As the prevalence and severity of obesity and its complications have risen significantly in worldwide
populations, behavioral interventions alone have been inconsistent in promoting sufficient, sustained weight
loss. Consequently, there has been intense interest in the development of anti-obesity medications as
treatment strategies. When coupled with structured lifestyle modifications, pharmacotherapy can enhance
weight loss. While less efficacious than bariatric surgery, drug therapy may be an alternative to surgery for
some obese patients, and is an emerging strategy for weight maintenance. The goal of pharmacogenetics is to
help identify patients who will benefit most from drug therapies while minimizing the risk of adverse effects. In
this review, we summarize the pharmacogenetic literature on obesity drugs of the past (sibutramine,
rimonabant), present (orlistat, lorcaserin, phentermine, topiramate), and future (buprioprion/naltrexone).
Keywords: Buprioprion, Contrave, lorcaserin, naltrexone, obesity, orlistat, pharmacogenetics, phentermine, Qnexa,
rimonabant, sibutramine, topiramate.
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