Qnexa, the New Weight Loss Pill

From the New York Times: “A federal advisory panel on Wednesday overwhelmingly recommend approval of what could become the first new prescription drug to treat obesity in 13 years. The advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration voted 20 to 2 that the benefits from the weight loss provided by the drug, Qnexa, more than offset the potential risks of heart problems and birth defects.”

Qnexa is a combination of two existing drugs — the stimulant phentermine, which was the surviving part of the fen-phen combination, and the epilepsy and migraine drug topiramate, also known by the brand name Topamax. If you google around, you’ll get all sorts of details about the effectiveness in trials and the dangers.

I have had clients who have used these drugs. Sometimes they have helped, modestly. Sometimes they have done no good.  I’ve also had clients who have had the bariatric surgery, only with surgery, the dangers were greater, and the negatives were assured, not just possibilities.

As an obesity treatment expert, let me emphasize that weight loss cannot be achieved without behavior change, establishing habits that result in eating fewer calories than used. If a medication can help a person to do this, without adverse risk, I am all for it. The prospect of an effective medication that would make it easier to actualize healthy behavior is much better than surgery, though I encourage the surgery if it is the only way to sustain life, and time has run out.  

 As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a lifetime of treating mental disorders, let me make it clear that an array of thought and behavior disorders are affected by disorder in brain chemistry, and the effective treatment is medication. Good examples are depression and OCD, a relative of compulsive overeating. Treatment with medication alters the brain chemistry to relieve depression and OCD symptoms. We know that medications can reduce appetite and eating compulsions. Are drugs the solution to obesity? No. Behavior change is. But in some cases, drugs help, and in some cases, it seems behavior change is not possible without drugs. 

Let’s not forget that the solution to obesity is in behavior change. Sometimes, drugs can help, but drugs can only be a part of the answer. Most of the time, drugs play no part. Always, the answer is in Behavioral Medicine.

When I was young and obese, out of control and in the dark about how to solve my problem, I would have jumped at the chance of one of these miracle cures. I am so glad that I learned the real solution and lost not only the 140 pounds, but the risk and danger of these false promises. If you are overweight and hoping for a drug that will help with the problem, I am with you for that. But don’t wait to learn what you can do in regards to other Behavior Medicine technology to make the changes you’ll need to make. You’ll need to learn them anyway, even if a drug comes along that really works. Why not learn it now? You may find that you’ve solved the problem before a foolproof drug appears, which may or may not happen.



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8 Responses to Qnexa, the New Weight Loss Pill

  1. Thank you very much, I believe that this content is sensational, where can I find more information about it?

  2. I have just finished reading your book after reading your lasted article on Huffington Post. I am currently taking phentermine to try and keep my calories low. I have known all along that when I stop taking the drug, I will have to learn to control my cravings alone. Now, thanks to your book I believe I can. I am logging my calories & exersicing, UNDEREATING and winning every day! I was suprised however when I calculated my IBW -145? and- 2175 seems like a lot of calories (I am 5’9″)

    • 2175 is approximately the number of calories a person your height would burn, on the average, with “regular” activity habits. 2175 seems like a lot when you’ve been undereating, but it’s less than most Americans eat all the time. Its more than enough food when you’re paying attention, but it is easily exceeded when you’re not paying attention. It is the upper limit that you never want to exceed, even on holidays and weekends. It is not a goal to eat that much, but to keep from eating that much or more, easy to do when one stops being careful.

      When a person gets in the habit of eating high calorie foods mindlessly, it’s easy to exceed that max habitually, and that’s how most people get overweight over time.

      Remember, our objective is to create new habits and norms. If you use all the key behaviors, you’ll create the right habits and norms that will make healthy weight management easy, and you won’t need to count calories after a while, just eat the way you’ve learned.

      I’m so happy you like my book and it is helping you. Please tell other people about it, and it would be great if you wrote a nice review on Amazon.


  3. Thank you for this blog post.

    I’ve just finished my first reading of your book. At age 48, I feel I’ve finally found the answer to my struggles with overeating. And it isn’t Qnexa!

    My second, more detailed reading begins tonight!

    • Thanks for your message! I’m delighted you like my book. It’s straight from the heart, the unvarnished truth, no BS, and the knowledge needed that is so drowned out by all the nonsense. I’m glad you found it. How did you find out about me and the book?

  4. Behavior Change! Absolutely this is the key! Perhaps we need weight loss psychologists more than anything. Also education on what really is a decent amount of food and exercise.

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