TEMECULA – The Village & Valley News asked Dr. Robert Skversky, M.D., of Weight No More in Temecula to share his views on weight loss via a question and answer series. Skversky has over 20 years experience in the medical treatment of overweight/obese individuals and has been featured on numerous television programs. He uses combination drug therapy in addition to diet and exercise on a long term
Basis for control, not cure.
What is the number one falsehood concerning long term weight-loss?
The number one misconception is that diet and exercise actually work for long term weight loss. The truth is they fail miserably for the vast majority of people for good, physiologic reasons. Obesity is a metabolic, chronic, progressive disease with a significant genetic predisposition (as high as 77 percent) very much like diabetes and hypertension. Chronic diseases require pharmacotherapy on a long-term basis for control, not cure.
We have heard that a new drug for weight loss, Qsymia has been approved. Is that true and how effective is it?
Qsymia is a combination of two drugs, phentermine, (an appetite suppressant) and topiramate (anti-seizure) that have been on the U.S. market for many years. Several hundred weight-loss physicians have been using the combination, as two separate drugs, for several years and a few of us for well over a decade with great long-term success and safety. Due to strict dosage limitations, Qsymia will be only modestly effective.
In addition, because of potential significant side effects associated with Qsymia, my concern is that physician instruction and patient compliance will not be given the importance necessary for safe and effective use. As a result, the experience of a person’s physician may well be the difference between success and failure.
My doctor told me that phentermine is an amphetamine and should be used for no more than 12 weeks for weight-loss. Is that accurate?
Unfortunately most physicians are misinformed in reference to the appetite suppressant phentermine which is classified as a non-amphetamine schedule IV drug by the FDA. The 12-week labeling was written in the 1970’s and is no longer consistent with current scientific and peer reviewed studies as it applies to phentermine in combination with other medications as part of a long-term maintenance program since 1994.
Questions may be directed to Dr. Skversky at his Temecula office, Weight No More, (951) 699-0848 or visit www.weightnomore.com.