A new obesity tackling drug is twice as effective as current over-the-counter diet drugs a new study from Duke University, North Carolina has revealed.
As well as offering a valuable treatment for obesity, the new drug, which combines two existing drugs, provides further health benefits such as improving blood pressure and reducing cholesterol levels.
The study found that the new drug, Qnexa, achieved up to 10% weight loss, which is more than double that of Orlistat the anti-obesity drug currently available on the NHS.
The new drug works by reducing hunger and making you feel fuller for longer. The drug which is a combination of the drugs phentermine and topiramate was tested on 2,500 overweight US adults. Testing involved some of the adults receiving either one, or both of the drugs and in different dosage levels. The trial was designed to assess the efficiency of the combined drug and its safety in terms of diet and lifestyle. After a 56 week testing period, the change in bodyweight was greater in the people who were prescribed both phentermine and topiramate. Results showed that those taking the higher dose levels lost typically 22 pounds, and achieved 5 per cent greater weight loss compared to those on lower dosage levels. In some diabetic patients, the drug managed to double the weight loss achieved compared with a patient taking just Orlistat.
Latest figures show that one in four people in Britain are obese. By 2020 it is predicted that 8 out of 10 men and 7 out of 10 women will be overweight, which could dramatically affect conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and strokes.