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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Safety of obesity drugs.

The safety of obesity drugs has historically been poor. This and the stigmatisation of obesity in society ensured that a higher standard of safety for obesity drugs must be met. The authors review the safety disasters of obesity drugs that were withdrawn. The authors then review the safety of presently available drugs--benzphetamine, phendimetrazine, diethylpropion, phentermine, sibutramine and orlistat. The safety of rimonabant, a drug with a pending new drug application that has an independent effect on metabolic syndrome, is also reviewed. The authors compare the stage of obesity drug development to that of hypertension in the 1950s. As new and safer drugs with more downstream mechanisms are developed that have independent effects on the cardiovascular risks associated with obesity, third party reimbursement for obesity medicine is likely to improve. This may lead to obesity being treated like hypertension and other chronic diseases with long-term medication. With improved technological tools, the authors believe this process will be more rapid for obesity than it was for hypertension.[1]


  1. Safety of obesity drugs. Greenway, F.L., Caruso, M.K. Expert opinion on drug safety. (2005) [Pubmed]
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