Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review of Weight loss Drugs : Qnexa, Contrave, Lorcaserin, Sibutramine & Rimonabant

Day by day, obesity has been becoming a more growing concern among people. For many overweight people, it is too hard to maintain their work and daily activities. Till now, many weight-loss medicines came in market but the failures have been more than the successes as only few drugs have shown proper result. For the obesity, Pharmacotherapy has a bothered past and future, according to Dr. Kevin Niswender who is an obesity expert at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The main problem with weight loss drugs is that people wrongly believe that they do not require the harder work of exercise and dieting if they take any weight loss drug. Obesity experts or doctors who specially treat obese patients say that weight loss drugs should be utilized as an adjunct to lifestyle change. Here is a review of some latest weight-loss medications.

1. Qnexa

Manufactured by Vivus, Qnexa is a new prescription weight loss drug approved by FDA. Qnexa has been recommended for approval by an expert advisory panel on October, 2010. Qnexa induces considerably greater weight loss as it simultaneously targets satiety and appetite.

Qnexa is a new prescription weight loss drug approved by FDA

Ingredients : Qnexa is made up of two weight loss medications: an appetite suppressant, phentermine and anticonvulsant drug topiramate which offers weight loss but has some side effect.

Studies for Weight-loss: As per the literature from the company, a study conducted in 1,542 obese and overweight patients has shown that patients who took Qnexa for above a year lost an average of 13.2% on higher dose and 10.5% lower dose of their body weight in comparison to 2.4% of weight loss in the placebo group.

Diet and Exercise: Along with the medication, it is suggested to take a good diet and also do some exercise. Ask your doctor for what could be right for you along with the drug.

Conclusion: According to the manufacturer, Qnexa is to be well-tolerated. The most common side effects of the drug include itching, tingling, altered taste, dry mouth, and constipation. The main concern of the advisory panel regarding the drug was its potential to lead to birth defects in women of child-bearing age and a raise in heart rate in some people.

2. Contrave

Orexigen Therapeutics Inc.’s Contrave has been recommended for approval by an expert advisory panel, FDA on December 7, 2010. It works to temper appetite and also to control cravings in the highly complex behavior-reward center of brain.


Ingredients : Contrave is a combination of two drugs that already utilized for other health conditions: The antidepressant drug bupropion that is also utilized to help people quit smoking and the drug naltrexone, an antidote to overdose of Heroin which is also used to treat alcoholic cravings.

Studies for Weight-loss: A study conducted in 1,453 obese or overweight patients found that people who are on Contrave lost 6.1% (higher dose) and 5% (lower dose) of their initial body weight in comparison to a 1.3% loss in the placebo group. In this study, half of the people are observed for more than a year. The study is published in the Lancet. Another study that published online in the journal Obesity in June and incorporated training in diet and exercise has shown an average 9.3% weight loss on the higher dose in comparison to 5.1% with a placebo.

Diet and Exercise: While taking Contrave, it is recommended to follow a low-calorie and a low-fat diet and also regular exercise program. The drug has no effect on stomach so there is no need to avoid specific foods or a particular style of eating.

Conclusion: As the initial clinical studies and plenty of research conducted on the product, Contrave is good for weight loss. However, it may not be right choice for all because of its possible side effects and some drug interactions. With Contrave, some people have experienced a modest increase (1.5 mm Hg) in blood pressure. Some side effects like constipation, nausea and headache were also reported in some patients. Most likely, the Contrave will be utilized to cure clinical obesity and available on prescription only. It is important to consult doctor before considering Contrave for weight-loss.

3. Lorcaserin (Lorqess)

Developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals, Lorcaserin (Lorqess) is a neurotransmittering appetite suppressant that works on the serotonin receptors of the brain.

Lorcaserin (Lorqess)

Ingredients: As a selective 5-HT2C serotonin receptor agonist, Lorcaserin stimulates the receptors positioned in the hypothalamus or control center for appetite and metabolism to suppress appetite.

Studies for Weight-loss: In July, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine included 1,599 obese or overweight patients for a year and found that patients who are on lorcaserin dropped an average of 5.8% of their original body weight in comparison to 2.2% in the placebo group. Second trial has shown an average of 5.9% weight loss in comparison to 2.8% in the placebo group in approximately 2,000 obese or overweight patients who took drug for a year.

Diet and Exercise: During the study of Lorcaserin, the group members involved in study have not monitored their diet or exercise.

Conclusion: Studies have demonstrated that Lorcaserin has shown good activities as an appetite suppressant. Side effects reported in studies were dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, headache, vomiting and urinary tract infections. Headache was the most common but side effects have been considered as acceptable. Concerns about tumor growth in animal studies have been mentioned by the FDA advisory panel.

4. Sibutramine (Meridia)

Sibutramine is known as Meridia in Canada & America and Reductil in Europe. It is a weight loss medication that is only provided to obese people who have BMI 30 or more than it. It is slow acting slimming pill.

Sibutramine (Meridia)

Ingredient: Meridia contains sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate as an active ingredient. It is an orally administered drug. To suppress appetite, the sibutramine acts to raise levels of two norepinephrine and serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain.

Studies for Weight-loss: In the 1990s, researches have shown that 2/3rd of patients who took Meridia dropped 5% or more of their initial body weight throughout a one-year period. After the approval of drug, subsequent studies have found a more modest effect as the Meridia produced only 2.5% more weight loss rather than a placebo.

Diet and Exercise: The Meridia is recommended to take by simply following a diet and exercise plan as it may help you to gain a more success in staying the weight off for the long term.

Conclusion: Meridia is scientifically proven to work but if you are extremely over weight, you have to try other doctor prescribed slimming pill. A study carried out among 10,000 obese and overweight people after the approval of drug found a 16% raised risk of cardiac problems like heart attack and stroke, connected with the drug. By considering these dangerous side effects, Meridia may not be safer drug. Meridia maker, Abbott obeyed the agency's request in October to pull the medicine from the market as it showed more risk compared to benefit.

5. Rimonabant (Zimulti, Acomplia)

Rimonanbant commonly known as Zimultia and Acomplia is an anti-obesity medication that suppresses the appetite. To use this diet pill, users must have a body mass index (BMI) more than 27. The drug acts by blocking the cannabinoid receptor.

Rimonabant (Zimulti, Acomplia)
Ingredient: The active ingredient contained by Acomplia is Rimonabant which is a selective cannabinoid receptor type 1 blocker. Cannabinoids are naturally producing chemicals in the body that are associated to THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient of marijuana, which stimulates hunger.

Studies for Weight-loss : In the Lancet 2007, a summary of four clinical trials was published which shows that patients who are on rimonabant for one year dropped an average of 10 pounds more than the patients who are on placebos. Among them, one North American study that included 1,602 obese or overweight people found that half of the patients who are on higher-dose dropped more than 5% of their initial body weight while 1/5th dropped that amount in the placebo group.

Diet and Exercise : Rimonabant is usually recommended to be taken along with a low calorie, well-balanced diet and a regular exercise program.

Conclusion : Rimonabant helps people in weight loss but several other benefits are also related with the weight loss drug. Along with weight loss, the drug also helps people to quit from smoking. It also provides weight-related benefits like changing the levels of HDL (good cholesterol), CRP (C-reactive protein) and triglyceride. The common side effect of rimonabant is extreme depression and anxiety. Due to side effects, the agency took the drug in to consideration in 2006-2007 however never approved it. The drug's manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis withdrew its application in 2007 in the U.S. and stopped its development efforts in 2008.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More