, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 454-462
Date: 16 Mar 2008

Pharmacotherapy for obesity

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Abstract

Obesity is a chronic metabolic disorder that affects one third of American adults. Modest weight losses of just 5% to 10% of body weight, which are achievable with lifestyle modification and pharmacotherapy, can lead to remarkable improvements in many obesity-associated co-morbidities, including dyslipidemia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. In this review, the indications for pharmacotherapy and the goals of treatment are discussed, and current and future pharmacologic approaches to the treatment of obesity are examined. Current pharmacologic therapies for obesity are limited, but recent advances in our understanding of the complex and overlapping endocrine pathways that regulate body weight have led to new opportunities for antiobesity drug development. Important drug targets that are highlighted in this review include adipocyte-derived hormones, hypothalamic neuropeptides, and gastrointestinal hormones.