UPDATE [1/10/12]: The FDA announced this week that a major contraindication has been lifted from the weight loss drug Qnexa, broadening the potential market for the drug. Previously, the FDA was concerned that women of childbearing age who ingested one of the drug’s ingredients might have children with a higher rate of birth defects, but further research has shown the danger is only present for women who took the drug during pregnancy. Some experts expect the drug will be approved by the spring.
There is a new weight loss drug on the horizon. Qnexa, from parent company Vivus, Inc., consists of a combination of two prescription drugs – Phentermine and Topiramate. It has been effective in clinical studies at helping those who take it lose up to 15 percent of their body weight. There have also been indicators of increasing some cardiovascular actions. In addition, Qnexa also appears to improve sleep apnea, a condition in which those who suffer can stop breathing during their sleep cycles.
Phentermine is well known by dieters, but Topiramate has not been used in the weight loss field. It is prescribed as an anti-convulsant, but patients who have used it have reported weight loss as a side effect. It is also prescribed under the name Topamax for migraine use. Combining the two medications together has shown to increase the weight loss results of either drug when it was taken singly. Multiple levels of each drug have been combined in field testing, and the company feels that they have found the “magic” levels.
Qnexa works as an appetite suppressant, allowing a patient to eat markedly less and still feel full. It’s been hailed as the most effective weight loss medication since Fen-Phen. (more…)
With Lipitor becoming generic, Pfizer pharmaceuticals has decided to venture into the realm of weight loss medicine. Currently the only approved weight loss drugs that are available by prescription are Xenical and stimulants like phentermine, Adderall or Ritalin. Utilizing a different pathway, Pfizer hopes to control a patient’s appetite as opposed to stimulating the body’s functions to possibly control the market once more.
The new drug currently called OAP-189 is an appetite suppressant and mimics the body’s hormones that signal when someone feels full. Like adopotide, this currently is a drug injected into the subcutaneous fat in the skin. More research will need to be conducted to see if an oral option could still provide the same results. The most common side effect right now appears to be nausea and the researchers are hoping that by purifying the compound it will more closely mimic the body’s natural hormones that control hunger thereby minimizing side effects.
With the help of a new medication, fat may be getting its eviction notice from your body very soon. A new experimental drug called Adipotide cuts off blood supply to fat cells causing them to die. A very innovative idea compared to the current weight loss drug options.
Current weight loss drugs that are available control the appetite, increase the body’s temperature, and decrease the amount of fat absorbed from the diet. Adipotide is targeted to a specific protein called prohibitin that is highly populated on blood vessels that lead to fat cells. Without blood supporting the growth of these fat cells they cannot sustain themselves. The dead cells are reabsorbed into the body.
Currently Adipotide is in the beginning stages of testing. The concept came from a scientist developing a cancer drug trying to cut off the blood supply to cancerous cells so they would not continue to grow. Most clinical trials begin with rats and if considered safe usually move on to healthy male subjects. Adipotide was initially tested in rats and the results showed a 30 percent decrease in body weight. The next step was to test in monkeys, being that they are the species that most closely resembles humans. Adipotide was administered to the monkeys by injection and the dosage was based on their weight. It was given to them for 28 days and then they had a 28-day rest period. What they discovered was that obese monkeys lost about 11 percent of their body weight. (more…)
By Jason Brick
The weight loss industry is so filled with scams that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a guide about recognizing unscrupulous weight loss advertising. The introduction to that guide included the following condemnation:
“The public must adopt a healthy skepticism about advertising that promises miracles and ‘scientific breakthroughs’ and face the reality that there are no fast and easy fixes for overweight and obesity.”
It doesn’t even take a doctor or certified personal trainer to tell the scams from the real deals. You just need to look for these tell-tale signs that a weight loss program isn’t on the level.
Unrealistic weight claim losses
After the beginning days of a diet, when you’ve dropped water weight, authorities in the health field say the maximum rate of healthy, sustainable weight loss is one to two pounds per week.
If a plan claims faster weight loss, one of two things is probably going on. The advertisers may be publishing claims of atypical or imaginary results, or the diet is based on unhealthy practices that won’t give you the long-term weight loss you’re seeking. (more…)
Don’t you wish you could be like Alice in Wonderland and drink a magic potion and you’d be smaller? Many diet aids claim to do just that. But before you go running to the diet aisle here are a few things you should know:
1. They are not evaluated or approved by the FDA. This means these products do not go under the same safety and efficacy scrutiny as a prescription you get filled from your friendly neighborhood pharmacist. If you are someone who has diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or any other health conditions or are taking any prescription medications you definitely want to check with a doctor first before you start to take anything.
It’s no secret that people are often searching for the next diet miracle. From two-day diet pills to 24-hour diets, people are constantly searching for quick fixes to aid their weight loss efforts.
With summer swimsuit season fast-approaching, Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and host of the daily medical talk show, The Dr. Oz Show, has presented a new way for people to drop pounds: with African Mango extract.
According to Dr. Oz, African Mango extract comes from a mango fruit that is grown naturally in African rainforests. African Mango, which is said to be one of the only weight management agents found in nature, is also rumored to have properties that help regulate cholesterol.
Tune in to the Dr. Oz show this Thursday, March 17 to learn about the new trend of combining diet pills. Some claim they have had great success with few negative consequences by taking several different diet drugs at the same time, to achieve a more potent effect. But are there other concerns to consider?
“It is roulette when you’re mixing drugs together,” says Dr. Oz, but he also has guests who may disagree, including two other medical professionals. This show will take a look at both sides of the debate over “combo pilling.”
Many people turn to diet pills for a quick fix in their weight loss problems. From Hoodia to Green Tea, almost every day a new diet supplement appears, promising speedy, effortless weight loss.
Diet pills are most often stimulants, working to decrease your appetite, curb cravings and boost your metabolism. Sold over the counter, they often have no regulation from the FDA and are often subject to recalls and lawsuits. The two most notable diet pills to have been approved by the FDA, Xenical and Meridia, have been riddled with problems and Meridia has been withdrawn. Most diet pills are taken off the market within five years of FDA approval. Almost all of them are taken off the market for increased heart risks and have even been linked to deaths.
However, there is a new diet pill on the horizon, set to be approved by the FDA as early as next month, and it is a different type all together. A combination of an antidepressant and an anti-addiction medication, Contrave is the newest and most exciting weight loss drug to hit the market in recent years.
An Army Times article reported this week that soldiers are taking drastic steps to meet the military’s weight standards. Soldiers have admitted to taking diet pills and laxatives, starving themselves and getting liposuction in order to meet what some see as impossibly low weight standards.
“Liposuction saved my career — laxatives and starvation before a PFT sustains my career,” an anonymous soldier told the weekly paper. “I, for one, can attest that soldiers are using liposuction, laxatives and starvation to meet height and weight standards. I did, do and still do.”
Almost half of all uniformed men and women in the US Army do not meet the weight standards, according to a 2009 military fitness report, and those officers are then made to use tape measurements to determine body fat percentage. If the percentages are too high, the soldiers cannot earn promotions or hold leadership roles. A further failure to lose weight is grounds for job loss. More than 24,000 soldiers were discharged between 1992 and 2007 for failure to meet weight standards.
Tune in this Monday, November 22 to the Dr. Oz Show when Dr. Oz gives you a list of his best and worst health products of 2010.
This past year saw a surge of new diet and health products hitting grocery shelves and health food stores. On the show, Dr. Oz gives you the black and white picture of just how effective these products were at holding up to their health claims. Learn about the gold stars (and the lumps of coal) in supplements, diet pills, metabolism boosters, weight loss secrets, packaged foods, snacks and more.
Plus, learn if you should order this or that when dining out when the best and worst restaurant foods are also revealed.