The increase in obesity prevalence is problematic as this condition is associated with health complications such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, more particularly when the excess body fat is stored in the deep abdominal region. The mainstay of therapy consists of behavior modification related to obesity such as overeating and physical inactivity. When these lifestyle modifying attempts fail, the use of anti-obesity drugs is warranted. Drug treatment is often indicated but is somewhat limited by the minimal number of well tolerated drugs that have proven to have long-term efficacy in maintaining body weight loss. The currently available drugs, sibutramine and orlistat, appear modestly effective in promoting weight loss. Ongoing studies continue to evaluate other drug treatments that may result in body weight reduction through a number of different mechanisms. Thus, the aim of this review is to present an overview of the current drugs available (particularly sibutramine and orlistat) as well as potential future candidates, and the impact of these agents on obesity and cardiovascular physiology. Furthermore, the therapeutic paradox of sibutramine in preventing obesity will be discussed as well as the beneficial impact of physical exercise on cardiac economy.
Keywords: pharmacotherapy, overweight, sibutramine, orlistat, drugs, fat, heart rate, blood pressure
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