Research Chair on Obesity Centre de recherche Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie du QuébecUniversité Laval
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Treatment of obesity

Pharmacotherapy

This strategy is a complement to the behavioural strategy aiming at changing a person’s lifestyle. It only concerns obese patients, specifically those with comorbidities.

There are, at this time, three types of medication dedicated to weight loss on the market. There are also anorectics such as phentermine, a short term drug that mimics the stimulating effects of the sympathetic nervous system.

All these medications have side effects and their long-term effectiveness is moderate.

Rimonabant

Rimonabant (Acomplia) is blocking, in particular, the cannabinoid receptors of the brain which are related to appetite control and many peripheral tissues. It working on the endocannabinoid system which is also engaged in tobacco addiction. Rimonabant is not available in Canada, but is available in certain European countries and is awaiting certification for the United States.

Orlistat

Orlistat (Xenical) acts in the intestine to reduce fat digestion and absorption by about 30%.

Sibutramine

Sibutramine (Meridia, Reductil) is boosting satiety following food intake by extending the action of the brain’s neurotransmitters.

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