Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Drugs aid weight loss among type 2 diabetes patients


Three commonly used drugs -- Prozac, Xenical and Meridia -- may help type 2 diabetes patients lose small amounts of weight, although long-term benefits are not clear, a new review of 22 studies suggests.

Prozac and Sarafem, known generically as fluoxetine, are most commonly prescribed as antidepressants. Xenical, the brand name for orlistat, blocks fat digestion in the intestines. Meridia, known generically as subtramine, is an appetite suppressant that works in the brain.

According to the systematic evidence review by Dr. Susan Norris of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and colleagues, patients taking fluoxetine had lost an average of 11 pounds (5.1 kilograms) 24 to 26 weeks after starting the therapy. Patients taking orlistat had lost an average of four and a half pounds (two kilograms) 12 to 57 weeks later, and those taking sibutramine had lost an average of 11 pounds 12 to 52 weeks later. “The magnitude of weight loss is modest, however, and the long-term health benefits remain unclear,” the review concludes.

Side effects of the therapies included oily bowel movements for those taking orlistat; sweating, tremors and drowsiness among fluoxetine users; and heart palpitations in some sibutramine patients.

Although the researchers acknowledge that long-term weight loss is “of paramount importance,” they say their review could help determine how weight loss drugs should fit into the overall picture of type 2 diabetes care. “For example, if weight loss can be demonstrated with drugs in the short term, pharmacotherapy may be combined with behavioral interventions for long-term weight control,” Norris says.

The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

Although a variety of other weight loss drugs exist, only 22 randomized controlled studies of fluoxetine, orlistat and sibutramine met the high standards set by the researchers for inclusion in the review.

Of the 22 studies reviewed, the drugs’ manufacturers paid for 18 of them and did not provide the reviewers with unpublished studies the companies had done on each of the included drugs, Norris says. Norris says there is only a small amount of data on other weight loss drugs and people with type 2 diabetes. For instance, the researchers did not find any good studies examining the effects of popular weight loss drugs like ephedra in diabetic patients.

Obesity has been closely linked with type 2 diabetes. In a 2000 study, 80 to 90 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. Obesity may also worsen problems associated with diabetes, including high blood sugar, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, say Norris and colleagues. Norris says people with diabetes who are also overweight may have a harder time losing weight than non-diabetics.

Insulin therapy itself might cause weight gain, Norris says. Keeping track of a complex series of treatments for diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure “all complicate behavioral change aimed at weight reduction.”

Recommendations by the American Diabetes Association in 2002 say that weight loss drugs may be useful in treating obesity among type 2 diabetes patients, but also note that “these drugs work best in conjunction with lifestyle strategies” such as low fat diets and increased exercise.

Norris and colleagues say more research is needed to find out whether weight loss drugs work better when combined with diet and exercise changes.

“In general populations, drugs have been combined with various lifestyle interventions, but most [drug] trials include relatively weak lifestyle programs, perhaps in part to better reveal the medication effects,” Norris says.

1. Norris et al. Pharmacotherapy for weight loss in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (Review).The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 1

Susan Norris | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>