Qnexa weight loss pill
7 Healthcast: Qnexa weight loss pill
A prescription weight loss drug has cleared a major hurdle in hitting pharmacy shelves now that Federal Advisors have voted to recommend its approval.
While there's no magic weight loss pill, a drug called Qnexa now has the potential to help millions of overweight Americans shed pounds.
"The average person who takes Qnexa can lose about 10 percent of their body weight and maintain that weight loss for up to two years," said Dr. Louis Aronne, New York Presbyterian Hospital.
An advisory panel to the FDA has voted to recommend approval for Qnexa. It would be the first new prescription weight loss drug in more than a decade.
Qnexa is a combination of two appetite suppressants including one called Phentermine.
You may remember Phentermine -- it's considered safe but was part of the notorious Fenphen that was taken off the market years ago after it was linked to heart valve problems.
The FDA advisors scrutinized the latest safety data on Qnexa not once, but twice, originally voting to reject the drug in 2010.
But many doctors say they've been using the medications that comprise Qnexa off-label in patients for more than a decade safely and successfully.
"When we use these types of treatments, people are able to stick with a low-calorie diet program. They're more enthusiastic about exercising because they see success," said Dr. Louis Aronne.
The potential for further success is significant. More than two thirds of Americans are considered overweight or obese.
The FDA is expected to make a final decision on Qnexa later this spring.
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