(FOX 2) - A new weight loss tool that's been approved by the FDA looks eerily similar to a children's toy. You know, the capsules that you drop into water and suddenly expand into a funny shape?
It's a capsule you take before a meal and it converts into a hydro gel that makes you feel full and eat less. Beaumont weight control doctor Kerstyn Zalesin calls it a game changer.
"It works differently than the other medications we have available," she said. "Most the medications we currently have work on your brain to trick your body into thinking that it's eating or it's not as hungry, but this medication is different because it works within your stomach. If you take it before a meal it expands with the food within your stomach and with the food that you'd eaten, and it helps you feel fuller."
It's call Plenity, and this is the first time doctors have a tool to use with patients who are overweight but at the low end with a BMI of 25. And the hydro gel is eliminated just like food.
"It's not absorbed, so we don't have to worry about absorption or drug-to-drug interactions with other medications because it goes through the entire digestive track without being absorbed into the body," Dr. Zalesin says.
Plenity isn't available yet, but Dr. Salesin reminds us there might be another similar technique if you want to feel more full.
"This is a fibrous-like gelatinous medication that induces the sense of fullness, like whole foods, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables and fruits - the same adage that you feel fuller with an orange as opposed to a cup of orange juice," she says.
The drug company says there will be a limited launch during the second half of this year, and then it will be fully available by 2020. No word yet on how much it will cost or if insurance will cover it.