A pill for every ill, including obesity.
An experimental drug, Qnexa helped obese patieints lose an average of 9.2 percent of their weight during a 28-week trial. Drug maker Vivus Inc., of Mountain View California, believes Qnexa is well-tolerated. Common side effects include itching, dry mouth, and constipation.
Consumer warning- the drug is a combination of phentermine, which was half of the recalled fen-phen diet pill. the other half is the epilepsy drug Topamax (topiramate).
Fen-Phen was recalled by the FDA because of reports of heart damage.
During the drug trial, 756 patients who took the highest dose of Qnexa lost the most weight when compared to those who took a mid-dose or placebo pill.
Study participants were asked to cut back 500 calories a day and to exercise at least three times a week.
More trials are expected in 2009 and the company hopes to file for FDA approval in late 2009. The company says itis also studying Qnexa as a treatment for diabetes.
The FDA approved fenfluramine in 1973 and phentermine in 1959. Phentermine continues to be marketed to present day under the prescription brand names Ionamin and Adipex.
In 1997, the fenfluramine component of the fen-phen combination was removed from the market after the FDA discovered that the drug combination was responsible for an alarmingly high occurrence of heart valve defects and a deadly condition known as primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH).
Fen-phen was originally manufactured by the American Home Products Corporation (now known as Wyeth Pharmaceuticals). To date, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against former American Home Products by individuals injured by fen-phen.
Diet and exercise, including foods low on the glycemic scale, are increasingly being found to be the best prescription for losing weight. #