Published on February 22nd, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
FDA Panel Backs Obesity Drug Qnexa Despite Concern Over Side Effects
A new drug to battle obesity, Qnexa, is one step closer to market, gaining the approval of a Food Drug Administration panel despite concerns over certain side effects.
The FDA previously rejected the drug in October of 2010, citing potential cardiovascular side effects associated with the use of one of the drugs that make up part of combination, phentermine. The other drug used in Qnexa, the migraine medication Topamax, has been associated with certain birth defects, which is another concern that has prevented the drug from gaining approval. But the drug’s maker, Vivus, cited a gaping hole in the market for medications to assist patients with weight loss, and noted that dieting and bariatric surgery are the only options currently available for patients seeking help in shedding excess weight.
One of the panel doctors acknowledged that despite potential side effects, Qnexa holds promise for millions of Americans struggling with obesity:
“There is an urgent need for better pharmacologic options for individual patients with obesity. I believe Qnexa demonstrated a meaningful efficacy benefit and that there are consequences to not treating obesity.”
A decision on Qnexa is expected to be handed down in April.