A ConsumerReports.org article disagrees with experts who recently voted in an overwhelming majority that the Food and Drug Administration should approve the weight loss drug Qnexa and postpone important studies to monitor it for side effects until after its approval. Instead, the article argues that studies should be done before FDA approval because Qnexa contains Topamax and phentermine, both drugs that have been associated with dangerous side effects.
Topamax (topiramate) carries with it warnings about glaucoma, depression, mood problems, and more importantly, an increased risk of birth defects in pregnant women, which is the current subject of Topamax lawsuits, and Phentermine carries with it a warning about possible heart-valve problems.
As you might guess, it is due to these significant warnings that Marvin Lipman, M.D. chief medical advisor for Consumer Reports, writes this in respones to the 20-to-2 vote, “Post-approval surveillance is not a very safe quid pro quo since this drug will be used by millions—perhaps with dire consequences. The components of Qnexa are known entities with impressive side effects.”
The article goes on to give great advice, recommending that weight-loss drugs and supplements should be avoided because of marginal weight loss benefits combined with side effects that can be troublesome or dangerous.
“If you need to lose weight,” the article concludes, “increasing exercise and limiting portion size when it comes to food are better options.”