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Hope for More Obesity Drugs?

As I was boarding the plane back from New Orleans to Edmonton last week, 1000s of delegates were just arriving for the 69th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

Given that obesity is the root cause of much of the type 2 diabetes epidemic, it is not surprising that several presentations at this conference deal with obesity treatment, including the use of new medications that are currently under development.

Here are few links to press releases on new obesity drugs (all of which I have previously blogged about) presented at this meeting:

Lorcaserin (Arena; 5-HT2C receptor agonist) – click here for press releaseclick here for previous mention on my blog

Qnexa (Vivus; phentermine + topiramate) – click here for press releaseclick here for previous mention on my blog

Contrave (Orexigen: buproprion + naltrexone) – click here for press releaseclick here for previous mention on my blog

All of these compounds show promise and further large pivotal Phase III trials are underway.

Downside of all of these approaches, based on their study design, they are looking for the magic bullet that will be effective in all forms of obesity.

As I have said before, obesity is a multifactorial complex heterogeneous entity and there is no reason to expect that any single treatment will work for all.

Trying to find an antiobesity drug that will work for all patients with excess weight (irrespective of cause) is like trying to find an edema drug that will for all patients with fluid retention (irrespective of cause). 

Nevertheless, these studies do show that for some obese patients, pharmacotherapy with these compounds can be highly effective and perhaps the only alternative to more drastic treatments (e.g. bariatric surgery), if the progression of this condition is not halted.

Edmonton, Alberta

1 Comment

  1. I have been reading with interest all your articles esp those with regards to medication. 12 Years ago I lost 100 lbs (the first 60 from Ionamin/pentermine) The last forty with phentermine and I discovered a Gym. Fast forward and the the last 5 years due to a high stress job owning a restaurant I have gained 80 pounds.Made an appt to see a Doctor who Shocked me by telling me that he didn’t know anything about Diet Drugs and he thought that they were all illegal now. I asked for a referral to an obesity doctor and he said that there were none available but the dietician could help me. WOW.
    I have been working 90 minutes daily for the last 2 months with a 2 lb weight loss and was looking forward to some motivation with Medication to spur me on. Any obesity doctors in Toronto?

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