Pharmacologic Approaches to Weight Management: Recent Gains and Shortfalls in Combating Obesity

  • Katherine H. Saunders
  • Rekha B. Kumar
  • Leon I. Igel
  • Louis J. Aronne
Clinical Trials and Their Interpretations (J. Kizer, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Clinical Trials and Their Interpretations


Obesity is a growing epidemic in the USA with over one third of adults presently classified as obese. Obesity-related comorbidities include many leading causes of preventable death such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Modest weight loss of 5–10 % of body weight is sufficient to produce clinically relevant improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors among patients with overweight and obesity. Until recently, there were limited pharmacologic options approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat obesity. Phentermine/topiramate ER and lorcaserin were approved in 2012, and naltrexone SR/bupropion SR and liraglutide 3.0 mg were approved in 2014. This article reviews recent literature in the field of Obesity Medicine and highlights important findings from clinical trials. Future directions in the pharmacologic management of obesity are presented along with new diabetes medications that promote weight loss and reduce cardiovascular mortality.


Obesity Weight loss Weight management Pharmacotherapy Clinical trials Type 2 diabetes 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Katherine H. Saunders and Leon I. Igel declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Rekha B. Kumar declares personal fees for being a speaker for Jansen Pharmaceuticals and is a shareholder in Zafgen and Myos Corporation.

Louis J. Aronne declares consultant/advisory board work with Jamieson Labs, Pfizer Inc, Novo Nordisk A/S, Eisai, VIVUS, GI Dynamics, JOVIA Health, and Gelesis. He is a shareholder of Zafgen, Gelesis, Myos Corporation, and Jamieson Labs, and he is on the Board of Directors of MYOS Corporation and Jamieson Labs. He has received research funding from Aspire Bariatrics and Eisai.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All studies by Louis J. Aronne involving animal and/or human subjects were performed after approval by the appropriate institutional review boards. When required, written, informed consent was obtained from all participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine H. Saunders
    • 1
  • Rekha B. Kumar
    • 1
  • Leon I. Igel
    • 1
  • Louis J. Aronne
    • 1
  1. 1.Comprehensive Weight Control Center, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and MetabolismWeill Cornell MedicineNew YorkUSA

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