The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new weight-loss drug from the pharmaceutical company Vivus. The FDA approved Qsymia for patients who are overweight or obese and have at least one other weight-related condition.
The FDA said that two studies conducted on patients who took Qsymia, along with changing their diet and increasing exercise, showed an average weight loss of 6.7% and 8.9%.
However, the drug can increase heart rate and will therefore not be recommended for patients with heart disease or who have recently suffered a stroke.
Vivus will also have to carry our further trials to assess the impact of the drug on cardiac health.
Pregnant women are another group who must not use the drug, as it can cause harm to foetuses, the FDA said.
Qsymia is a combination of two drugs already approved by the FDA, phentermine and topiramate. Those drugs are marketed for aiding weight loss and preventing seizures respectively.