Up until recently orlistat (Xenical®) was the only prescription weight loss drug still available in the United States. All of the others have been withdrawn or failed to gain approval because of serious and sometimes life threatening side effects. So why did the FDA agree to approve two new weight loss drugs when so many ultimately proved dangerous? As the FDA reviewers explain in the October 25, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (The Journal), they took this calculated risk because obesity poses a significant health threat to Americans. They point out that the drugs are only recommended in combination with caloric restriction and increased physical activity in patients whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is either greater than 30 or greater than 27 with one weight-related coexisting condition (such as glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia). The drugs are named Belviq® and Qsymia®. Click here to read more.