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Obes Res. 2004 Nov;12(11):1821-7.

The long-term management of obesity with continuing pharmacotherapy.

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The George Washington University Weight Management Program, N.W., Washington, DC 20037, USA.



Long-term, possibly lifetime, use of medications for the management of obesity may be thought to be similar to the use of pharmacotherapy for other chronic diseases such as hypertension or diabetes. Because there have been no systematic studies of this extended use, the experience of eight patients who have used obesity medications in a sustaining manner was studied.


The clinical characteristics of eight adult patients, each of whom has experience with long-term (more than 10 years) use of medications for weight loss and weight maintenance, were studied.


The clinical experience of these eight patients was analyzed. Each chose to sustain the use of weight management medications for more than 10 years because of perceived benefit, comfort, and the absence of significant side effects. There has been no evidence of the development of tolerance, addiction, or misuse and no adverse events related to the medication. The beneficial effects of the medication have not diminished with time.


The clinical characteristics of eight patients, each of whom has used obesity pharmacotherapy for more than 10 years, are described. The experience of these eight individuals cannot be generalized to the entire population of overweight or obese patients. It does suggest, however, that some patients respond successfully to this form of therapy and that they will derive value from it for the management of this disease. Efforts should be made to identify these patients, and consideration should be given to the use of chronic medications for the continuing management of obesity.

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