FDA Tips Scale With ‘Obesity’ Pill Qnexa


How do you approach weight loss? For some it’s good ol’ diet and exercise. For others it could be a new “anti-obesity” drug.

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel endorsed the previously rejected pill that saw a scale-tipping 10% drop in most patients’ overall weight after a year.

FDA scientists called for a mandatory cardiovascular safety study because Qnexa can increase heart rate and cause heart palpitations – just some minor heart problems (no biggie!).

Johanna Kandel, founder and CEO of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, says the lack of long term data and the fact that people need the drug to maintain weight loss shows it doesn’t change emotional behavior.

“People use food to numb, to stuff feelings, and to cope with life. We must look at working with the whole person (mind and body ) when working to treat obesity,” she stated.

Although marketed to older folks, the drug can be detrimental to teens. Childhood obesity tripled over the last 30 years and Kandel fears many teens could see Qnexa as a “quick” fix.

Some concerns:

  • Taking extra pills to lose weight faster.
  • ”Skinny-Minnies” who don’t fit Qnexa’s criteria start using/abusing the drug.
  • Those struggling with anorexia or bulimia take the pill.

“We don’t know enough about it,” Kandel pointed out. “The long term consequences are still questionable and the long term impact on how people will use/abuse it is still unknown. “

A final decision on the weight loss pill is expected by mid-April.

What Can You Do?

For more info on how to safely jump start your exercise/nutrition regimen check out our Health and Fitness section.