Weight loss super pill? - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Weight loss super pill?

By Phil Rainier - bio | email

Is it a weight loss super pill? Scientists at Baton Rouge's Pennington Biomedical Research Center say it's possible.

Traci Lane is part of a Pennington Center study looking at what could be the next break-through weight loss drug.

For now, the experimental medicine is simply called 2B202.

Traci has lost 30 pounds in 12 weeks in the 2b202 study.

Believe it not, Traci doesn't know for sure she even got the experimental drug. Volunteers aren't told until after a study whether they got a fake medicine or the real thing.

But, it wasn't long until Traci began to have her suspicions.

"When I started having signicant weight loss," says Lane, "I thought I probably got the real thing."

What makes 2B202 unique is that it combines two already approved medications --the anti-depressant Wellbutrin and the epilepsy drug Zonegram.

In earlier studies, people who took 2B202 lost about 15 percent of their body weight over the course of a year. The results are better than any other medication now available.

Add diet and exercise and researchers say the number of pounds people could shed with 2B202 would probably be even more dramatic.

Traci has now lost a total of 45 pounds with little to no exercise or no formal eating plan. She says she did eat, but not nearly as much because she is, "not hungry, not so much of an appetite, no cravings."

2B202 targets parts of the brain that control appetite. And, while it's not proven yet, researchers suspect it also boosts metabolism--the rate the body burns fat.

Traci doesn't care how it works. She's just glad to be part of a study she believes makes it possible for her to try this powerful new medicine.

In the meantime, she looks forward to losing even more weight as she continues in this groundbreaking pennington weight loss study.

So far, there have been no signficant side effects reported with the experimental weight loss. It's in the last phase of research right now and, if all goes as hoped, it could be available for widespread use sometime in 2010.

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