Obesity Medications in Use
Last update March 28, 2008. What follows are medications that are FDA approved for the treatment of obesity as well as compounds used off-label for weight loss. The most recently approved is Byetta in 2005.
Note. Bupropion is currently used for depression and smoking cessation (as Zyban), and is not approved for weight loss. It is no longer being pursued as a single agent for weight loss because patients only lost modest amounts of weight in clinical trials. However, two compounds that combine bupropion with other agents are in development. These combined pharmaceuticals have been shown to be among the most effective of all developmental weight loss drugs, and side effects are mild. See the Obesity-news drug pipeline index for articles on development of these drugs and other information
Note. Byetta is an "incretin mimetic" approved in 2005 for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. It mimics the effects glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a gut peptide that decreases glucagon secretion from the pancreas, increases beta cell mass, and increases insulin secretion in a glucose dependent manner The drug also reduces food intake by increasing satiety. During the clinical trials, patients lost significant amounts of weight. Currently Byetta is administered as a twice-daily injection, but a sustained release, once-a-week injection is in late stage clinical trials. In a phase III, 30 week, open-label study, 300 diabetics given once-a-week exenatide lost an average of eight pounds. Original plans for an NDA in 2008 have now been pushed back to 2009 because Amylin and Alkermes won't have its commercial scale manufacturing facility ready until the second half of 2008 For more on this see the January 2008 issue of Obesity-news
Note. Diazoxide is not a traditional anti-obesity drug, but it has been shown to be successful in producing weight loss women with PCOS as well as individuals with simple obesity. Obesity-news has covered the use of diazoxide for weight loss in the following studies:
Note. Metformin is a glucose sensitizing medication, and may produce weight loss in insulin resistant or type-2 diabetic patients and women with polycystic ovary syndrome. See metformin and PCOS (subscribers only) for more information.
Note. Naltrexone is a drug used for drug and alcohol dependence, but some studies have been conducted on this drug for obesity, especially sweets cravings and binge eating.
Phentermine (Adipex-P, Fastin, Ionamin -- non-US Duromine)
See below for a listing of Obesity-news coverage on the phentermine shortage and other stories on phentermine and weight loss.
Note. Zoloft is an antidepressant, but it is currently in late stage clinical trials for weight loss.
Sibutramine (Meridia -- non-US Reductil)
Meridia articles from Obesity-news
Note. Topiramate is currently used for seizure disorders, and is not approved for weight loss. Phase 3 weight loss trials were discontinued because of an unfavorable side effect profile. However, topiramate is now being developed for weight loss in combination with another agent. Like the two bupropion compounds mentioned above, this combination therapy has been shown to provide superior weight loss and a much reduced side-effect profile compared to topiramate used alone. See the Obesity-news drug pipeline index for links articles on the development of this drug and other information.
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