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Qnexa rant
rhonwyyn wrote in fatshionista

So, is anyone else annoyed about this new weight-loss drug, Qnexa? Not only does it contain half of the deadly duo Fen-Phen, but it comes with some serious side effects. One of those side effects is cleft palates and lips in the babies of women who take the drug. So what does the FDA panel recommend? They want Qnexa to be dispensed by a select few mail-order pharmacies that will keep careful tabs on who gets the drug to ensure that women of childbearing age don't take it.

Say what?! "Childbearing age" ranges from roughly 12 to 40. Who is most affected by the pressure to be thin? Women between ages 12 and 40. Tell me what the good of this drug is going to be? Why is it even being considered a possibility?

I wish that Big Pharma would spend its money on creating drugs that help people. You know, like maybe curing cancer or REDUCING STUPIDITY!!!

Thanks for letting me vent.

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My husband used to work for one of the top 3 pharma companies in the world. Without going into alot of detail, there was significant amounts of corruption and deterioration in the upper echelons of management that took place slowly over 10 years. Unfortunately... corporate greed is... well.. corporate greed. It makes me sick when I hear another news story about cancer patients that can't get their meds because the drug isn't profitable enough for the companies to manufacture.

This world we live in. :/

As a cancer research nurse, yeah, it's fucking lame. It's also super fucking lame when the CEO of Amgen gets a multimillion dollar bonus but they don't think it's important enough to make enough Aranesp for our patients, which leads to more blood transfusions... and the blood pool's soooooooo big.

Plus, how the hell are you supposed to pronounce it?

On a serious note, though, once again, the message that it's better for people to actively harm their health than to fail to conform to narrow standards of attractivenes.


I'd think it's pronounced "cue-nex-uh", or perhaps "cuh-nex-uh" (first syllable like how you say "cup").

But yeah, this is ridiculous.

I spelled it the way I heard it pronounced (I get much of my news from NPR): Q (the letter) - nexuh. Maybe I saw it in print to know how to spell it?

There's actually a division of the FDA that regulates how medications are named. I want to know the reasoning behind this one, because you're right: it totally looks unpronounceable!

That makes no sense considering that there are meds out now that cause birth defects. I'm on one of them and my doctor just makes sure I understand this and that I'm on reliable birth control.

Accutane is a great example.

"The FDA may be close to approving a new drug to fight obesity. An outside panel of experts voted 20–2 on Wednesday to recommend approval of the drug Qnexa even though the FDA had already rejected it because of safety concerns, saying the benefits outweigh the heart risks. The committee also recommended that the drug manufacturer, Vivus, conduct a study on potential side effects and suggested that pregnant women not take the drug. If the FDA approves the drug, it would be the first new prescription weight-loss drug in 13 years. The FDA, which is not bound by the panel's recommendation, will make a decision by April 17." - source

Here's the part that makes me the most angry: "even though the FDA had already rejected it because of safety concerns". The "benefits" (ie. sudden, dramatic weight loss) outweigh (ironic word choice) the heart risks?!

The thing that pisses me off about Qnexa is I have in my history a prescription for phentermine (the phen part) and when I was prescribed Topamax for my migraines (the topa part) the pharmacist made sure that I was no longer taking the phentermine, and made clear to me the risk of mixing those two drugs, in case I ever decided to go back on the phentermine (which I wouldn't, but I totally understood the pharmacists concern.)

And now they are considering approving a damn drug that combines topiramate and phentermine?!?!??! Bullshit! No, I'm sorry, the 'benefits' do NOT outweigh the risks.

oh man. That sucks.

I think it's really important to also acknowledge that while women are described as being "of child bearing age" that is not necessarily the desires of some women at that age. I'm child-free by choice and I have had particular issues with PCOS treatment being focused on sub-fertility discussions. I want to scream "This does not concern me" but my decision about my body and my future is taken as some kind of weakly thought out idea that will change with time.

What would make more sense is that the restricted drug be available only to women who are sure they don't want to bear children, ever. Trust me, we exist, and we're pretty damn sure about our own minds and decisions (that last part not aimed at any commenters here, just venting in general).
[edited for spelling mishap]

Edited at 2012-02-25 03:37 am (UTC)

Also child-free (though I probably couldn't have kids anyway) and fortunately that's not the way drugs are assessed or prescribed here in Australia. Then again, with the war against women's access to contraception and abortion in the US, maybe it's more difficult over there. By which I mean they should make contraception available, not restrict other medications.

I agree with this comment. The weight loss part of the drug is of concern obviously, but if this was a med for something I needed (say, seizure meds) and I wasn't being offered or told because they *thought* I might have kids, I'd be seriously pissed.

The problem with the majority of doctors is that they seem to think that all women eventually want and will have children and then refuse to give you certain treatments, procedures, etc, if it risks childbearing.

I struggle with PCOS myself and I really, REALLY want to get an ablation but my current gyno will not even consider it 'just incase, lolz, you may want the babies!' despite him knowing I have a history of periods that make me so ill (nausea, gastrointestinal problems, migranes, gas, bloating, cramping and muscle pain) that I have had to frequently MISS WORK (and school, when younger) because of it. It's ridiculous and I so desperately want this done.

Oh man, I know! I've read accounts of women with PCOS being refused treatment from endocrinologists because they weren't trying to have babbes, and the endo's had a distinct bias to treating fertility issues.

You might want to look for a different gyno, someone who respects your choice? I know it's probably not that simple and there are a bunch of factors involved. Maybe something like a recommendation from a psychologist would help the idiot budge... I dunno.

If you want to hang out on a PCOS board that has a child-free space, contact me and I'll give you the details. So much focus in PCOS discussion is "BABBIE-MAKING NAO" it get's hard to handle.

You might also find a rec for a obgyn who is child-free friendly through the lj community cf_hardcore. It's just a thought.

Sorry to hear how crappy ill you get. It is NOT FUN.

Oh god, yes please to the PCOS child-free space please. My gyno is great about everything else (and he wears socks with dinosaurs on them!) but the whole "you're young so I won't sterilize you" thing is really ridiculous. It's not just because I don't want kids, it's because I want to stop having debilitating periods that interfere with my life! I'm an adult with a full time job, I can't afford to call off sick because of my periods!

I just remembered these rec's I came across through vaginapagina -

good luck xo

There's quite a few drugs that are strongly contraindicated in pregnancy and some that cause birth defects. "Make them less available" rather than "have heavy warnings and clear treatment protocols" makes me think that there's something else going on here.

Ick. Because really the worry about fat people is just so much more important than the worry about actual birth defects, and harm to the woman's health in taking these drugs. Fuck the pharma companies and the stereotypes they rode in on.

"Qnexa was connected to low but increased risks of cardiovascular issues such as high blood pressure, heart rhythm disorders, and heart disease; and psychiatric issues such as possible memory impairment, depression, mood swings, suicidal ideation and attention deficits."

Oh yeah, it's about your health doncha know.

i've never looked into the drug apart from half-watching the commercials on TV, but now i'm officially disgusted.

Say what?! "Childbearing age" ranges from roughly 12 to 40. Who is most affected by the pressure to be thin? Women between ages 12 and 40. Tell me what the good of this drug is going to be? Why is it even being considered a possibility?

YUP. & that, my friends, is what we call SOME FUCKED UP SHIT.

(i don't have an angry icon, but lucille clearly does not approve.)


Edited at 2012-02-25 10:38 am (UTC)

Lupitaloba, I have no kids, am past the age of having them and while I freely admit I am helpless in the face of small fluffy kittens, babies leave me cold. However, I have three close friends who felt exactly the same way, and who all had last-chance-saloon babies in their late 30s/early 40s. My mum opted to be sterilised in her 30s because she was emphatic she never wanted another child. She remarried at 40 and subsequently wished she had been able to give my stepfather a child. It may not refer to you me, but I imagine it happens frequently enough for medical types to err on the side of safety.

The fact this drug has been approved to go on the market makes my head explode. It was very widely documented at the time that people developed heart valve problems on Fen-Phen. If anyone needs further proof that the medical profession is no more rational in their fat phobia than any other bigot, this is it. "Let's give healthy people heart disease to avoid them getting heart disease!" Kind of goes along with "Hey, lets butcher people's internal organs in a life endangering operation that will give them all kinds of health problems they never had avoid future health problems!" I hope to fuck Qnexa never comes to the UK.

I understand what you're saying, and I acknowledge that there are individuals who will make a different choice at different times of their lives. For me its pretty much guaranteed that I do not wish to add to the worlds population. Not ever. Not as an egg donor, not as a surrogate mother, no part of my biological make up will go towards making another human being. I'm lucky to have met a person who shares the same decision from an ethical point of view.

All I can say is that I know my own mind and the solid ethical reasonings I have for the decision I've made. The idea of bringing a life into this world leaves me cold. How dare I burden the system any more than it is? I'll be glad to have passed and leave no one and nothing to carry on the cycle of consumption and use that I currently take up. I find that the idea of having children is such a selfish driven one, and yet as a CFbychoice woman I get called selfish. Well. I'm not leaving a legacy that will clean out what little resources we have, AND I get to chose to donate my income on charity and organisations that care for those kids who are already in existence but don't have all the things that Bobby and Jane Privileged can expect from the world. Yes, I'm pretty damned sure my decisions are well thought out and stem from ethical convictions that I will live by for the rest of my life. And yes, this is something I feel very strongly about, and yes there is a sort of fanaticism associated to my beliefs. I remind myself of a Vegan Preacher sometimes, when I think about Child Freedom and the reasons I have embraced it. Sorry if thats not what anyone wants to hear. I know it can sound unpleasant and alienating.

I wasn't in any way trying to infer you would change your mindset regarding having children. Simply stating why drug manufacturers and those who dispense drugs might take the view that many women do change their minds. Because those women are in the majority. And that's okay. Each to his own, you know?

Like you I'm totally baffled by the concept that people who choose not to have children are selfish. I haven't a baldy clue who we're meant to be robbing of what. Like, am I depriving the world of a child guaranteed to bring about world peace, discover a cure for all known diseases and look after me in my old age? Am I depriving a soul currently lying about in the spirit realm, twiddling its thumbs because it's desperate for a body in which to visit this veil of tears? But, by the same token, I don't think people who do choose to have children are selfish either. Because, sooner or later somebody's kid probably will discover a cure for cancer or even invent new ways to survive without further depleting the earth's resources.

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