In Mid April, the Food and Drug Administration will decide on whether to accept or deny Qnexa, a medical treatment being tested to treat obesity. Qnexa is a combination medication consisting of both phentermine and topiramate, two already used drugs on the market. It consists of small amounts of both drug but it maker Vivus Inc, has tested specific amounts with special release formulations and has created a very powerful weight loss product.
While the testing has produced very favorable results, the issue remains if the side effects are too hazardous for it to be accepted as a diet drug. It also goes without saying that if Qnexa is indeed accepted, it will only be available with a medical doctors prescription.
FDA and Qnexa?
On Feb 22nd 2012 the FDA had a medical advisory panel consider the benefits verses risks of Qnexa and after deliberation had a vote on whether to recommend it for approval or not. The resulting vote was in 20-2 in favor or accepting Qnexa as a treatment for obesity. With the vote the panel members were to give reasons as to why they would recommend approval or disapproval and it came up on a number or occasions the reason they would recommend the approval of Qnexa was that currently there are very little options for doctors when trying to help out the obese.
[box type="important"]The effectiveness also was a key important factor in many of their decisions. But there was caution in several of their voices. There has been some side effects reported with it including cleft palate in fetus concerns that would most likely result in limits for women of child-bearing age.[/box]
How Does Qnexa Work?
The medications that create Qnexa are both phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine has been used for decades for weight loss and topiramate is mainly used to treat epilepsy but has also found to be effective to treat other disorders such as migraine headaches. The interesting thing is that very little amounts are actually used in the concoction, but the combination is what really causes very effective weight loss. Several years and thousands of patients have already been in tests with this potential drug and many have lost upwards of 15% of their bodyweight over a 1 year period of time. But with any drug there are always reported side effects and these must be cautiously viewed and respected.
Qnexa Side Effects?
Some of the reported side effects are issues like dry mouth constipation, headaches, nausea, altered taste in one’s mouth, insomnia but the bigger issues are those of possible cardiovascular side effects and cleft palates in fetuses. It has been found that many weight loss drugs companies have created often are stressful on one’s heart.
Qnexa has equally raised some concerns regarding this. In fact it would not be at all surprising if further testing is required on Qnexa either post or pre approval to help provide a better picture of this. Then there is also the fact that one if its ingredients, topiramate has been linked to cleft palate. This is obviously a concern for potential mothers of which, they could be banned from taking such a drug.
A very important aspect that needs to be addressed is that Qnexa would only ever been available with a doctor’s prescription. One of its ingredients, phentermine is a controlled substance. It is a schedule 4 drug meaning it has the potential to be abused. It is not a drug such as ibuprofen or an over the counter medication. It is strictly prescription only.
Is Qnexa Right for You?
The reasons are easy, not only is there potentially abuse issues, but such a powerful medication needs a doctors overview to ensure it is not conflicting with anything else and to monitor possible serious side effects. Qnexa may be available one day but you will have to have a doctor determine if it would actually be beneficial and safe for you.