Obesity: The New Global Epidemic Pharmacological Treatment, Opportunities and Limits for Personalized Therapy

Author(s): Walter Milano, Valeria De Biasio, Walter Di Munzio, Giuseppina Foggia, Anna Capasso*

Journal Name: Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders - Drug Targets
(Formerly Current Drug Targets - Immune, Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders)

Volume 20 , Issue 8 , 2020

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: The increase in global obesity rates over the past three decades has been remarkable, a true epidemic, both in developed and in developing countries. The projections, based on current trends, suggest an increase in the prevalence of obesity at 60% in adult men, 40% in adult women and 25% in children in 2050. Given the limitations of lifestyle and surgery interventions bariatric, drug therapy approaches for the treatment of obesity, therefore become important options.

Aim: The purpose of this review is a review of the literature, based on research on MEDLINE until 2019, on the possible pharmacological options in the treatment of obesity.

Results: Currently, the FDA has approved several molecules for the treatment of obesity, both in monotherapy and in combination. Pharmacological monotherapies focus mainly on a single protein target and include orlistat, lorcaserin and liraglutide while the combination molecules propose a multitarget approach and include phentermine/topiramate and naltrexone/bupropion. All the approved drugs showed, in the different studies, a weight reduction of at least 5%, compared to placebo, in 52 weeks of observation. Phentermine-topiramate and liraglutide have been associated with the highest probability of at least 5% weight loss. Liraglutide and naltrexone-bupropion had the lowest rates of therapy discontinuation due to adverse events.

Conclusion: The drugs, associated with the standard diet and/or exercise protocols, represent a good therapeutic opportunity to allow not only weight loss but also to reduce the risk of developing diseases caused by obesity, particularly cardiovascular diseases, and to maintain the set objectives over time. However, future research on the pharmacological treatment of obesity should encourage greater personalization of therapy, given the differences in safety, efficacy and response to therapy, in the different subpopulations of patients with obesity.

Keywords: Obesity, pharmacotherapy, orlistat, lorcaserin, naltrexone-bupropion, phentermine-topiramate and liraglutide.

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Article Details

Year: 2020
Page: [1232 - 1243]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/1871530320666200515112853
Price: $65

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