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Nutr Hosp. 2011 May-Jun;26(3):451-7. doi: 10.1590/S0212-16112011000300004.

Systematic review of the clinical efficacy of sibutramine and orlistat in weigth loss, quality of life and its adverse effects in obese adolescents.

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  • 1Servicio de Endocrinología y Nutrición, Hospital Universitario de Canarias, Tenerife, España.



The prevalence of obesity, a serious public health problem, is increasing among teenagers and thus also increases cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adulthood.


To provide a systematic review of the best evidence about the effect of sibutramine and orlistat in weight loss, quality of life and its adverse effects in adolescents diagnosed with obesity.


We searched electronic databases and bibliographies of selected articles were inspected for any further reference. We included only randomized controlled trials that met a set of predefined criteria. The studies were reviewed by a narrative synthesis.


We included 6 randomized controlled trials of sibutramine and 3 of orlistat. The majority reached a moderate to high methodological quality. Sibutramine and orlistat showed a reduction in body mass index (BMI) that was significantly higher compared with the placebo group. We also found a variation of weight with these drugs significantly better than placebo. Only one trial evaluated the quality of life. The incidence of adverse effects was similar for sibutramine and placebo, except for tachycardia. The most common adverse reactions associated with orlistat were gastrointestinal, mild to moderate.


Sibutramine and orlistat in combination with a hypocaloric diet and changes in lifestyle in obese adolescents achieve a short-term loss of weight greater than that achieved through the dietary-behavioral therapy alone.

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