Anti-obesity drugs lead to only modest weight loss

November 16th, 2007 - 5:45 pm ICT by admin  

London , Nov 16 (ANI): Trying to lose weight by taking anti-obesity drugs wont do you any good, for a new study has found that those who take such medications only experience modest weight loss, while many obese remain unaffected.

The study, at the National Institute for Clinical Excellence has targeted the long-term effectiveness of anti-obesity medications such as orlistat, sibutramine and rimonabant, found that these drugs, reduced weight by less than 5kg (11 pounds). This equated to a loss of less than 5percent of total body weight.

The researchers recommended stopping the intake of anti-obesity drugs if 5 percent of the total body weight was not shed after three months.

The authors identified the evidence from thirty placebo-controlled trials where adults took anti-obesity drugs for a year or longer. The mean weight of the volunteers in all of the trials was 100kg (15.7 stone). The mean body mass index levels were 35 36.

The team found that orlistat reduced 2.9kg weight, sibutramine reduced 4.2kg weight and rimonabant reduced 4.7kg weight. They also discovered that the patients taking these pills were more likely to achieve 5 10 percent weight loss, compared to those who took the placebo.

The study also brings light to the varied health benefit linked with such drug consumption. For instance orlistat reduced the incidence of diabetes in one trial and all three drugs lowered patients levels of certain types of cholesterol whereas rimonabant increased the risk of mood disorders such as depression or anxiety

The scientists also revealed that no trials examined rates of death and disease as a result of taking anti-obesity pills. The team also recommended trials looking at this should be carried out in the future, reports the BMJ.

Selling anti-obesity drugs over the counter will perpetuate the myth that obesity can be fixed simply by popping a pill and could further undermine the efforts to promote healthy living, which is the only long term escape from obesity, BMJ quoted Professor Gareth Williams, as saying.

The authors also noted that there were high drop-out levels in all the trials. On average 30 40 percent of patients failed to complete the trial. The study suggested that a failure to properly adhere to the treatment could be a major factor limiting the effectiveness of anti-obesity drug therapy. (ANI)

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