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title pic FDA Panel Recommends New Diet Pill

Posted by Deborah Pujoue on April 2, 2012

FDA Panel Recommends New Diet Pill

While many moms are always on the hunt for a little bit of help when trying to get rid of that pesky baby weight, the newest diet pill to potentially be approved by the FDA is definitely not the answer for women who are or may become pregnant.

Qnexa was recently recommended for approval by the FDA panel (the first new diet pill approved in a decade) but should come with some major warnings first. Why? Qnexa is composed of an epilepsy medication that has been linked to birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drug while pregnant. Let me explain: Qnexa’s primary weight loss additive is the drug topamirate (Topamax) which is approved as an anti-seizure medication for epileptics. However, research has shown that Topamax causes birth defects, including PPHN, cleft palate, neural tube defects and heart, lung and brain defects to babies exposed to the drug in-utero.

While Qnexa hasn’t be officially approved by the FDA yet, agency officials rarely go against the advice of the panel, even though they can. The final decision isn’t expected to come out until April 17, but it is certainly a cause for alarm. When Topamax was being prescribed to epileptic patients, it was discovered that one of the drug’s side effects was weight loss. From there it was only a matter of time before some drug company used that to their advantage. In the end, it was Vivus that capitalized off of the topamirate’s side effects.

If you are thinking of losing weight and are hoping to have babies, you may want to skip over the Qnexa as an aid in your efforts. With information posted on, the panel vote in favor of Qnexa was “20 to two in favor of a question that asked whether the overall benefit-risk assessment supports approval of Qnexa.” While I am in favor of getting help with losing weight, I am more in favor of people doing it safely. After all, what good is the weight loss if you are too ill to enjoy it?

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