New trends in the treatment of obesity

Alanazi, Fahad
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Obesity, though a problem seen in the previous century had not reached its current alarming rate where it affects 13% of the world population, approximately 600 million people. Another 1.9 billion people were diagnosed as overweight in 2014, making the probability of an increase in obese patients very high. It is now considered a modern day epidemic since more people die due to obesity and its related issues than from malnutrition. An imbalance in caloric intake is the cause of overweight and obesity. The sedentary lifestyle that has been embraced by a majority of people today is also to blame. With time, the patient will begin to notice signs of weight increase such as their clothes fitting tighter and an intolerance to physical activities. If weight loss is not achieved, within a few years, several comorbidities may affect the individual. The most dangerous being in the cardiovascular category such as stroke or myocardial infarction which are currently the leading cause of death in adults’ world-wide. Efforts are being made at every level; personal, society, government to curb this illness before it causes any more damage. Several measures have therefore been put in place, and they include nutritional counselling, an increase in physical activity, behavioural therapy, surgery and pharmacological treatment. On the part of the physician and pharmaceutical industry, it has been a long journey to obtain the ideal anti-obesity drugs. Many drugs have been approved over the years but subsequently withdrawn due to the adverse side effects that they caused to the patient. This thesis discusses the currently available medication and those emerging. Phentermine is currently the only drug approved for the short term treatment of obesity. Orlistat a drug that inhibits pancreatic lipase was approved in 1999, Lorcaserin the serotonin agonist followed suite in 2012 along with Qsymia, a combination of phentermine and topiramate. In 2014, the drug Contrave, a bupropion and naltrexone combination was approved for long term use. Tesofensine, a serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine reuptake inhibitor is currently in Phase III testing while Empatic, a zonisamide and bupropion is in Phase II testing. Although the search for better anti-obesity drugs still continues, good progress is being made in this journey and there is hope for discovering the cure of obesity.
pharmacology, treatment, obesity, conrtrave