A new drug 'Qnexa' which is a
combination of 2 existing slimming drugs- phentermine and topiramate can help
women drop two dress sizes in a year has been developed by scientists at the
Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina. Phentermine is an amphetamine-based
slimming drug and topiramate is an epilepsy drug linked to weight loss.
It has been reported that Qnexa has
health benefits, including reduction of the blood pressure and levels of
dangerous blood fats and sugar. This new drug has twice the slimming power of
the existing obesity treatment prescribed by GP's (Tab. Orlistat).
During the study 2,500 overweight
and obese Americans who were part of the study were either given variable doses
of Qnexa once a day or a placebo pill. This regime was carried on for a year. It
was found that subjects who were given high doses of Qnexa lost 10.2kg
(22pounds) weight with certain lifestyle interventions. Up to 21% of people who
were given Qnexa experienced side-effects including tingling, dizziness and
constipation. Some even reported of anxiety and depression.
However few concerns about the
safety of this drug have been raised and the manufacturers have been asked to
produce more data before it is approved for sale. Last year the FDA citing
health concerns refused to approve Qnexa. Phentermine has been temporarily
withdrawn from the market as there are fears of heart damage, while topiramate
has been linked to birth defects, memory problems and mood changes. If Qnexa
gets the FDA approval then it can be a valuable treatment for obesity.