Endocrinology Book


Obesity Medication

Aka: Obesity Medication, Appetite Suppressants, Appetite Depressants, Anti-Obesity Agents
  1. See Also
    1. Obesity
    2. Obesity in Children
    3. Obesity Evaluation
    4. Obesity Measurement (or Obesity Screening)
    5. Obesity Risk (or Obesity Comorbid Conditions)
    6. Obesity Management
    7. Dietary Supplements in Obesity
    8. Exercise in Obesity
    9. Obesity Resources
    10. Medications Associated with Weight Gain
  2. Indications
    1. Follow indications strictly!!
    2. Morbid Obesity (BMI>30)
    3. Moderate Obesity (BMI 27) with comorbidity
  3. Approach
    1. Employ all other weight loss strategies concurrently
      1. See Obesity Management
      2. See Exercise in Obesity
      3. Avoid Medications Associated with Weight Gain
    2. First-line agents
      1. Orlistat
        1. Preferred among the Obesity Medications as first -line
    3. Reevaluate efficacy, compliance and adverse effects on a schedule
      1. Stop weight loss medications if patient fails to lose 5% body weight after 12 weeks at maximal dose
      2. Document BMI and treatment plan at a minimum of every 6 months
    4. Most Obesity Medications are expensive
      1. Most agents are $200 per month
      2. Phentermine and Orlistat are least expensive at $30 and $45/month respectively
      3. Saxenda is most expensive at >$1000/month
  4. Management: Medications (most are DEA Controlled agents)
    1. FDA Schedule 4 Medications
      1. Phentermine (Fastin, Adipex-P, Lonamin)
      2. Diethylpropion (Tenuate)
      3. Lorcaserin (Belviq)
    2. FDA Schedule 3 Medications
      1. Benzphetamine (Didrex)
      2. Phendimetrazine (Bontril)
    3. Non-FDA-Scheduled medications
      1. Orlistat (Xenical)
      2. Liraglutide (Saxenda)
  5. Management: Combination Protocols
    1. Phentermine and Prozac
      1. Phentermine 30 mg orally daily
      2. Prozac 20 mg orally daily
    2. Phentermine and Topiramate (Qsymia, previously Qnexa)
      1. See Qysmia
    3. Bupropion and Naltrexone
      1. Contrave (90 mg Bupropion with 8 mg Naltrexone) tablet orally daily, gradually advanced to 2 tablets twice daily
  6. Management: Dietary Supplements
    1. See Dietary Supplements in Obesity
    2. Patients on Orlistat should take a daily MVI with the fat soluble Vitamins (Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K)
  7. Preparations
    1. Qsymia (Phentermine and Topiramate)
      1. Results in 19-20 pound weight loss more than Placebo at 1 year
      2. May cause decreased cognition, Paresthesias, Tachycardia, Ureteral Stones (intolerable in 8%)
      3. Must be tapered gradually (due to risk of Seizure)
      4. Significant Teratogenicity risk (requires Informed Consent, reliable Contraception and monitoring with UPT)
    2. Semaglutide Injection (Ozempic, Wegovy up to 2.4 mg/week)
      1. Incretin Mimetic (GLP-1 Analog) used in Type II Diabetes Mellitus
        1. Titrated to 2.4 mg (instead of the 1 mg used in Type II Diabetes Mellitus alone)
      2. Start at 0.25 mg injected weekly, and slowly titrate over 16 weeks to maximum of 2.4 mg weekly
        1. Expect 10-12% weight loss at one year (twice the weight loss of Saxenda)
        2. Stop medication if inadequate weight loss (<5% at 12 weeks of 2.5 mg/week)
      3. Costs $1400/month in 2021
      4. Increased risk of Retinopathy complications (esp. if pre-existing Retinopathy)
    3. Saxenda Injection (Liraglutide up to 3 mg/day)
      1. Incretin Mimetic (GLP-1 Analog) used in Type II Diabetes Mellitus
        1. Titrated to 3 mg (instead of the 1.8 mg used in Type II Diabetes Mellitus alone)
      2. Results in 10-12 pound weight loss more than Placebo in one year
      3. May cause Nausea and rare Hypoglycemia (intolerable in 5%)
      4. Most expensive Obesity Medication (>$1000/month)
    4. Contrave (Bupropion and Naltrexone)
      1. Results in 9 to 10.8 lb (up to 4.9 kg) weight loss more than Placebo in one year
      2. May cause Nausea (intolerable in 12%)
      3. Contraindicated with concurrent Opioids, or Seizure Disorder, Uncontrolled Hypertension
      4. Suicidality risk (FDA black box warning)
    5. Lorcaserin (Belviq or Belviq XR)
      1. Results in 7-8 pound weight loss more than Placebo in one year
      2. May cause Dizziness, Fatigue (intolerable in 2%)
      3. Risk of Serotonin Syndrome when combined with other serotinergic agents (e.g. SSRI)
      4. Theoretical risk of valvulopathy (similar to Fenfluramine), but short-term studies demonstrated safety
    6. Orlistat (Xenical, Alli)
      1. Typically recommended as a first-line agent among the Obesity Medications
      2. Results in 7 pound weight loss more than Placebo in one year
      3. May cause Nausea, Diarrhea, fecal urgency (intolerable in 4%)
      4. Contraindicated in cholestasis, comorbidity causing malabsorption
      5. One of the least expensive of the Obesity Medications ($45/month)
      6. Package insert recommends taking MVI with fat soluble Vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E and K)
    7. Plenity (cellulose hydrogel)
      1. Cellulose hydrogel taken with water before meals, expands in Stomach and reduces capacity
      2. Indicated in BMI 27-40 with normal gastrointestinal motility and anatomy
      3. Plenity 3 capsules with 16 ounces water taken 20-30 min before lunch and before dinner
      4. Discontinue use if insignificant weight loss at 2 months
      5. Patients lose 2% more than Placebo in 6 months (similar to Orlistat) at $100 per month
      6. Side Effects include Flatulence and bloating
    8. Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
      1. Results in 6 pound weight loss more than Placebo in one year
    9. Phentermine (Fastin, Lonamin, Lomira)
      1. Results in 5 pound weight loss more than Placebo in one year
      2. May cause Agitation or Insomnia (intolerable in 11%)
      3. Contraindicated in heart disease or Uncontrolled Hypertension
    10. References
      1. (2015) Presc Lett 22(5): 26
      2. (2015) Presc Lett 22(2): 7-8
      3. (2014) Presc Lett 21(11): 62
  8. Contraindications: Noradrenergic agents (all agents other than Orlistat)
    1. Hypertension
    2. Advanced cardiovascular disease
      1. Coronary Artery Disease
      2. Congestive Heart Failure
      3. Arrhythmias
    3. Hyperthyroidism
    4. Narrow-Angle Glaucoma
    5. Substance Abuse history
  9. Drug Interactions
    1. Orlistat
      1. Cyclosporine
      2. Fat soluble Vitamins (see above)
    2. Serotonin Syndrome risk
      1. Lorcaserin (Belviq) when combined with other serotonergic agents
    3. Noradrenergic agents (all except Orlistat)
      1. MAO inhibitors
      2. Guanethidine
      3. Tricyclic Antidepressants
      4. Alcohol
      5. Centrally acting stimulants or Anorexiants
  10. Adjunctive Therapies
    1. Ursodeoxycholic Acid 600mg qd
      1. Prevention of Gallstones in dieting obese patients
      2. Reference
        1. Shiffman (1995) Ann Intern Med 122:899-905 [PubMed]
  11. Preparations: Pharmacologic Therapies recalled by FDA for CV effects
    1. Fenfluramine
    2. Dexfenfluramine
    3. Sibutramine (Meridia)
    4. Phenylpropanolamine (over-the-counter)
      1. Decongestant that stimulates Adrenergic Receptors
      2. Elevates Blood Pressure
  12. Preparations: Research Drugs (not approved)
    1. Selective Cannabinoid Type I Blocker
      1. Acomplia (Rimonabant) is first in class
      2. Decreases appetite by blocking Cannabinoid Receptors
      3. May also be effective in Tobacco Cessation
      4. Fernandez (2004) Curr Opin Investig Drugs 5:430-5 [PubMed]
    2. Growth Hormone
      1. No change in body weight
      2. Decreases Body fat 9.2%
      3. Decreased visceral fat 18%
      4. Johanssen (1997) J Clin Endocrinol Metab 82: 727 [PubMed]
  13. References
    1. (1998) AOA Treatment Adult Obesity, 2nd edition
    2. Erlandson (2016) Am Fam Physician 94(5): 361-8 [PubMed]
    3. Frank (1998) J Am Diet Assoc 98:S44-48 [PubMed]
    4. Lyznicki (2001) Am Fam Physician 63(11):2185-96 [PubMed]
    5. Apovian (2015) J Clin Endocrinol Metab 100(2):342–362 [PubMed]
    6. Rippe (1998) J Am Diet Assoc 98:S9-15 [PubMed]
    7. Speer (1997) Phys Sportsmed 25:94-107 [PubMed]
    8. Yanovski (2002) N Engl J Med 346:593 [PubMed]

Appetite Depressants (C0003620)

Definition (MSH) Agents that are used to suppress appetite.
Definition (NCI) Any substance that induces loss of appetite to prevent weight gain and achieve weight loss.
Definition (CSP) class of drugs which suppress appetite, used for weight control.
Concepts Pharmacologic Substance (T121)
MSH D001067
SnomedCT 371141007, 108374003
LNC LP31467-1
English Anorectics, Appetite Depressants, Appetite Suppressants, Depressants, Appetite, Suppressants, Appetite, anorexic agent, Anorexigenic Drugs, Appetite-Depressing Drugs, Drugs, Anorexigenic, Drugs, Appetite-Depressing, APPETITE DEPRESS, APPETITE SUPPRESSANTS, Anorexic Agent, Anorexics, anorexigenic drug, appetite depressant, Anorexic Drugs, Drugs, Anorexic, Appetite Suppressant Drugs, Appetite-Suppressant Drugs, Drugs, Appetite-Suppressant, anorectic agents, anorexics (medication), anorexics, Anorexiant product, Appetite Suppressant, [GA750] APPETITE SUPPRESSANTS, Anorexic drugs, Anorectic Agents, Agents, Anorectic, anorectics, anorexiant, anorexiants, agents anorexic, appetite depressants, appetite suppressant, appetite drugs suppressants, anorexic drugs, anorectic agent, appetite suppressant drugs, appetite suppressants, Appetite depressants, Anorexiant (substance), Anorexiant product (product), Anorexiant, Appetite Depressing Drugs
French Anorexigènes, Agents anorexigènes, Suppresseurs de l'appétit, Médicaments anorexigènes, Coupe-faim, Modérateurs de l'appétit
Swedish Aptitdämpande medel
Czech anorexika, anorektika
Finnish Ruokahalua hillitsevät lääkkeet
Polish Leki zmniejszające łaknienie
Japanese 食欲減退薬, 食欲抑制剤, 食欲抑制薬
Portuguese Inibidores do Apetite, Anorexígenos, Depressores do Apetite, Supressores do Apetite
Spanish anorexígeno (sustancia), anorexígeno, producto anorexígeno (producto), producto anorexígeno, Anorexicos, Depresores del Apetito, Supresores del Apetito
German Anorektika, Appetithemmer, Appetitzügler
Italian Anoressizanti
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)

Anti-Obesity Agents (C0376607)

Definition (MSH) Agents that increase energy expenditure and weight loss by neural and chemical regulation. Beta-adrenergic agents and serotoninergic drugs have been experimentally used in patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) to treat obesity.
Concepts Pharmacologic Substance (T121)
MSH D019440
English Agents, Anti-Obesity, Agents, Antiobesity, Anti Obesity Agents, Anti Obesity Drugs, Anti-Obesity Agents, Anti-Obesity Drugs, Antiobesity Agents, Antiobesity Drugs, Drugs, Anti-Obesity, Drugs, Antiobesity, ANTIOBESITY AGENTS, anti-obesity agents (medication), anti-obesity agents, anti obesity drug, antiobesity drug, anti obesity drugs, antiobesity drugs, anti-obesity drugs
French Pilules antiobésité, Médicaments anti-obésité, Médicaments antiobésité, Pilules anti-obésité, Médicaments contre l'obésité, Agents antiobésité, Agents anti-obésité
Swedish Fetma, medel mot
Czech látky proti obezitě
Finnish Laihdutuslääkkeet
Japanese 痩せ薬, やせ薬, 抗肥満薬, 減量薬, 抗肥満剤
Polish Leki przeciw otyłości, Środki obniżające wagę
Portuguese Fármacos Antiobesidade, Moderadores de Apetite, Agentes Antiobesidade, Emagrecedores, Fármacos Emagrecedores, Antiobesígenos, Fármacos Antiobesígenos, Agentes Antiobesígenos, Agentes para Perda de Peso
Spanish Fármacos Antiobesidad, Agentes para Pérdida de Peso, Agentes Antiobésicos, Adelgazantes, Agentes Antiobesidad, Fármacos para la Obesidad, Fármacos Adelgazantes, Agentes Anti Obesidad, Fármacos Antiobésicos, Antiobésicos
German Antiadiposita
Italian Farmaci contro l'obesità
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)

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