When it comes to losing weight there are no miracle cures, however a recently released prescription-only drug – Mysimba – is showing some promising results for some people, when taken in the correct way alongside lifestyle changes.
Mysimba has been developed to help people who want to lose weight. It works on the parts of the brain that regulate appetite, reducing food cravings and suppressing feelings of hunger. This makes it easier to stick to a weight loss programme and steer away from high calorie foods. Mysimba showed promising results in clinical trials and was recently launched across Europe.
A US manufacturer of the weight loss drug, which goes under the brand name “Contrave” in that country, found that people taking it lost an average of 5% of their total body weight after 56 weeks when combined with a reduced calorie diet and increased exercise. This compared to 1% weight loss without using the drug. Nearly half – 42% – of people in the study lost at least 5% of their total body weight, compared to 17% of people who were not given the drug.
Achieving this level of weight loss not only helps people to feel better about themselves but it has important health benefits, too. It can help to reduce the buildup of fat around your waistline, which can be a contributing factor to serious conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. If you are already diabetic it can also support you to control your blood sugar more effectively.
Who is it for?
Mysimba has been developed for people over the age of 18 with a body mass index of 27kg/m2 or more. People with a BMI below 30kg/m2 will normally only be considered for the drug if they are at risk of diabetes or other diseases. Mysimba is not available over the counter, it is a prescription only drug.
It is worth bearing in mind that there are many reasons why people may put on weight other than hunger. In some cases, it is due to difficulty in managing portion size, while in other people, the root of the problem may be stress or anxiety-related eating.
For this reason, Mysimba will not be effective in all cases or may need to be combined with psychological therapies.
How does it work?
The active ingredients in Mysimba are naltrexone and bupropion.
Both medicines work on the reward part of the brain. Buproprion helps to reduce appetite while naltrexone is thought to curb cravings. It is the first time that these two drugs have been used together in a single tablet to help manage obesity. Buproprion has been used in the past as an antidepressant and an aid to stopping smoking. Naltrexone has been prescribed to help reverse the effect of opioid painkillers and reduce alcohol dependence.
Your body will need time to adjust to these ingredients so it is important to follow the treatment regime as instructed by your doctor.
How to use it
When you first start taking Mysimba, take one tablet daily, in the morning, for the first week. In the second week, take one tablet in the morning and one tablet in the evening. By the third week, you can take two tablets in the morning but still only one in the evening. By the fourth week, you will be able to take the maximum dose of two tablets in the morning and two in the evening.
The best results are achieved when Mysimba is combined with a healthy balanced diet and healthy lifestyle choices. If you do not lose 5% of your initial body weight within 16 weeks, you should stop taking this.
Mysimba should be swallowed whole and you should avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol when taking the drugs as this can cause seizures. You should also avoid high fat meals due to a risk of seizures.
Mysimba should not be taken by women who are pregnant or who are trying to conceive, if you have an eating disorder, or liver or kidney disease. You should not take it if you experience hypertension, seizure disorder, have a nervous system tumour or are experiencing benzodiazepine or alcohol withdrawal. Other people who may be unsuitable include:
- anyone with a history of bipolar disorder or a previous diagnosis of bulimia or anorexia nervosa.
- Patients using antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI), or have taken them within the last 14 days.
- anyone with a history of depression.
Mysimba contains bupropion which is similar to active ingredients found in some antidepressants. Potentially this can increase the risk of suicidal behaviour.
Possible side effects
Common side effects associated with Mysimba include:
- Disturbance in concentration
- Hot flushes
- Muscular pain
Private GP London – with a preventative approach to your health
Being overweight increases the risk of a number of health issues and diseases.
Maintaining a healthy weight is part of long term efforts to eat a balanced diet combined with avoiding a sedentary lifestyle.
It is important to always assess your risk factors, including family history and personal lifestyle choices.
Regular health assessments have many benefits including assessing if you are at the right weight for your shape, height and age.
A visit to our Harley Street medical centre helps you to take a preventive approach to your health and the health of your family.
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