FDA Approves Weight Loss Pills After Decade Of Denials
CHARLOTTE, NC- The Food and Drug Administration approved a new weight loss pill Tuesday called Qnexa.
Some say it's overdue and others call it a quick fix in a society trying hard to be thinner.
Qnexa is the second weight loss pill approved by the FDA in less than a month after 13 years of denials.
"It seems like a cheating way to lose weight. I believe a healthy diet... determination, working out responsibly should be just fine," said D'Mere Sinclair, a Matthews resident.
Doctors say the pills are another way to help them fight the growing obesity epidemic.
"Obesity has passed up smoking for the number one cause of preventable death. It causes breast cancer, colon cancer, kidney cancer, diabetes, strokes, heart attacks," said Dr. Thomas Marlowe of Dr. Marlowe's Weight Loss Institute.
Marlowe says some people who need weight loss pills don't realize how overweight they are.
Side effects from the latest pills include depression and memory lapse, but Presbyterian's Dr. David Voellinger says the benefits outweigh the risks.
"Whether it's medications like the ones the FDA just approved or surgery in some situations, everything we can do to fight the epidemic is crucial," said Voellinger.
Experts say intense exercise, personal training and extreme dieting can't help some people who are obese. They may not be lazy, but their problem is more severe than what a few trips to the gym can fix.
"I do think they have benefits, especially for people who have tried over and over again and haven't had success. I know for me, it was just what I needed to get over a plateau," said Amanda Cuthbertson, a South Charlotte resident.
Patients who took Qnexa lost an average of 23 pounds. Those on belviq lost about 13 pounds.