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New diet pill helps obese people lose 15% of their body weight
09-13-2009, 06:04 PM,
New diet pill helps obese people lose 15% of their body weight
Quote:A new pill that tackles obesity has helped overweight people lose up to 15 per cent of their mass - and it could be on sale in Britain in two years.

Trials of the breakthrough drug Qnexa have shown it to be more effective than any other weight-loss medication on the market.

Experts claim that patients can lose as much weight with Qnexa as they would if they had obesity surgery.

Tests showed that patients on a high dose lost almost 15 per cent of their body weight, and even patients on a low dose of the drug achieved weight loss of eight per cent.

Dr Kishore Gadde, director of obesity clinical trials at Duke University in North Carolina, who led the study, said: 'The weight loss observed with Qnexa in these trials far exceeds the weight loss observed for other obesity drugs.'

The pill is being assessed by the American government's watchdog, the Foods and Drugs Administration, after completing its final trials.

Qnexa is described as a 'smart drug' because it is a combination of two medicines. These are phentermine, which has been used to control weight since the 1950s, and Topiramate a drug licensed for epilepsy that has been show to cause weight loss.

Both are slowly released into the body during the day so there is no time where a patient feels the desire to eat.

In total, 3,750 obese people at 93 sites were tested. The average weight loss over 56 weeks was 14.7 per cent of body weight, with one woman who weighed 16st 9lb losing four-and-a-half stone during the trial.

Dr Louis Aronne of New York Presbyterian Hospital, who carried one of the trials, described the results as 'spectacular'.

He added: 'We are in desperate need of more options and effective drugs to treat obesity and the results of this trial were extremely encouraging.'

'The results we were getting were as least as good as someone who was losing weight after gastric band surgery.'

Patients taking Qnexa also saw improvements in their blood pressure, heart health and were less likely to develop type2diabetes.

Many other diet pills have been found to have unpleasant and sometimes dangerous side effects, but Qnexa was linked with only minor side effects in some people including nausea, insomnia and dry mouth.

Obesity expert Dr Mitchell Roslin of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York described the Qnexa results as very impressive.

He said that the reported weight loss approached that of the Fen-Phen combination drug that swept the diet drug market in the early 1990s but was withdrawn after being linked to serious heart problems.

A spokesman for Qnexa's California-based manufacturer Vivus said it would market the drug in the UK and Europe once it had gained a licence in the US.
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