Pharmacotherapy of obesity: An update (Abstract)

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Pharmacotherapy of obesity: An update

Pharmacol Res
04 May 2021

Several pharmacological approaches to controlling body weight have been developed over the last decades, albeit with limited success. Currently available agents include centrally acting appetite suppressants and peripherally acting compounds. Efficacy and safety of these agents in the clinical setting require a difficult balance. Further strategies including multiagonists able to simultaneously target multiple actors involved in obesity initiation and expansion such as the glucagon receptor family are under investigation. The results of recent clinical trials are encouraging and highlight emerging compounds as potential game changers. In view of the rising prevalence of obesity and the associated burden of comorbidities worldwide, and compared with other areas of pharmacological intervention, we feel that the field of obesity has been affected by therapeutic inertia. Of note, obesity may also affect the response to concomitant medications such as low-dose aspirin. Lessons from withdrawn agents such as the cannabinoid receptor antagonist rimonabant include developing compounds with a more targeted action profile (i.e., central vs peripheral, or antagonist versus inverse agonist) as well as careful selection of patients based on individual risk factors. We anticipate that the expanding knowledge base and clinical testing will result in improved outcomes for patients with obesity in the near future.

Keywords: Bupropion (PubChem CID: 444); Diabetes; Glucagon receptor family; Individual variation; Liraglutide (PubChem CID: 16134956); Lorcaserin hydrochloride hemihydrate (PubChem CID: 70678853); Naltrexone (PubChem CID: 5360515); Naltrexone/Bupropion (PubChem CID: 11556075); Obesity; Orlistat (PubChem CID: 3034010); Phentermine (PubChem CID: 4771); Phentermine/Topiramate (PubChem CID: 9848354); Setmelanotide (PubChem CID: 11993702); Topiramate (PubChem CID: 5284627); Weight management.