Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Don Owens, Deputy Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7767

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779

David Rosen, Press Officer, Regulatory Affairs
w. (202) 588-7742

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog

Follow us on Twitter


Feb. 22, 2012 

FDA Should Reject Qnexa, Another Dangerous Diet Pill, Public Citizen Tells Advisory Committee

Qnexa Can Cause Serious Cardiovascular Problems, Should Not Be Approved

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should not approve the proposed diet drug Qnexa because it can cause serious cardiovascular problems, Public Citizen said today in testimony to an FDA advisory committee.

Qnexa (a combination of phentermine, an amphetamine, and topiramate, an anti-seizure medication), causes increased heart rate and may lead to severe cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and arrhythmias, as well as birth defects, kidney stones, decreased bone mineral density and memory impairment, Public Citizen said.

The FDA rejected Qnexa, manufactured by Vivus, when it was first up for approval in 2010 because of concerns about the risk of birth defects, including cleft palate (due to the topiramate component) and about cardiovascular risks from phentermine. Public Citizen testified then that the drug should not be approved because these and other risks would be amplified by widespread off-label use. The manufacturer resubmitted data in support of its application, which is being weighed today by the FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee.

“Public health cannot tolerate yet another drug approval for a diet drug not accurately assessed for cardiovascular risks, especially in light of suggestive findings of such risks with Qnexa,” said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. “The danger of another approved diet drug hitting something vital – the cardiovascular system – is no longer acceptable when it could be prevented by a large clinical trial powered to evaluate such risk prior to approval.”


Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org

Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


You can support the fight for greater government and corporate accountability through a donation to either Public Citizen, Inc., or Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.

Public Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability. When you make a contribution to Public Citizen, you become a member of Public Citizen, showing your support and entitling you to benefits such as Public Citizen News. Contributions to Public Citizen are not tax-deductible.

Public Citizen Foundation focuses on research, public education, and litigation in support of our mission. By law, the Foundation can engage in only very limited lobbying. Contributions to Public Citizen Foundation are tax-deductible.