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Prescription Medications. David L. Gee, PhD Professor of Food Science and Nutrition Central Washington University. Major Categories of Weight Loss Drugs. Appetite Suppressants Inhibitors of Nutrient Absorption (Metabolic Stimulants). Appetite Suppressants: Serotonergic Drugs.

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Prescription Medications


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prescription medications

Prescription Medications

David L. Gee, PhD

Professor of Food Science and Nutrition

Central Washington University

major categories of weight loss drugs
Major Categories of Weight Loss Drugs
  • Appetite Suppressants
  • Inhibitors of Nutrient Absorption
  • (Metabolic Stimulants)
appetite suppressants serotonergic drugs
Appetite Suppressants:Serotonergic Drugs
  • Mechanism of action
    • elevated levels of serotonin reduce appetite
      • Serotonin levels increase after eating
      • serotonergic drugs
        • Increase release of serotonin
serotonergic drugs a shaky history
Serotonergic DrugsA shaky history
  • Fenfluramine
  • Dexfenfluramine (Redux)
  • 1997 FDA withdrew approval status
    • Heart valve damage
    • Primary pulmonary hypertension
appetite suppresants noradrenergic drugs
Appetite Suppresants:Noradrenergic Drugs
  • Mechanism of Action
    • elevation of norepinephrine
    • associated with satiety
      • Eating increases norepinephrine
      • noradrenergic drugs
noradrenergic drugs
Noradrenergic Drugs
  • Phentermine
  • Phenylpropanolamine
    • Dexatrim, Acutrim, PPA
    • Also as decongestant in cold medications
    • OTC
    • FDA warnings ( 2004)
      • hemorrhagic stroke
      • removing PPA from all products
drugs that increase both serotonin and norepinephrine
Drugs that increase both serotonin and norepinephrine
  • Sibutramine (Meridia)
    • increases serotonin and norepinephrine by inhibiting their re-uptake
    • FDA approval 1997
sibutramine meridia
Sibutramine (Meridia)
  • Mean wt loss: 10-14 pounds
    • effects vary substantially
  • Side effects:
    • hypertension
    • dry mouth
    • headache
    • constipation
  • no sign of heart valve problems or PPH
sibutramine meridia1
Sibutramine (Meridia)
  • FDA regulations
    • affect manufacturers’ advertisement/promotion
    • does NOT regulate how physicians prescribe
    • for obese clients (BMI>30) or
    • for overweight clients with health risks (BMI>27)
    • safe for one year use
combined drug treatment
Combined Drug Treatment
  • fen/phen
    • fenfluramine/phenteramine
    • “off label use”
    • FDA: not tested for safety or effectiveness
    • Fenfluramine banned
    • Other combinations:
      • Ephedra-phenteramine
inhibitors of nutrient absorption
Inhibitors of Nutrient Absorption
  • Orlistat (Xenical)
    • FDA approved 1999
    • pancreatic lipase inhibitor
      • inhibits absorption of dietary fats
      • causes steatorrhea
      • may psychologically reduce fat/caloric intake
inhibitors of nutrient absorption1
Inhibitors of Nutrient Absorption
  • Dietary Supplements
    • Chitin (fat malabsorption)
    • Starch Blockers (alpha amylase inhibitors)
    • like all dietary supplements:
      • not tested for safety or effectiveness
      • not “approved” by FDA
metabolic stimulants
Metabolic Stimulants
  • Thyroid Hormone
    • only useful if TH deficient (rare)
    • results in significant LBM loss
  • Ephedra
    • dietary supplement
    • FDA investigating adverse effect claims
      • regulatory status in question
slide14

Long-term pharmacotherapy for overweight and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.Int. J. Obesity & Related Met. Dis. 27:1437-1446 (2003)

  • RCT’s published between 1966-2002
    • Double blind RCT of > 1 yr
    • BMI > 30 + comorbidities
    • Only two drugs w/ studies meeting these criteria
      • Orlistat/Xenical (11 studies, n=6021, mean BMI=35.7, predominantly white females)
      • Sibutramine/Meridia (3 studies, n=929, mean BMI=33.4, predominantly white females)
slide15
Long-term pharmacotherapy for overweight and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
  • Orlistat (Xenical)
  • Mean weight loss = 2.7 kg
    • 2.9% greater than placebo
    • 12% lost > 10% of body weight
  • 33% attrition rate
  • Reductions in serum lipids, serum glucose, blood pressure, lower HDL-C
  • Gastro-intestinal side effects
slide16
Long-term pharmacotherapy for overweight and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
  • Sibutramine (Meridia)
  • Mean weight loss = 4.3 kg
    • 4.6% wt loss
    • 15% lost > 10% of body weight
  • 48% attrition rate
  • Lower reductions in serum lipids than orlistat
  • Increased blood pressure and pulse rate