Less than a month after the FDA approved weight loss drug Belviq — the first anti-obesity drug to gain federal approval in over a decade — the agency has signed off on Qsymia, another medication to help combat the nation’s expanding waistline.

The new drug is meant for people who are obese or overweight and have at least one weight-related condition like high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.

Qsymia is a combination of two older drugs that have long been known to help with weight loss: phentermine, an appetite suppressant, and topirimate, an anti-seizure medication that makes people feel more satiated after eating. Vivus, the manufacturer of the drug, says it can help patients lose about 10 percent of their body weight by targeting the multiple brain signals that drive people to overeat.

It’s no magic bullet — sensible eating and exercise are still required for lasting results — but many doctors say it’s a powerful weapon in the weight loss arsenal.

Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital, said, “There are problems with weight-regulating mechanisms in the brain that make it difficult for people to lose and maintain weight. We need to come to that realization that we’re better off treating people who are obese than blaming them.”

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