For the last several decades, America's been experiencing an unprecedented looming health care crisis — naturally skinny Americans pumping the atmosphere full of dangerous levels of smugness in the form of concern trolling obese and overweight Americans. But now, thanks to the FDA's approval of a new weight loss drug, obesity — and the accompanying disdain and shame heaped on the obese — may one day be a thing of the past.
The drug's called Belvig (which sounds kind of fat, when you pronounce it aloud: "Bel-vig") and it's designed to help obese and overweight people reduce their bodyweight by suppressing their appetites. In a clinical trial, overweight and obese patients who were already on a diet and exercise plan who used the drug lost more weight than those taking a placebo. But we're not talking hundreds of pounds here; Belvig only helped patients lose an average of 5% of their body weight (for trial participants, that ended up being about 12 pounds apiece once you averaged everything out) over the course of a year.
The drug's manufacturer, Arena Pharmaceuticals, first attempted to get FDA approval several years ago, but their bid was rejected on the grounds that the government organization didn't feel there was enough evidence to show that the drug was safe — they were understandably gun shy after Meridia (which, ironically, is close in spelling to the French expression Merde!) was shown to mess with people's cardiovascular systems to the point of, uh, death. And there was also that bit about ephedrine-containing supplements causing people palpitations; diet drugs are serious business, but can have serious consequences.
Belvig isn't without its risks; the drug can cause things like dry mouth and constipation and nausea along with other symptoms that will someday be read in a soothing voice at the end of a Belvig commercial on a TV near you. And patients who didn't see results within the first 12 weeks of use are urged to discontinue using the drug, as if it doesn't work right away, chances are, it will never work. But it seems that it was able to give patients who were successful at using it just a little boost — and in the war against skinny smugness, every little boost helps.
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