Proposed weight loss drug Qnexa has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but if approved, thousands of children could suffer Qnexa birth defects.

Qnexa Contains Dangerous Drug Topamax

Qnexa is a combination of two drugs that are known to aid in weight loss–Phentermine and Topamax. Phentermine is a stimulant that is used to suppress appetite.  Topamax, generic name topiramate, is a medication approved to treat seizures and prevent migraines.

Doctors have already been prescribing Topamax to women to aid their weight loss.  But many women currently taking Topamax are of child-bearing age. Studies have found that even when women take birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, Topamax reduces the effectiveness of these hormonal contraceptives, increasing the chances that a woman will get pregnant.

Many women who do become pregnant while taking Topamax do not realize that they are pregnant until months after they have been taking the drug.  Additionally, Topamax can cause serious birth defects even if discontinued after the first trimester.

FDA Committee Endorses Qnexa

The FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee voted on February 28, 2012 to endorse Qnexa. Qnexa had previously been rejected by the FDA because of its potential to cause birth defects like cleft lips and cleft palates, which can severely affect a baby’s growth and development.

Topamax use during pregnancy can increase the risk that a child will have a birth defect by a factor of two to five. But experts think the FDA will still approve Qnexa despite the risk. In the past decade, the FDA has faced intense pressure from healthcare providers to approve a weight loss drug and reduce the high rate of obesity in the United States. Some experts even say the FDA should approve a potentially unsafe weight loss drug, because reversing obesity will outweigh any drug’s risk.

Millions of Women May Take Qnexa

If Qnexa is approved as a long-term weight loss drug, potentially millions of women of child-bearing age may take the drug as a way to lose weight.  But Qnexa may also cause birth defects in thousands of children. Yet, big pharma will still yield profits of anywhere between $1 billion and $3 billion for this new lifestyle drug.

Qnexa has already been linked to heart palpitations, memory loss, and suicidal thoughts, along with birth defects.  If approved, Qnexa could become the next dangerous drug to hit the market.

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