During the last 50 years the global pandemic of obesity and associated life-threatening co-morbidities strongly promoted the development of anti-obesity pharmacotherapy. Sibutramine is an anti-obesity drug that in conjunction with lifestyle modifications reduces food intake and body weight. This may result from several effects: inhibition of presynaptic reuptake of monoaminergic neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, thereby suppressing appetite, induction of an increase in anorexigenic and a decrease in orexigenic neuropeptide secretion, induction of an increase in energy expenditure, and induction of peripheral sympathomimetic effects. The effects of sibutramine on anabolic and catabolic signals that regulate energy homeostasis in the hypothalamus are not completely understood. So, the aim of this review is to summarize the central mechanisms of action of sibutramine, responsible for its weight and food intake reducing potential. Despite being a useful drug in obesity treatment, awareness about the loss of long-term effectiveness and detrimental side effects of sibutramine has recently emerged. As a consequence, new drugs that produce safer and more persistent weight loss are currently undergoing clinical trials.
Keywords: Appetite, obesity, sibutramine, hypothalamus, weight loss, amplifying anorexigenic, type 2 diabetes
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