New Experimental Diet Drug Tested in Birmingham Shows Promise

With shocking reports of the overall increase in the rate of obesity in America all over the news and in the media, there has never been a better time for a new diet drug that could actually work for people. There are many clinical trials for obesity and weight loss, but do they produce results? Well, in recent clinical research taking place at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, a new experimental drug called Qnexa has shown some positive signs.

So far, the new diet drug has proven in clinical trials that it can help obese people to not only lose the weight, but also keep it off for two years based on the reports from clinical researchers. Qnexa is a combines the appetite suppressant phentermine with the anti-seizure drug called topiramate to achieve the results.

The primary concern when it comes to developing new weight loss drugs are safety concerns. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is very strict when it comes to approving new weight loss drugs for the market. Back in 1997, a weight loss drug known as “fen-phen” had to be withdrawn from the market after it was reported that it could cause fatal heart valve problems. So ever since that event, the issue for pharmaceutical companies has been developing a drug that can be effective and safe.

The road to market approval for Qnexa has by no means been a smooth one. The FDA actually rejected the diet drug last year for safety concerns, which included some clinical participants who experienced elevated rates as well as potential birth defects for pregnant users. Vivus Inc. was able to get the FDA to accept a new application of Qnexa just last month, and now it is seeking final approval to the market.

These latest clinical research studies being conducted for Qnexa are extensions from earlier clinical trials that were done using a placebo test control group. What the research shows is that obese people who take the diet drug, and make some lifestyle changes, will undoubtedly lose more weight in a year than those who took a placebo pill. At the end of two years, the clinical trial participants who took Qnexa had lost about ten percent of their starting weight on average. The people who had been given the placebo lost about 2 percent on average by the end of two years.

Another benefit that appeared during the clinical trials was that the participants who were given Qnexa saw a decrease in their chances of getting diabetes. During the clinical study, their blood sugar and insulin levels dropped. About 4 percent of the participants who were given the placebo developed diabetes per year. Of the participants who were given a higher dose of Qnexa, only 1 percent developed diabetes each year of the study.

Qnexa still faces a bit of an uphill climb before it will be approved for the market. In fact, there is no guarantee it will ever get there. There were some participants who opted out of the clinical trial due to the side effects they experienced on Qnexa. Some people experienced respitory problems, dry mouth, and some tingling sensations. To date, there is only one weight loss drug which has been approved for long term use known as Xenical, and this drug has been known to cause side effects as well. Only the future will tell whether Qnexa can pass the gauntlet and be approved for use in the market.


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