Weight-Loss Drug Gets Another Chance

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The beginning of 2011 was rough for emerging weight-loss drugs as the Food and Drug Administration put the kibosh on many up-and-coming medications geared to fight obesity, like Contrave and Qnexa, which seemed promising, as well as Meridia, which was pulled off shelves due to its negative effects on the heart.

The FDA demanded that the maker of Contrave, Orexigen, conduct longer, more thorough studies before the drug would be considered. Orexigen originally dropped pursuit of US approval this summer, but announced this week that the FDA has approved its proposal to proceed with a two-year, 10,000-person study to determine Contrave’s safety on the heart.

If approved, Contrave, a combination of naltrexone HCl and bupropion HCl that has proven to reduce obese users’ body weight by 5 percent within a year, would become the first weight-loss drug approved in the US in 10 years.
Is a 5 percent loss of weight enough to risk potential drug side effects? May are still skittish about the effects of weight-loss drugs after the disastrous effects of fen-phen, an anti-obesity drug combination of fenfluramine and phentermine that led to deadly heart valve problems in the late 1990s.

If Contrave is found to be safe, would you be willing to take it to lose weight?

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