And Why Qnexa Name Nixed
New drug names can be a challenge to pronounce, and Belviq and Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate) are no exceptions. The two new weight loss drugs were approved this summer by the FDA, and are not yet available. According to Vivus Pharmaceuticals, Qsymia is pronounced kyoo-sim-EE-uh. WebMD reports that Vivus preferred the drug name Qnexa, but the FDA thought it sounded too much like other drug names. Women taking Qsymia must also use birth control, and the drug will only be available from "certified pharmacies." Arena Pharmaceuticals says that Belviq is pronounced bel-VEEK. Belviq, which works by increasing levels of serotonin, may be classified as a controlled substance by the DEA.