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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2011, Article ID 636181, 13 pages
Review Article

Present and Future: Pharmacologic Treatment of Obesity

1Department of Endocrinology, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, Bronx, NY 10457, USA
2Diabetes Center, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical School, Ein karem, Jerusalem 12000, Israel

Received 7 June 2010; Accepted 9 December 2010

Academic Editor: L. Van Gaal

Copyright © 2011 Mariela Glandt and Itamar Raz. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Obesity now presents one of the biggest health problems of our times. Diet and exercise are best for both prevention and treatment; unfortunately, both require much discipline and are difficult to maintain. Medications offer a possible adjunct, but their effect is modest, they are limited by side effects, and the weight loss lasts only as long as the drug is being taken, since as soon as treatment is stopped, the weight is regained. Sibutramine, a sympathomimetic medication which was available for long-term treatment, is the most recent of the drugs to be withdrawn from the market due to side effects; in this case it was an increased risk of cardiovascular events. This paper reviews those medications which are available for treatment of obesity, including many of those recently taken off the market. It also discusses some of the newer treatments that are currently being investigated.