As obesity rates continue to rise for adults and more alarming for children and adolescents in America, doctors have been pushing the FDA to approve new medications for weight loss. Belviq(R) and Osymia(R) have been recently FDA approved to help fight the battle of the bulge. Honestly, neither of these drugs are “new” when is comes to how they act in our body. Belviq(R) or lorcaserin is a seratonin reuptake inhibitor which, similar to Meridia, Prozac, Zoloft and Celexa, slows the brain from breaking down seratonin thereby causing an increase in the amount of seratonin in the brain. Low seratonin levels can cause depression, headaches, PMS and cravings for food or nicotine. Low dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain can also play a role in the same diseases. Osymia(R) is a combination of phentermine and topiramate which increases dopamine and norepinephrine. Belviq(R) targets the specific seratonin receptors in the brain and not the receptors in the heart, therefore heart valve problems are not likely a side effect as Meridia was. Osymia(R) is made up of two generic drugs that have been on the market for years and could be prescribed separately at a much lower cost. Stay tuned in the next news letter for the adverse affects and precautions on these “new” drugs. Richard Bragg, M.D.