Qnexa, a weight loss drug, is in the approval phase of the FDA right now. This medication is a combination of two already used drugs, phentermine, an appetite suppressant, and topiramate, an anticonvulsant.

I don't know anything about phentermine. However, I do know a lot about topiramate (aka Topamax) because I had been on it for two years. Before I went on this medication I weighed ~185 pounds. After I got to the full dosage of this medication I was easily able to keep my weight at ~170 pounds. Once I stopped taking the medication I went right back up to 185 pounds. That is a weight loss of about 8%, pretty impressive when I didn't do anything other than take a pill every day.

Topiramate is a widely prescribed drug for both migraines and epilepsy. I think it is used for other conditions also but I don't know about those. It does has side effects but I didn't really get them. I was on a much higher dosage (300mg daily) than is in the top dosage of Qnexa (92mg daily) and I haven't heard of most of the annoying side effects happening at that low of a dosage.

Anyways, the worst side effect of topiramate is a high incident of birth effects (cleft lip and cleft palate). I was warned about them and I went off of it before I got my IUD out. However, the FDA is going one step further with Qnexa that seems like overkill to me since so many woman of childbearing age are already on topiramate:

"To prevent birth defects, patients who take the drug will have to undergo monthly pregnancy testing and healthcare providers will get special training on the medication's risks and benefits."

I never had a pregnancy test the entire time I was on this medication. It wasn't even brought up. I was already on this medication when I got my IUD so it wasn't just having that as a birth control medication.

I don't know what the point of writing this is other than I find it strange that they are treating this drug so differently when it is used for one condition than when it is used for another. Who knows, maybe they will start requiring monthly pregnancy tests for people who are using it for migraines and epilepsy. I would find this annoying.

*In the migraine world Topamax is called Dopamax because it makes people feel like their brain is moving slower. I never noticed this and since migraines make you not able to think anyways it might be worth it for some.

**I am no longer on this medication because I am trying to have a baby. I miss it. I have so many more migraines now.

April 2017

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