We are all holding our breath that maybe one or all three of these new weight loss drugs will help many be successful in losing weight without those unwelcome, and sometimes dangerous side effects. Doctors, investors and dieters will be allowed to take in their first observation of the new drugs this week.
These are the first new prescription drugs to come out in more than ten years. Since U.S. obesity rates are close to 35 percent of the adult population, the anticipation is very high. Even a drug that is somewhat effective is very exciting.
However, not one of the three drugs seems to be on the brink of a major success in research. Not much success has come from the makers of drugs when it comes to comprehending and treating the triggers of overeating. With two of the drugs presented for approval, drugs that are already out there were joined together – an anticonvulsant and an amphetamine – but not without troubling side effects. The third drug is a safer medication but seems to be less effective.
Safety issues have always been a problem for decades in the never-ending search for a successful breakthrough weight loss drug. Perhaps the most memorable one was the Wyeth’s diet pill drug combination fen-phen. It was taken off the market in 1997 due to its connection with heart valve damage and lung problems.
The review of Vivus Inc.’s pill Qnexa will be posted by the FDA July 12 and they will hold a public meeting July 14 to review the data. Orexigen Therapeutics Inc.’s Contrave is to be reviewed in October and Aren Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s lorcaserin is to be reviewed in December.
In clinical trials, Qnexa was the winner with the best weight loss results in clinical trials. In this trial, patients lost between 13 and 15 percent of their body weight. On the down side, this drug had the most amount of patients quitting due to undesirable side effects, which included memory and concentration problems.