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Introduction: Obesity has become a public health problem. The increment in energy intake and the reduction of caloric expenditure as a result of sedentary lifestyles promotes a positive energetic balance resulting in the increase of fat deposits. In response to this, the prescription of pharmacological treatments has also increased.
Objective: To evaluate the long-term weight loss effectiveness of pharmacological treatments.
Methodology: A systematic review was conducted on randomized clinical trials registered in Pub Med, Scielo, and EBSCOHOST from January 1st 1999 to December 31st 2008, including those with an intervention program with orlistat, sibutramine, and rimonabant equal or greater to two years. Two hundred and twelve articles were identified, 201 studies were excluded, and eleven were analyzed; seven from orlistat, two from sibutramine, and two from rimonabant. Information of design, intervention time, number of patients, age, body mass index and weight loss, difference between the intervention group versus the placebo, significance level, and methodological quality were obtained.
Main findings: The percentage of weight loss with orlistat ranged between 5 and 12%, the mean weight loss was 8 kg, and a difference between IG vs. placebo of 3.7 kg. Weight loss with sibutramine ranged between 4 and 10%, the mean weight loss was 7.4 kg and a difference between the intervention group versus placebo was 5.5 kg. Weight loss with rimonabant was 7% with a mean weight loss of 7.3 kg, and the difference compared with the placebo was 4.4 kg.
Conclusions: Weight loss with pharmacotherapy is modest; weight regain after interruption of treatment, adverse effects, costs and lack of evidence related to long-term morbi-mortality, do not justify the generalized use of pharmacological treatment of obesity.
Castañeda-González, L., Camberos-Solís, R., Bacardí-Gascón, M., & Jiménez-Cruz, A. (2010). Long-term randomized clinical trials of pharmacological treatment of obesity: Systematic review. Colombia Médica, 41(1), 17–25. https://doi.org/10.25100/cm.v41i1.681

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