UAB research finds new drug has unexpected benefits

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – UAB researchers say they have found a drug that helps control hunger and weight loss as well as lowering blood pressure.

The drug's trade name is Qnexa and it is the combination of a commonly used epilepsy drug and an appetite suppressant.

In the UAB study, it was shown that a once-daily, low dose, controlled release of the drug resulted in significant weight loss and improvement of both systolic and diasystolic blood pressure.

"Patients taking this drug were able to lose clinically significant weight, saw clinically significant improvements in blood pressure and were able to sustain these health gains for a year," says Suzanne Oparil, M.D., professor of medicine in the UAB Division of Cardiovascular Disease and director of the UAB Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program. "As such, we believe our study shows that this is a novel treatment that can lead to significant weight reduction in obese/overweight adults and may alleviate common obesity-related comorbidities such as hypertension."

The drug is currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration.