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Obesity and Weight Management

New Medications

06/08/2005

Question:

I hear there is a new weight loss medication in Europe which does not give you the side effects of medications of the past. What is the name of this medication, and when will it be available in the US?

Answer:

Though I have found some references to new weight loss medications in the trial stages, I do not see anything in refereed journals regarding new effective medications. Perhaps a pharmacist would be familiar with effective new products. If they know of none, I would guess that what you saw as an effective, well- tolerated weight loss medication was more marketing than truth. A news release from mid-December of one weight loss medication being tested is summarized below:

Successful trial results for world-first obesity drug. December 13, 2004, Melbourne Australia -- An Australian-owned obesity drug, developed by Melbourne-based biotechnology company Metabolic Pharmaceuticals Limited, is set to enter final human trials next year after successfully completing a Phase 2b human trial which proved that the drug induces weight loss and is very well tolerated with no evidence of the side effects commonly experienced with existing obesity drugs. The drug, which stimulates the metabolism of body fat, is the first of its kind in the world. All other obesity drugs artificially reduce appetite or food absorption. The drug -- codenamed AOD9604 -- was taken orally once daily by 300 obese patients at five trial sites over a 12-week period. Six doses were used -- 0 mg (placebo), 1 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg and 30 mg. The group receiving the 1 mg dose lost the most weight, averaging a weight loss over the 12 weeks of 2.8 kilograms, more than triple the weight lost by those on placebo, who lost an average of 0.8 kilograms. The rate of weight loss was maintained throughout the treatment period, an encouraging trend for expectations of longer-term dosing. The weight lost by the 1 mg group was slightly more than that achieved by the world's largest selling prescription obesity medication in similar trials over the same period, without its troublesome side effects. The trial results also demonstrated a small but consistent improvement in cholesterol profiles, and a reduction in the number of patients with impaired glucose tolerance.

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Response by:

Sharron   Coplin, MS, RD, LD Sharron Coplin, MS, RD, LD
Former Lecturer
Food & Nutrition
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University