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Vivus weight loss drug faces safety questions

NEW YORK (AP) - Vivus' potential weight loss drug Qnexa will likely draw scrutiny over nervous system and psychiatric side effects from a panel of Food and Drug Administration experts this week.

The FDA acknowledges the potential blockbuster drug's effectiveness in cutting weight. But, in briefing documents the agency raises concerns about a range of side effects. It says reviewers should take into account rates of depression, memory and concentration issues and heart-related issues.

Qnexa is the first of several weight loss drugs to come under FDA review. Arena Pharmaceuticals' lorcaserin is set for an FDA panel review in September, while Orexigen Therapeutics' Contrave will be the subject of a December panel.

2010-07-13 11:26:58 GMT

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