European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 62, Issue 10, pp 793–803

Current and novel approaches to the drug therapy of obesity

Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00228-006-0186-z

Cite this article as:
Chaput, JP. & Tremblay, A. Eur J Clin Pharmacol (2006) 62: 793. doi:10.1007/s00228-006-0186-z

Abstract

Introduction

Obesity has been described as the greatest current threat to human health. Although diet and lifestyle changes remain the cornerstones of therapy for obesity, weight losses are often small, and long-term success is disappointing.

Discussion

When these lifestyle-modifying attempts fail, the use of anti-obesity drugs is warranted. Drug treatment is often indicated, but is somewhat limited by the minimal number of well-tolerated drugs that have proven to have long-term efficacy in maintaining body weight loss. The currently available drugs, sibutramine and orlistat, appear modestly effective in promoting weight loss. However, pharmacological therapy for obesity is in transition; expanding knowledge of the physiological mechanisms of body weight regulation has revealed new molecular targets, and more than 150 novel agents are under active development.

Conclusions

Because weight regulation is complex, and redundant systems protect against perceived starvation, optimal treatment of obesity will likely require combinations of therapies. In addition, a better comprehension of the problem prior to its treatment would be preferable before targeting homeostatic pathways which could be irrelevant.

Keywords

Pharmacotherapy Sibutramine Orlistat Endocannabinoid receptors Leptin Ghrelin Adipokines Lipin inhibitor 

Abbreviations

BMI

body mass index

CB1

cannabinoid-1

CCK

cholecystokinin

CNS

central nervous system

CNTF

ciliary neurotrophic factor

CPT1

carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1

CRH

corticotrophin-releasing hormone

DP-IV

dipeptidyl peptidase IV

FDA

Food and Drug Administration

GH

growth hormone

GIP

gastric inhibitory polypeptide

GLP-1

glucagon-like peptide-1

11βHSD1

11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase Type 1

IL-6

interleukin-6

MCH

melanin-concentrating hormone

MC4R

melanocortin 4 receptor

αMSH

α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone

NPY

neuropeptide Y

OXN

oxyntomodulin

POMC

proopiomelanocortin

PYY

peptide YY

RMR

resting metabolic rate

Δ9-THC

Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol

TNFα

tumor necrosis factor α

VLCD

very low calorie diet

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Kinesiology, Department of Social and Preventive MedicineFaculty of Medicine, Laval UniversitySte-FoyCanada

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