Scientists have developed a fat-busting wonder drug that has more than double the slimming power of an over-the-counter pill. Qnexa contains a combination of two drugs called phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine has similar pharmacological properties to amphetamines and acts by reducing appetite, while topiramate was originally marketed as an anti-epilepsy drug.
A two year study’s results released by American researchers on the 4 April 2011 found that Qnexa not only reduced weight but actually reduced blood pressure as well improved lipid levels, waist circumference, lowered cholesterol, and decreased triglycerides by as much as 26%. There was also a 19% decrease in the number of patients who where taking high blood pressure medication during these trials.
The CONQUER study is composed of 2487 overweight patients approx 70% female and 30% male. These people also had high blood pressure, high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes and was performed over 93 different centers in the US. Not only was weight loss of 10% achieved in many patients; there was also an improvement in blood pressure and lipid levels. Many news sources claim that the drug leads to double the weight loss of Orlistat, which is one of the drugs approved to treat obesity. The research found that Qnexa “compares favourably” with Orlistat.
Several side effects experienced were dry mouth, taste problems, constipation, insomnia, depression, and irritability and anxiety with high doses. The researchers note that the psychiatric adverse events were mainly during the early phase of treatment and they disappeared when the drug was discontinued. The researchers conclude that their drug combining topiramate and phentermine, when given along with lifestyle interventions, could be “added to the limited number of available treatments for obesity”.
If the drug is approved for use in the USA, an application to the EU may then follow for consideration of the treatment under European regulations and systems. Until these full reviews of Qnexa’s efficacy and safety, the drug should be considered to be at an investigational stage, and a full review of its safety and efficacy is needed before people can start taking it.