LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Americans have just gained a new ally in the war on weight loss.
"We're all looking for the miracle cure," said Dr. Charles Evans with a laugh. "In a nutshell."
A year after its approval, the drug Belviq is now available. But there is a catch.
In order to get a prescription for the new drug a person must have a body mass index of 30 or have a BMI of 27 with a weight-related condition.
Restrictions on new weight loss drugs are common.
"The old drugs were not attended for long-term use, the new drugs are," Evans said. "The situation is where a doctor needs to be involved."
Evans says it is important to do your research.
"All pills of prescription drugs have side effects and weight loss pills are no different," Evans said.
These side effects include headache, dizziness, fatigue and low blood sugar.
While proponents are optimistic in the pills success, the pill is not meant to replace exercise.
"It's not about just losing the weight," said Cheryl Brannan, a lifestyle counselor. "It's about keeping the weight off, because we've all lost weight and put it back on."
"Combine changes in lifestyles with these medicines and you get a far more dramatic effect," Evans said.
Evans says that eating healthier is just as important as exercise. And Brannan says the decision to lose and keep off the weight comes down to the individual.
"The doctor may have his, and I have my own, but you have to take ownership of your own changes to keep them intact," Brannan said.