New "Clinical Roadmap" for Obesity Drug Treatments

  • The Endocrine Society has released a new guideline as an aid for doctors when prescribing obesity weight-loss drugs, and developing proper weight-loss treatment plans. Researchers say these guidelines are the first of its kind, and can help fill gaps in obesity treatment.

     

    In the past two years, the FDA has approved four anti-obesity drugs for those who haven’t succeeded with more traditional treatments.

    These include:

    • lorcaserin (Belviq)
    • phentermine/topiramate (Qsymia)
    • naltrexone/bupropion (Contrave)
    • liraglutide (Saxenda)

     

    However, it’s been left up to physicians to diagnose a patient's stage of obesity and then properly prescribe the right combination of weight loss medications and treatment plans.

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    Published by the Endocrine Society, the new Pharmacological Management of Obesity: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline, provides an evidence-based “roadmap” to help clinicians decide on and prescribe the right treatment for their patients. It takes a catered approach by factoring in preexisting conditions such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease. The guideline also offers information on how to properly wean a patient off drugs that may be causing weight gain. Researchers suggest this is a way to target weight first, instead of as an afterthought as previously practiced.

     

    While no report like this has been released before, researchers add that the new guideline, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, is an expansion of TOS’s obesity and overweight management guidelines from 2013. Those guidelines were created so doctors knew the best weight-loss medication to prescribe to patients. Researchers say that using the two guides together can provide a well-rounded approach to successful obesity-management plans.

     

    Obesity affects more than over one-third of the U.S. population, and can be a precursor for moe than 30 health conditions, including heart disease, lung cancer and diabetes. And while weight loss medications can be an effective tool, they should be taken only by those who have failed at extended diet and exercise efforts alone.

     

    The guideline was made with support of the Obesity Society (TOS) and the European Society of Endocrinology. 

Published On: January 20, 2015