Qnexa may soon be on the market, available for overweight people with a prescription; but do the possible benefits outweigh the risks?
Medical experts have approved the use of Qnexa to help people lose weight.
Wednesday’s endorsement of the controversial Qnexa paves the way for the Food and Drug Administration to approve it; if the FDA will issue a final ruling later this year and if approved, Qnexa would be the first new obesity prescription approved since 1999.
The decision comes after Qnexa was voted down in 2010 amidst concerns about the drug’s risk of heart problems and birth defects. Meanwhile, other drug makers are also resubmitting their FDA applications for their own weigh-loss drugs.
When we first heard about Qnexa, we reached out to world-class physician, nutrition and exercise expert, Dr. Pamela Peeke, for her views on weight-loss drugs—and what she thinks about Qnexa.
The bottom line? Dr. Peeke says steer clear of this purported weight-loss drug – and any others, for that matter.
When you think drugs, the answer is, absolutely none, zero, zip – there are no drugs, that work safely, stresses Dr. Peeke, author of Body for Life for Women, Fight Fat After Forty, and Fit to Live. “The best drug I use is a pair of sneakers. It’s cheaper anyway. Utilize your own chemistry – increase your endorphins, increase your serotonin, increase your dopamine.”
Related: 6 Ways to Kickstart Your Workout
Certain concerns about the drug centered around the ingredient phentermine, an appetite suppressant and a member of the amphetamine family. Known side effects include sleeplessness, diarrhea, changes in sex drive, and irritability, among others.
“It’s really – in the past – been only approved for short-term use. You don’t take it any longer than 12 weeks or so … and clearly with the massive amount of weight that has to be dropped in the grand number of people, that’s a heck of a lot of stuff you have to take. Then what happens when you get off it?” asked Dr. Peeke. “The question is, do you need more and more of it over time? It’s kind of an unknown.”
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