With Lipitor becoming generic, Pfizer pharmaceuticals has decided to venture into the realm of weight loss medicine. Currently the only approved weight loss drugs that are available by prescription are Xenical and stimulants like phentermine, Adderall or Ritalin. Utilizing a different pathway, Pfizer hopes to control a patient’s appetite as opposed to stimulating the body’s functions to possibly control the market once more.
The new drug currently called OAP-189 is an appetite suppressant and mimics the body’s hormones that signal when someone feels full. Like adopotide, this currently is a drug injected into the subcutaneous fat in the skin. More research will need to be conducted to see if an oral option could still provide the same results. The most common side effect right now appears to be nausea and the researchers are hoping that by purifying the compound it will more closely mimic the body’s natural hormones that control hunger thereby minimizing side effects.
The prayers of many who have high cholesterol have been answered: Lipitor has finally gone generic. Atorvastatin may be here but Lipitor’s maker Pfizer is not going quietly into the night- they would like to keep their 100 million dollar weekly sales in tact. So here’s what you should know if you want to jump on the number one’s statin band wagon.
Lipitor is a cholesterol lowering drug called a statin that mainly works on the LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol. As far as potency, Lipitor is more potent than simvastatin (Zocor) but not as potent as Crestor for reducing LDL after the first dose is taken. Here’s some downsides to statin, including an increase in liver enzymes. Elevated liver enzymes could affect liver function and cause myopathy or muscle pain. If this occurs stop taking the statin and call your doctor. The most dangerous and rare side effect is called rhabodomyolysis. This causes the breakdown of muscle and can eventually lead to kidney failure, but overall, statins are a great drug to lower LDL and help prevent heart disease and heart attacks.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and with it comes the announcement of a new combination drug to help battle the growing disease. It’s called Juvisync, and it’s the first cholesterol and diabetes combination drug of its kind. Being that high cholesterol and diabetes tend to go hand in hand for those with Type 2 diabetes, this drug promises to eliminate two birds with one stone.
Type 2 diabetics often have many other conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It is important that these areas are as closely managed as their blood sugar to prevent complications like stroke and heart attack.
Healthy goals for diabetic patients for blood pressure should be less than 130/80 and LDL cholesterol levels, a.k.a. “bad cholesterol,” is less than 100 mg/dL and sometimes even less than 70 mg/dL. Juvisync’s aim is to help patients reach their goal and cut down on their daily pill count.
People are now looking behind the pharmacy counter for help losing weight. A recent article published in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) discussed doctors prescribing medications that are not typically used for weight loss and not currently FDA approved for it. Let’s take a look at some of the controversial weight loss prescriptions and how effective, and dangerous, they can really be.
Medications for Diabetes: Byetta and Metformin
Most diabetes medications cause weight loss because blood sugar levels are more properly managed. Byetta works by slowing the rate at which food empties from the stomach. Many of my diabetic patients tell me they feel more full and do not eat as frequently when on the medication. The biggest side effect with Byetta is nausea which is why the dose starts lower and increases from once to twice daily. This is a self administered injection into the fat of the abdomen, upper arm or thigh. If you are willing to give yourself a possibly painful injection to lose weight, you probably could stick to a healthy and natural nutrition and exercise plan just as easily.