Weight-loss drugs prove effective
Seven weight-loss drugs, when combined with dieting, are effective in helping obese people lose weight, according to a meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. A review of studies on the drugs showed a mean weight loss for people on sibutramine of 9.8 pounds at 52 weeks; orlistat, 6 pounds at 52 weeks; phentermine, 7.9 pounds at 2 to 24 weeks; bupropion, 6 pounds at 24 to 52 weeks; topiramate, reported as 6.5 percent of pretreatment weight lost at 24 weeks; diethylpropion, 6.6 pounds at 6 to 52 weeks; and fluoxetine, which had ranges from 32 pounds lost to almost 1 pound gained at 52 weeks. The results did not show that one drug was more effective than the others, and each drug carried significant side effects. The researchers wrote that the amount of weight loss attributable to the drugs at 1 year is modest but still may be clinically significant to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with obesity. They also noted that further studies are needed to assess the long-term effectiveness and safety of the drugs after 1 year’s use.
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