advertisement
11 April 2011

Two-drug obesity treatment effective

A new treatment for obesity that combines two existing drugs resulted in twice as much weight loss as the only approved long-term anti-obesity medication, according to a study.

0

A new treatment for obesity that combines two existing drugs resulted in twice as much weight loss as the only approved long-term anti-obesity medication, according to a study.

A mix of Phentermine and topiramate, sold under the brand name of Topamax, was shown in clinical trials to be twice as effective as orlistat, which is commercialised in some countries as Xenical (as sold in SA) or Alli, it said.

The drug combo appears to have additional health benefits, including improved "markers," or indicators, for blood pressure, sugar levels, lipids and inflammation, it added.

Phentermine is the most widely prescribed short-term weight drug in the United States.

Topiramate is an anticonvulsant approved for treating seizure disorders and migraines. It has been shown to work well for weight loss in obese patients with type 2 diabetes, but –taken alone has also been linked to cognitive and psychiatric side effects.

Lower doses taken with a controlled-release mechanism and in combination with other drugs would likely reduce those side effects, tests have shown.

The study

Led by Kishore Cadde of the Duke University Medical Centre, in Durham, North Carolina, the new trial was conducted over 20 months with nearly 2,500 overweight or obese adults with at least two major health-risk symptoms.

The patients were divided into three groups. One was given a once-a-day dose of 7.5 mg of Phentermine and 46 mg of topiramate, while a second group was given 15 and 92 mg of the same drugs, respectively. The third group were given look-alike placebos.

After 56 weeks of treatment, the low-dose group dropped, on average, 8.1 kilos while the high-dose group shed 10.2 kilos. Patients given placebos lost 1.4 kilos.

The results

Overall, 62% of the low-dose patients lost at least 5% of body weight, while 70% in the high-dose cohort crossed the same threshold.

Patients given placebos lost 1.4 kilos, with 21% sloughing 5% off their total weight.

The two-drug treatment was well tolerated physically, with only sporadic cases of dry mouth and constipation, according to the study, which is published by The Lancet.

The high-dose group, however, showed a higher dropout rate due to adverse cognitive and psychiatric reactions.

(Sapa, April 2011)

Read more:

Obesity

Weight loss

 
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Not loosing the weight? »

Your quick guide to Banting Banting for health? Banting vs Heart Foundation Diet – which is cheaper?

8 non-food reasons why your Banting weight loss has stalled

You're religiously sticking to your low-carb programme, but the scales aren’t moving. An extract from The Banting Solution looks at reasons why this could happen.

The struggle is real »

5 things to know before taking an antihistamine How to cope with seasonal allergies

15 tips for students with allergies

For university students, moving out of home can be daunting at the best of times but for those with severe allergies or asthma, it may feel close to impossible.