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Empatic, formerly known as Excalia

While a well-fed and rotund physique used to be a sign of wealth and prosperity only a few hundred years ago, obesity has become a serious health concern, not to say an affliction of civilization. Weight related problems are steadily on the rise in the industrial nations of the Western world. Excess body fat is linked to a number of health problems, some of which can be quite severe - joint problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high cholesterol levels to name but a few. In our day and age a variety of therapies are available to tackle weight problems, some of them more drastic (gastric band surgery) than others. The weight loss drug market is booming and with countless herbal products, dietary supplements, weight loss pills and other treatments it is hard to not lose track. In Europe, only one prescription medication, Xenical, is currently licensed to aid weight loss in clinically obese or overweight patients. Patient suitability for prescription weight loss pills is calculated on the basis of a body weight to height ratio, called BMI. A handful of weight loss pills are currently being tested for their effectiveness, so both patients and doctors might soon have a broader choice of medications available.


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What is Empatic?

Empatic is an oral new generation weight loss aid whose rights are owned by Orexigen Therapeutics, a US biopharmaceutical group. Orexigen’s main field of expertise lies in the development of drugs that consist of a combination of medicines already available to treat other medical conditions. Empatic, or Excalia as it was originally branded, is the brand name of two existing pharmaceuticals combined in one tablet, Bupropion and Zonisamide. Bupropion is widely known under the names of Zyban (a smoking cessation treatment) and Wellbutrin (an antidepressant). Zonisamide is a powerful anticonvulsant used to control epileptic seizures in adults.

How does empatic work?

Bupropion increases the level of Dopamine, a neurotransmittor conducting certain chemical signals. High Dopamine levels cause a decrease in appetite and an increase in metabolism.

Zonisamide also acts on the feeling of hunger, however when taken by itself only leads to little weight loss. The combination of molecules in both of the drugs encourages and sustains weight loss in obese patients. The effectiveness of the medication is optimised by its slow release (SR) formula, which means that the active ingredients are released into the blood stream gradually rather than all at once.

Is Empatic effective?

Clinical trials to establish the large scale efficacy of Empatic weight loss pills are still ongoing and so far, results look promising. A double-blind study controlled by means of a placebo group has tested the medication over a period of 48 weeks. The participants who completed the entire treatment course achieved an average weight loss of 14 percent with more than two thirds of them loosing over 10% of their body weight. It should be noted these results were achieved by combining the drug with a tailored programme of calorie-reduced diet and increased physical exercise. As with all weight loss pills, weight loss is always boosted if the medicinal treatment is supported by other components that speed up the fat-burning processes in the body. Unwanted flab is essentially energy the body cannot use up, consequently the body reverts to storing it as unsightly and unhealthy fatty depots which the system will tap into if the body cannot cover its energy needs through food. In reducing dietary calorie intake with the aid of an appetite suppressants, your body is forced to use the reserves it has already collected.

Does Empatic have any side effects?

It is important to bear in mind that any medicine can cause potentially unpleasant side effects. Some of them may be a temporary nuisance, however, they are mostly harmless and quite often they will subside over time as the body gets used to the treatment. Often decreasing the dosage may help, however you should never change your dosing regime without consulting your doctor first. For the full list of reported side effects to date, please refer to the patient leaflet in each Empatic box. Generally speaking Empatic is very well tolerated with the following occurrences reported commonly:

  • Headache,
  • Nausea,
  • Insomnia,
  • Anxiety,
  • Dry mouth,

If you experience any side effects that are not listed or if you have any concerns or questions with regards to Empatic, please speak to your doctor or pharmacist.