Pharmacotherapeutic options for overweight adolescents.

To evaluate the safety and efficacy of current pharmacotherapeutic options for weight loss in overweight adolescents.
Literature was obtained through MEDLINE Ovid (1996-April 2007) and EMBASE Drugs and Pharmacology (1991-2nd quarter 2007) searches and a bibliographic review of published articles. Key words included adolescents, overweight, obesity, anti-obesity agents, drug therapy, orlistat, sibutramine, and metformin.
All studies published in the English language that evaluated the use of pharmacotherapy for the treatment of overweight adolescents were critically analyzed; pertinent articles were selected for this review.
Orlistat has been approved for use in adolescents between the ages of 12 and 16 years. The most frequently reported adverse effects of orlistat were gastrointestinal; reduced concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins were also observed. Of the 6 clinical trials published, 5 have shown statistically significant reductions in body mass index (BMI) from baseline, ranging from 0.55 to 4.09 kg/m2; one small trial failed to demonstrate significant weight reduction compared with placebo. Sibutramine has also been evaluated for use in overweight adolescents in 6 trials. Trials demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in BMI up to 5.6 kg/m2 (from baseline). Of concern is evidence indicating that sibutramine therapy may be associated with elevated blood pressure, increased pulse rate, depression, and suicidal ideations. Lastly, metformin has recently been evaluated for weight loss in overweight adolescents; small, short-term trials demonstrate modest reductions in weight and BMI.
Orlistat has been proven both safe and effective for weight reduction in overweight adolescents. Sibutramine has also been proven effective in reducing weight in this population; however, the potential for severe adverse effects requires further investigation. Metformin has demonstrated promising results in small trials; its role in the treatment of overweight adolescents will remain investigational until further research is conducted.
AuthorsKaelen C Dunican, Alicia R Desilets, Julie K Montalbano
JournalThe Annals of pharmacotherapy (Ann Pharmacother) Vol. 41 Issue 9 Pg. 1445-55 (Sep 2007) ISSN: 1542-6270 [Electronic] United States
PMID17652127 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
Chemical References
  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Cyclobutanes
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Lactones
  • Metformin
  • orlistat
  • sibutramine
  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Obesity Agents (therapeutic use)
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cyclobutanes (therapeutic use)
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents (therapeutic use)
  • Lactones (therapeutic use)
  • Metformin (therapeutic use)
  • Obesity (drug therapy)
  • Overweight (drug effects)

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