Diet pills similar to Acomplia

When some innovative drugs appear on market of prescription weight loss products, absolutely all pharmaceutical company begin studying the molecular formula of these drugs.

Competing pharmaceutical companies study the chemical structure and composition of new diet drugs to create diet pills with similar mechanism of action.

New diet pills are protected by patent within 10-15 years after approval and the beginning of retail sales. Therefore, other diet pills with similar mechanism of action can be approved before the patent expires only if they contain other active ingredient.

acomplia-rimonabantFor instance, in the middle of 2000’s, the new Rimonabant diet pills were approved in Europe. In 2006, these diet pills went on sale under the brand Acomplia. Sanofi-Aventis was the developer and global distributor of Acomplia (Rimonabant) pills.

This pharmaceutical company managed to create the diet pills that did not just suppress the appetite, but also reduced the fatty food cravings. In 2006, many specialists claimed that Sanofi-Aventis did a revolution on the global market of weight loss drugs.

The mechanism of action of Acomplia (Rimonabant) differed from that of any other weight loss drugs, available on the pharmaceutical market in 2006. This fact did not go unnoticed for global pharmaceutical giants.

Thus, some of them (including Pfizer and Merck) announced that they were planning to develop some new diet pills with mechanism of action similar to mechanism of action of Acomplia.

In 2007, Sanofi-Aventis did not get the approval for Rimonabant-containing pills (Zimulti) in the USA, and in 2008, the retail sales of Rimonabant pills were stopped in over 50 countries of the world.

After Acomplia diet pills had been withdrawn from European market because of serious mental side effects, Merck and Pfizer refused to develop new diet drugs similar to Acomplia.

In 2016, several new diet pills including Qsymia, Contrave and Belviq are available in the USA. Clinical studies demonstrate that the benefits of new diet pills outweigh the potential risks for health.

However, it is quite possible that after the estimation of post-marketing studies, one or maybe two new diet pills will be withdrawn from the US market. In addition, in 2008 (only 2 years after the start of retail sales) Acomplia diet pills were withdrawn from the markets in Europe and UK.


Xenical has become the first prescription weight loss product, which was sold legally on the Internet. Online sales of Xenical were launched in the USA and dozens of other countries in 1999.

In 1999, a prescription for buying Xenical online was not required. Potential buyers of Xenical were offered just fill in online form and pay Xenical cost by means of credit card.

The manufacturer and online retailers of Xenical claimed that this drug works in the stomach, is not absorbed into the blood and thereby is absolutely safe for the health of obese patients. However, many obesity experts claimed that Xenical pills should not be sold without a prescription.

xenicalSuch statements were reasoned by the fact that patients could buy Xenical online without a prescription and not to inform the doctor, who gave them a prescription for Phentermine. The interaction of Xenical and Phentermine has not been studied, so the potential risks of such drug cocktail were unknown.

Concerns of doctors were caused by that just a few years before the launch of Xenical sales, a resonant story associated with the combined use of Fenfluramine and Phentermine (Fen-Phen) happened in the USA. One of the components of this combination – Fenfluramine caused very serious side effects.

Many US physicians were concerned that just as Fen-Phen; the combination of Xenical and Phentermine (Xen-Phen) could lead to unpredictable negative consequences for the health of obese patients.

However, more than 15 years after the online sales of Xenical it can be argued that such fears proved to be groundless. Indeed, between 1999 and 2016 none of serious cases of negative impact of Xen-Phen on the health of obese Americans has been registered.

Phentermine by Siegfried

Some pharmaceutical companies produce anorexigenic agent – Phentermine only in the form of white, crystalline powder. Then, Phentermine powder is supplied to factories of other pharmaceutical companies that make new pharmaceutical forms out of it.

Phentermine powder can be used to produce:

• Compressed tablets
• Chewable tablets
• Two-piece, hard capsules

In the middle of the last century, the sales of weight loss drugs containing only Phentermine anorexigenic agent were launched. Later, the FDA-approved drug, based on Phentermine and another anorexigenic agent – Fenfluramine went on sale.

Obese Americans are familiar with this combined weight loss drug under the famous abbreviation Fen-Phen. Several decades ago, Fen-Phen drug was recognized as unsafe for human health. Thus, the sales of Fen-Phen in the USA were stopped and only those drugs that contained nothing else but Phentermine were left on the market.

To produce weight loss drugs, three types of Phentermine are used:

• Phentermine base
• Phentermine as Hydrochloride (HCl)
• Phentermine as ion-exchange resin complex

Phentermine base is used in the production of readymade pharmaceutical forms rarely. Phentermine Hydrochloride is used in the production of compressed tablets, while Phentermine resin complex is used to produce weight loss capsules.

phen375In the USA, several pharmaceutical companies are registered and they produce Phentermine, yet they do not have the U.S. marketing authorization for Phentermine-containing drugs.

Siegfried is one of many manufacturers of Phentermine anorectic agent in the USA. Siegfried is indicated as a producer and supplier of Phentermine HCl and Phentermine base in the USA and Switzerland.

You will find no information on what companies use Phentermine by Siegfried to produce the readymade pharmaceutical forms.

It is noteworthy that in 2008, Siegfried sold one of its manufacturing facilities to Arena Pharmaceuticals (Biopharmaceutical Company).

In 2015, Arena Pharma is famous by that it supplies a new weight loss drug – Lorcaserin to the U.S. market. In the USA, this drug is registered under the brand – Belviq.

The same as Phentermine, Belviq (Lorcaserin) is used to reduce the appetite. You may find more information on similarities and differences between Belviq and Phentermine in one of the upcoming reviews. If you have never used Phentermine and Belviq, you can leave your feedbacks about these drugs right now.

Metabolife 356

Metabolife 356 is a multi-component weight loss supplement that was sold in the USA over 10 years ago. Metabolife 356 included more than 20 active ingredients, including alkaloid ephedrine.

In the late ’90s and early 2000s, Metabolife 356 with ephedrine was one of the most popular OTC diet pills in the USA. The popularity of Metabolife 356 was confirmed by the fact that annual sales of this weight loss supplement reached $900 million.

In 2004, the FDA published information that weight loss products containing ephedrine can cause severe cardiovascular side effects. Therefore, the production and sale of Metabolife 356 were banned in the USA and the U.S. physicians stopped to recommend their patients to use Metabolife 356 for weight loss.

After the production cessation and recall of Metabolife 356 from the US market, Metabolife 356 pills were sold in Canada for several months. However, after the stocks of Metabolife 356 pills were exhausted, their export from the USA into Canada was stopped and today Metabolife 356 is unavailable in North American countries.

The manufacturer and exclusive supplier of Metabolife 356 in the USA and Canada was Metabolife International company. In the mid 2000’s, the management of Metabolife company was accused of that he knew about the potential risks of Metabolife 356 ephedrine-containing diet pills, but concealed this information from the FDA and consumers.

It is noteworthy that in the USA, the sale of ephedrine-containing dietary supplements is banned, while in Canada, dietary supplements containing ephedrine are still sold. In 2015, the sale of over 110 dietary supplements that just as Metabolife 356 contain natural active ingredient ephedrine is permitted in Canada.

The manufacture and commercialization of Metabolife 356 pills were the key business of Metabolife International company. Therefore, after the ban to sell Metabolife 356 in the USA, Metabolife International went bankrupt and its assets were purchased by IdeaSphere.

Today, IdeaSphere is a part of large US manufacturer of over-the-counter dietary supplements – Twinlab Corporation. In 2015, Twinlab manufactures a few weight loss products that are sold in the USA under the brand Metabolife and similar brand Metabolift.

Fen-Phen and history of compensation

Fen-Phen is an informal name of a combination of two drugs used as a combined obesity treatment in the 90s of the last century. Fen-Phen name consists of the first letters of anorectic drugs – Fenfluramine (Fen-) and Phentermine (-Phen).

Each of these drugs was approved as a short-term monotherapy of obesity. However, in many US diet centers and obesity clinics, physicians recommended their patients to use Fenfluramine in combination with Phentermine.

Fen-PhenThe combination of Phentermine and Fenfluramine (Fen-Phen) provided more rapid weight loss than the use of each of these drugs separately. Very rapid weight loss was achieved by the fact that Fen-Phen has burnt fat deposits even without significant physical loads (during night sleep as well).

Many US physicians have known that long-term studies of Fen-Phen safety were not conducted. Thus, writing a prescription for Fen-Phen, they could suppose that such combination therapy of obesity can create potential health risks for obese men and women.

Phentermine is no longer used in conjunction with Fenfluramine after it was proven that Fenfluramine causes serious heart problems. In 1997, Fenfluramine was withdrawn from the US market because of the safety problems, while Phentermine is still used as an obesity treatment.

For all history of Phentermine use together with Fenfluramine, about six millions of obese Americans could get a prescription for Fen-Phen. After Fenfluramine manufacturer recognized that this drug could cause adverse cardiac events, he agreed to pay monetary compensations the buyers of this drug.

The manufacturer of Fenfluramine pills was American Home Products Corporation. Subsequently, American Home Products was renamed in Wyeth. In 2009, Wyeth was acquired by Pfizer company.

In 1999, American Home Products agreed to pay $ 3.75 billion those, who used Fenfluramine as an obesity monotherapy or in combination with Phentermine. A fund was created for the payment of monetary compensations; it has remained open for 16 years (1999 to 2015).

The consumers of Fenfluramine (including Fen-Phen), who were able to prove that Fenfluramine caused heart valve defects, received of $ 1.5 million from the fund.

Fenfluramine consumers, who have not experienced serious cardiovascular side effects, could receive from $ 30 to $ 60 for each prescription obtained for the purchase of Fenfluramine.

Saxenda cost

The cost of innovative weight loss drug – Saxenda is very high. Therefore, the developer and manufacturer of Saxenda (Novo Nordisk) should not expect a rapid growth of its sales.

In the USA, Saxenda cost is several times higher than that of other innovative drugs and several dozen times higher than that of slimming drugs available for sale for several decades.

Right now, you can:

• Compare Saxenda cost with the prices of new FDA-approved slimming drugs – Belviq and Qsymia.
• Compare Saxenda cost with the prices of the most prescribed FDA-approved drugs – Adipex, Suprenza, Bontril, Didrex, Xenical and Alli.

By choosing Saxenda new drug for weight loss, be ready to the fact that the cost of one day of anti-obesity therapy is about $35.5 US. Thus, in just a year of anti-obesity therapy, it is required to spend about $13.000 US for buying Saxenda.

Other new anti-obesity drugs – Belviq and Qsymia are more than 5 times cheaper than Saxenda. Within a year of weight loss therapy, it is required to spend no more than $2.400 US on buying Belviq, and from $2.000 US and more – on buying Qsymia pills.

saxedra_rxDespite the fact that Qsymia and Belviq are significantly cheaper than Saxenda, they are also unaffordable for obese people with middle and low income. The key cause of high price of new anti-obesity drugs is in the absence of Qsymia, Belviq and Saxenda generic drugs.

The manufacturers of Belviq, Saxenda and Qsymia do not have to compete with the manufacturers of bioequivalent drugs. Thus, the price of these drugs will remain high until the term of their patent protection expires and cheaper generic versions of Qsymia, Saxenda and Belviq appear at the US market.

It should be noted that in the USA some drugs are sold for over 15 years, but are still very expensive. For example, Americans who choose Xenical 120mg pills for weight loss are forced to spend on their buying more than $450 US every month (more than $5.400 US per year).

Only a small percent of obese people can annually spend on diet pills 2, 5, 10 or 15 thousand US dollars. Therefore, the vast majority of obese Americans will always use cheap diet pills that are ten times cheaper than prescription weight loss drugs – Belviq, Saxenda, Xenical or Qsymia.

The cheapest prescription diet pills available at the US market are included in the pharmacological group of sympathomimetic amines. Potential consumers of cheap diet pills may know sympathomimetic amines under the nonproprietary names:

• Phentermine
• Benzphetamine
• Diethylpropion
• Phendimetrazine

… or original brand names:

• Didrex (for Benzphetamine)
• Tenuate (for Diethylpropion)
• Bontril (for Phendimetrazine)
• Adipex, Suprenza (for Phentermine)

All the drugs mentioned above help to reduce weight by suppressing appetite. These drugs have almost the identical indications and contraindications, but the prices are different.

Diet pills sold under the nonproprietary names are cheaper than bioequivalent diet pills registered under the original brand. Furthermore, the drug price may depend on the dosage form.

For instance:

• When choosing usual Phentermine oral tablets or capsules, the minimum cost of anti-obesity therapy is about $20 US per month.
• When choosing Adipex (Phentermine) oral capsules or tablets, the minimum cost of the obesity treatment is a little more than $60 US per month.
• When choosing Suprenza (Phentermine) orally disintegrating tablets, the cost of weight loss therapy is about $110 US monthly.

Phentermine-containing drugs can be used only for a short-term therapy of obesity up to 3 months. Therefore, it is inappropriate to calculate the cost of one year of the obesity treatment using Phentermine.

If to compare the price of a Phentermine dose and a Saxenda dose, Saxenda drug is 53 times more expensive than Phentermine. Herewith, one day of obesity treatment with Saxenda is almost 2 times more expensive than one month of the obesity treatment with Phentermine.

It should be noted that there are cheaper diet pills than Phentermine at the US market. For example, in regular use of the minimal daily dose of Phendimetrazine 35mg, the costs of a month of obesity treatment are less than $110 US.

Information on the cost of Saxenda and other FDA-approved weight loss products listed in this review is relevant for the end of 2014 – beginning of 2015. Taking into account inflation and changing competitive environment, the prices of weight loss drugs mentioned in this review may differ from the current prices.

Real Phentermine

Only those people can buy real Phentermine legally, who live in the country where this drug is approved as an obesity treatment. In 2015, real Phentermine is approved for sale in two North American countries – Mexico and the USA.

More than 15 years ago, real Phentermine was sold in Canada. However, subsequently it was withdrawn from the Canadian market and today, the current marketing status of Phentermine in Canada: Cancelled Post Market.

For several decades, adult Canadians suffering from obesity know Phentermine-containing drugs under the brands Ionamin and Fastin.

Under the same brand names, Phentermine was sold in the USA. Nevertheless, just as in Canada, Fastin and Ionamin (Phentermine-containing drugs) were withdrawn from the US market.

fastinToday, Fastin (Phentermine) capsules are sold in South Korea, while Ionamin brand is popular in Netherlands, Italy, Canada, the USA and Great Britain, but in 2015, Ionamin (Phentermine) capsules are no longer sold in these countries.

In 2015, the real Phentermine suppliers in the USA are more than 15 pharmaceutical companies, but the owner of the marketing authorization for Phentermine in Mexico – just one company.

Most legal suppliers of Phentermine-containing drugs in the USA promote them under the nonproprietary name Phentermine Hydrochloride. Only a few US suppliers offer for sale real Phentermine under the proprietary brands.

• Real Phentermine in tablets and capsules is available for sale under the brand Adipex-P.
• Real Phentermine in chewable tablets is sold under the brand Suprenza.
• Real Phentermine as a part of combined anti-obesity drug is sold under the brand Qsymia.

It is impossible to buy real Phentermine in the USA without a prescription approved by a doctor. Therefore, many obese Americans, who have contraindications for Phentermine or have no money to pay for the doctor’s services, are trying to buy real Phentermine online.

It should be noted that it is possible to buy real Phentermine online without script, but the supplier cannot guarantee that problems with postal delivery of real Phentermine will not arise.

Real Phentermine is a controlled drug, the sale of which without a prescription is prohibited. Thus, even if you are provided with the opportunity to order real Phentermine at low prices, it is better to refrain from buying Phentermine online without a prescription and to replace this anorectic for other appetite suppressant legally sold without a prescription.

Qsymia safety

In the studies of efficiency and safety of Qsymia, various groups of obese patients including those with high, moderate and low cardiovascular risks were involved.

Study results of Qsymia safety have demonstrated that this drug can increase cardiovascular risks, but does not cause dangerous cardiovascular diseases. Thus, it can be prescribed to patients with cardiovascular diseases.

Qsymia is an innovative drug used to treat obesity just a few years. Therefore, long-term effects of Qsymia are insufficiently studied. Accordingly, studies on the safety of this drug will continue.

QsymiaDespite the lack of the results of long-term post-marketing studies, more and more US physicians prescribe their patients namely Qsymia.

In just a year (since the beginning of 2013 to the beginning of 2014), the number of prescriptions written for Qsymia pills increased by 11%. Herewith, net income of Qsymia sales increased by 30% and exceeded $12.6 million.

It should be noted that the growth of Qsymia sales did not go unnoticed for large manufacturers of generic drugs. In 2015, two pharmaceutical companies – Teva and Actavis tried to get the US marketing authorization for generic versions of Qsymia.

The developer and manufacturer of Qsymia pills – Vivus filed a lawsuit against potential manufacturers of Qsymia generic drugs paying attention to the fact that he owns 11 US patents for Qsymia.

The validity of the exclusive US patent for Qsymia will expire in 2029. Therefore, for the next 14 years, Qsymia generic drugs will go on sale only in case if Vivus concludes an agreement with other companies on their commercialization.

Most likely, the first Qsymia generic drugs will be manufactured in India and exported to developing countries all over the world. In developed countries (including the USA), Qsymia generic drugs can be imported illegally by post.

The international online pharmacies take orders from almost any country in the world. However, when selling Qsymia generic or any other Phentermine-containing drug online, the suppliers cannot guarantee their delivery.

After all, to import controlled drugs in the developed countries, a license issued only to legal suppliers of RX weight loss products, is required. In 2015, the legal import of Qsymia generic drugs in the US is impossible. Therefore, in 2015 all offers to buy Qsymia generic in the United States – is a fraud.

Qsymia at discount

At the end of April 2015, pharmaceutical company Vivus announced the launch of a discount program for Qsymia diet pills. Participants of this program can only be the members of Sam’s Club, who have prescription for Qsymia.

At the moment of publication of this review, Qsymia pills are not yet included in the list of drugs that the members of Sam’s Plus club can buy at discount. Information that discount program for Qsymia is canceled, is also not available.

Therefore, it can be assumed that the beginning of the discount program has been delayed, and the members of Sam’s Plus club do not yet have the possibility to buy Qsymia at a discounted price.

samspluscardToday, Sam’s Club provides discounts on hundreds of different prescription drugs, but none of drugs to treat obesity is listed. If Sam’s Club launches the retail sales of Qsymia at discount, this step can affect the sales of another new drug for the obesity treatment – Belviq.

Today, the buyers of Belviq have the opportunity to get “savings card”, which allows to save up to $75 on the purchase of each package of diet pills or to spend no more than $75 on medical treatment of obesity each month.

Qsymia and Belviq are two new prescription weight loss products that came into the US market almost simultaneously. The manufacturers of Belviq and Qsymia provide significant discounts, thereby creating a serious competition to the manufacturers of other anorexigenic drugs.

Due to special offers and discounts, many obese Americans will use instead of Phentermine-containing products innovative pills – Belviq or Qsymia.

Herewith, the competition between Qsymia, Belviq and other anorectic drugs will promote the price reduction of all weight loss products available at the US market.

Today, residents of a few countries, including the United States can buy Qsymia and Belviq. In other countries, these new diet pills are not yet available. However, given positive reviews on the effectiveness and the absence of reports about dangerous side effects of Belviq and Qsymia, in 2015-2016, these drugs can be approved for the obesity treatment in other countries.

Is Meridia better than Phentermine?

Meridia diet pills came into the market at the end of 90s of last century. More than 15 years ago, many experts believed that Meridia is much safer than Phentermine-containing drugs and Phentermine era comes to the end.

For hundreds of thousands of patients, Meridia drug was really better than Phentermine. However, statements that Meridia is safer than Phentermine proved premature.

meridiaThirteen years after the start of Meridia retail sales, researchers paid attention to the fact that long-term cardiovascular side effects develop in obese people using Meridia.

Compared to Phentermine side effects, cardiovascular side effects of Meridia posed a more serious danger to human health. Therefore, despite the fact that serious cardiovascular pathologies were diagnosed only in a few people used Meridia, this drug was recognized unsafe and its sale was terminated.

During the whole period of retail sales of Meridia, this drug was better choice for obese people who had contraindications to Phentermine and other amphetamine-like appetite suppressants.

After Meridia withdrawal from the US market, only amphetamine-like weight loss products for appetite control were sold at the U.S. pharmacies. Therefore, after the cessation of Meridia sales, access to medical appetite suppressant therapy was limited to tens of thousands of obese Americans.

Between 2010 and 2012, only amphetamines were used to control appetite in the USA. In June 2012, the FDA approved a new weight loss drug – Lorcaserin, which is not an amphetamine-like.

Thus, obese Americans who had contraindications to Phentermine again have the opportunity to conduct an intensive obesity therapy not only by means of a healthy diet and physical exercises, but also by means of appetite suppressant.

Just as 15 years ago, today the opinion is expressed that Lorcaserin is better than Phentermine and less often causes side effects. However, Phentermine always has a distinct advantage is that it is used for the obesity treatment for more than 50 years.

Therefore, all potential risks of Phentermine are well studied, the body’s reaction to the change of Phentermine dose is predictable, but the health benefits of an obese person is undeniable.