Review of Advances in Anti-obesity Pharmacotherapy: Implications for a Multimodal Treatment Approach with Metabolic Surgery

  • Alexis C Sudlow
  • Carel W le Roux
  • Dimitri J PournarasEmail author


There is a growing need for treatments for patients who would benefit from further weight loss following bariatric surgery or weight loss maintenance/long-term disease remission. Currently, therapeutic options are limited. Although largely dismissed previously, advances in weight loss pharmacotherapy now offer the possibility of achieving clinically significant weight loss. Historical comparisons drawn between the effects of medications vs surgery are generally inaccurate as novel classes of anti-obesity pharmacotherapy have since been developed and moreover, reflect an outdated approach in comparing medicine with surgery. Herein, we provide an overview of the most recently developed anti-obesity medications which may not only present a potentially innovative approach to medical treatment of obesity but may also inspire renewed enthusiasm for investigating what can be achieved through multimodal care.


Obesity Type 2 diabetes Bariatric surgery Anti-obesity drugs Weight loss drugs Weight regain 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. For this type of study, informed consent is not required and does not apply to our work.

Conflict of Interest

ACS has no conflict of interest to declare. CWlR reports grants from Science Foundation Ireland, grants from Health Research Board, grants from AnaBio during the conduct of the study; other from NovoNordisk, other from GI Dynamics, personal fees from Eli Lilly, grants and personal fees from Johnson and Johnson, personal fees from Sanofi Aventis, personal fees from Astra Zeneca, personal fees from Janssen, personal fees from Bristol-Myers Squibb, personal fees from Boehringer-Ingelheim, outside the submitted work and shares in Keyron. DJP reports receiving honoraria from NovoNordisk and Johnson and Johnson for lectures.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Upper GI SurgerySouthmead HospitalBristolUK
  2. 2.Department of Experimental PathologyUniversity College DublinDublinIreland

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