Pharmacotherapy of obesity

Author(s): Kostas Lois and Sudhesh Kumar

Obesity is a major health problem with significant comorbidities. Its prevalence has dramatically increased over the last few decades, so that it is considered an international epidemic. Large epidemiologic studies have clearly associated obesity with cardiovascular disease and side effects in almost every organ system, so that the need for treatment appears to be imperative. Several short- and, recently, long-term anti-obesity drugs have been evaluated, but so far there is no ‘magic pill’ that could permanently cure or control obesity, although a number produce significant health benefits from a medical point of view. Orlistat, sibutramine and rimonabant are the most widely used anti-obesity drugs in clinical practice, while new, much more promising ones will be in the market in the following few years.