Qnexa: Can This New Weight Loss Pill Really Help You Lose Weight?

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Qnexa is a new FDA-approved, anti-obesity drug. The drug would be the first obesity drug approved by the FDA in 13 years. That fact alone got a lot of dieters taking notice. The Food and Drug Administration is known for its stringent standards when it comes to approving drugs. There is a long list of anti-obesity drugs that were rejected by the FDA. And surprise, even newfangled slimming drug Qnexa was rejected by the FDA in 2010!

But now that Qnexa had been given the green light, health experts are expecting millions of Qnexa prescriptions.

How Does Qnexa Work?

Unlike other anti-obesity drugs that boast of “innovative” or “breakthrough” ingredients and whatnot, Qnexa’s main ingredients are hardly ever revolutionary. In fact, Qnexa is comprised of two previously FDA-approved slimming ingredients, phentermine—an appetite suppressant—and topiramate, an anti-convulsant. The result is weight loss. Of course, the drug has to be taken in the right dosage in order to achieve the desired results.

The Dangers of Qnexa

The infamous diet pill Fen-Phen released in the 80s has phentermine as its active ingredient. That drug was soon pulled out from the public because the ingredients of the Fen-Phen diet pills cause damage to the heart valves.

Phentermine works by stimulating the body to release catecholamines. Catecholamines are hormones released by the adrenal gland. The catecholamine hormone is usually released when a person is under stress. This hormone has two side effects that could harm the heart – increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure with palpitations.

Although diet pills containing phentermine could result in weight loss, long-term use would result in serious heart problems.

On the other hand, Qnexa’s second active ingredient, topiramate, is an effective appetite suppressant. It’s an old drug that’s often used in other diet pills. However, just like phentermine, topiramate is also known to cause serious health problems when taken long-term.

Unlike phentermine that could cause the deterioration of the heart, topiramate causes the deterioration of your mental and emotional health. Topiramate is linked to confusion, memory loss, and psychomotor slowing. This active ingredient can also cause suicidal tendencies, depression, and anxiety. The incidence of cleft palate in babies is dramatically higher in women who have history of taking topiramate-based diet pills.

Does Qnexa Really Help You Lose Weight?

The weight loss effects of Qnexa’s two active ingredients—phentermine and topiramate—are well-documented. Most health experts agree that Qnexa does help people lose a moderate amount of weight but in order to keep the weight off for good, you’d have to take Qnexa for the rest of your life. And doing so will lead to serious heart, cognitive, and mental problems.

Suffice it to say, Qnexa is not the magic pill that will help you lose enormous amount of weight without some kind of tradeoff.

Some health experts also avoid prescribing newly approved drugs for at least two years in order to get more marketing data on the product. Women in childbearing age should avoid taking Qnexa at all costs. Most fitness experts and doctors agree that exercise and diet is far more effective and a lot less dangerous than taking diet pills — even FDA-approved ones.

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