXNews.com, and is a regular medical contributor on the FOX News Channel. He is chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Additionally, Alvarez is Adjunct Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York University School of Medicine in New York City.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's Senior Managing Editor for Health News. Prior to this position, Alvarez was a FNC medical contributor.
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