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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2006;15 Suppl:55-62.

Emerging pharmacotherapy for treating obesity and associated cardiometabolic risk.

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  • 1Human Nutrition Unit,The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.


The global obesity epidemic is causing much concern among health professionals due to the major health risks associated with obesity. Excess weight, particularly abdominal obesity, elevates multiple cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors, including Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and cardiovascular disease. Thus obesity management goals should encompass health improvement and cardiometabolic risk reduction as well as weight loss. While lifestyle and diet modification form the basis of all effective strategies for weight reduction, some individuals may need additional intervention. About one in four people with BMI >27 kg/m(2) (those who have weight-related morbidity and who have been unsuccessful losing weight in standard ways) may require adjunctive therapy such as pharmacotherapy, very low energy diets/meal replacements, or bariatric surgery. This review focuses on appropriate use of pharmacotherapy for obesity and cardiometabolic risk. Sibutramine and orlistat are currently available for use in Australia. Rimonabant has been approved for use in the European Union, and is being considered for regulatory approval in the USA and Australia. The efficacy and safety of these three agents are examined. In addition, several novel pharmacotherapy agents in development are discussed.

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