Navigation Links
New Weight-Loss Drug Shows Promise in Trial
Date:5/11/2012

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new weight-loss drug that is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration showed promising results in a recent international trial, researchers report.

Volunteers who took Qnexa, a combination of the drugs phentermine and topiramate, experienced substantial weight loss, even if they had many weight-related health problems, the study found. The findings were reported this week during the European Congress on Obesity in Lyon, France.

The 56-week clinical trial included 994 patients who took a placebo, 498 who took a medium dose of Qnexa, and 995 who took a high dose of the drug.

Patients who took Qnexa had significantly greater weight loss than those who took the placebo, researchers Stephan Rossner, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and Arya Sharma, of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, said in a news release from the European Congress on Obesity.

Earlier this year, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended that the agency approve the drug for the treatment of obesity. The FDA is scheduled to announce its decision July 17. European officials are expected to make a decision about the combination treatment by mid-summer.

Meanwhile, an FDA advisory panel on Thursday gave its blessing to yet another new weight-loss drug, locaserin, despite lingering concerns about possible cardiac side effects, the Associated Press reported.

Although effective at reducing weight, Qnexa, manufactured by Vivus Inc., was denied approval in 2010 because of its potential side effects. Before making its decision in February, the FDA advisory panel reviewed two years of data on the drug; when advisers previously voted on Qnexa, only one year's worth of follow-up data was available.

Qnexa combines the appetite suppressant phentermine (brand name Adipex-P) and the anti-seizure/migraine medication topiramate (brand name Topamax). Phentermine once was prescribed widely as the "phen" part of the fen-phen weight-loss drug, which was withdrawn from the market in 1997 after its use was linked to both high blood pressure in the lungs and heart valve disease. The problems were related to the "fen," or fenfluramine, part of the combination, not the phentermine, scientists said.

No new weight-loss drug has been approved in the United States in the past 13 years, according to published reports. As it stands, Xenical is the only FDA-approved drug specifically for long-term use -- up to a year -- for weight loss. Xenical is sold over the counter as Alli. Other drugs, however, may be used off-label to promote weight loss.

Last April, a study funded by Vivus found that obese patients taking Qnexa lost an average of 22 pounds over a year, while also lowering their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Dr. Louis Aronne, founder and director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, was cautiously optimistic that Vivus did a good job responding to FDA safety concerns, and that the FDA will give the drug its nod of approval -- with some caveats. Aronne was not involved in the trials but has been an adviser to Vivus and other companies developing weight-loss medications.

Vivus has reported that Qnexa may increase the risk of cleft lip in babies of women who use the drug while pregnant. Aronne said the birth defect concern could be addressed through education on who should and should not use the drug.

"We have learned our lessons with weight-loss drugs," he said. "They need to be used in the right people under the right circumstances." The heart risks need to be weighed against reductions in heart disease risk factors that come with weight loss, he explained.

Qnexa is no riskier than bariatric surgery, Aronne said, but it can be distributed more widely. He hopes for a compromise that allows the new compound to be prescribed but not misused.

"Once new medications are approved, local medical boards will need to enforce rules and make sure these medications are prescribed appropriately to the right candidates," he said. "We don't want to open up pill mills."

Dr. Scott Kahan, an obesity expert at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness in Washington, D.C., agreed that Qnexa looks promising.

"The weight-loss effects are striking and approaching the amount of weight loss over two years that we get with bariatric surgery," Kahan said. "This is really impressive."

More information

Learn more about weight-loss medications at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCES: Louis Aronne, M.D., founder and director, Comprehensive Weight Control Program, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York City; Scott Kahn, M.D., associate director, Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, Baltimore, and director, National Center for Weight and Wellness, Washington, D.C.; European Congress on Obesity, news release, May 12, 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Weight-Loss Surgery Beat Drugs for Cutting Diabetes in Very Obese
2. Weight-Loss Surgeries May Beat Standard Treatments for Diabetes
3. Weight-Loss Surgery Seems Safe for Kidney Disease Patients
4. Mid-morning snacking may sabotage weight-loss efforts
5. Weighing Weight-Loss Programs
6. Weight Watchers Produces Bigger Losers Than Standard Weight-Loss Care
7. U.S. Women Using Dangerous Weight-Loss Pill 2 Years After Recall
8. Weight-Loss Surgery Gains More Practitioners
9. Rigorous Exercise May Boost Benefits of Weight-Loss Surgery
10. Weight-loss surgery cost-effective for all obese
11. Weight-Loss Surgery Helps Less Obese Patients: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New Weight-Loss Drug Shows Promise in Trial
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The Georgia State University College of Law new ... Urban Design Commission. , The annual award recognizes projects, programs, individuals and organizations that ... preservation of its physical heritage and the balance between the old and the new. ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A new update to Xsens popular data analysis ... a common Wi-Fi network and a mobile device. When paired with Xsens MVN or ... and use a mobile device to control the recording. , “The update adds ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... One Florida-based ... potential patients, according to an article published May 13th on Vanity Fair. ... comfortable with having snippets of their procedures broadcast to more than 800,000 Snapchat fans. ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded ... provide veterans a pathway to employment and successful careers in healthcare. On Wednesday, May ... Hallack, President and CEO of Medisend, parent organization and home of the General Myers ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... New studies ... of injured workers across 15 states. The outcomes examined in these studies include ... medical care, and satisfaction with medical care. , “The goal of the studies ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... Zealand , May 24, 2016 ... informatics solutions for the healthcare sector, has been named the ... Zealand Hi-Tech Awards 2016. Dr Bruce Davey ... acknowledgement for our team.  It,s really good to be recognised ... healthcare internationally. Our products are used in 35 countries around ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Celsion ... drug development company, today provided an update on ... escalating clinical trial combining GEN-1, the Company,s DNA-based ... treatment of newly-diagnosed patients with advanced ovarian cancer ... debulking surgery.  GEN-1 is an IL-12 DNA plasmid ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 2016 The innovator of ... , s first dual therapy stent, introduces catheters ... OrbusNeich, a global company specializing in the provision ... include products to treat peripheral artery disease. The JADE™ ... devices for lower limb and arteriovenous (AV) fistula intervention. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: