The Management of Obesity and Related Disorders

By Peter G. Kopelman | Go to book overview
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Pharmacological approaches

John Wilding


Drug treatment of obesity has had a chequered, and at times controversial history, and it is important to consider the currently available treatments in the light of this previous experience. Many of the older agents were never rigorously evaluated in the way that would be considered the minimum standard today, and the evidence of their effectiveness was often based on small, short-term studies, with little attempt to investigate effects on the co-morbidities of obesity. Some of these agents also turned out to have serious adverse effects, which has resulted in their withdrawal for safety reasons. Two new drugs (orlistat and sibutramine) have recently been approved for use in many countries and, at present, seem to be at least as effective, and safer, than the older drugs; furthermore, there are many more data about their effectiveness in terms of the co-morbidities of obesity. Nevertheless, as clinicians it is important to ensure that such drugs are used in an appropriate and responsible manner, using the best available evidence. This chapter will briefly describe the range of possible options in the pharmacotherapy of obesity, discuss when it might be appropriate to consider


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The Management of Obesity and Related Disorders


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