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Prescription diet pills cause weight loss of 4-17 lbs more than placebo
Friday, September 16, 2005 7:09 am Email this article
"Clinical trials indicate that drug therapies, usually in combination with calorie restriction and/or exercise, achieve a modest reduction in bodyweight (usually [4 to 17 pounds] more than placebo) within the first 6 months of drug treatment," notes Dr. Lisa L. Ioannides-Demos from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia in a recent review paper about drug treatment for obesity. Weight loss from diet drugs often not maintained beyond a year
“nitial weight loss is often not maintained beyond 6-12 months,” Dr. Ioannides-Demos continues.
Weight loss from diet drugs associated with improved risk factors
“Although modest, the weight loss achieved with pharmacotherpay has been associated with improved clinical outcomes,” she notes.
Comment: Maximum weight loss at 6 months, weight regain after that
Comment: Most studies have found that maximum weight loss occurs at about 6 months.
After 6 months, people tend to regain at least some of the weight they have lost.
Comment: At least one study found patients continued to lose weight for a year
At least one study I’ve seen, one done at UCLA in the mid-1990’s, found that patients continued to lose weight for up to a year provided that they continued with an intense, closely watched weight loss program, however, this study was the exception rather than the rule.
Comment: High dropout rates in long-term studies
One problem with analyzing studies that last a year or more is that they have extremely high dropout rates.
In studies that last a year, as many as 85 percent, in other words 6 out of every 7 patients, drop out for various reasons before the end of the study, which makes it extemely difficult to generalize the results to a large group of patients.
Ioannides-Demos LL, Proietto J, Mcneil JJ. Pharmacotherapy for obesity. Drugs. 2005, 65(10):1391-418.
AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION
Dr. Lisa L. Ioannides-Demos
National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Therapeutics
Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine
Central & Eastern Clinical School
The Alfred Hospital
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3004
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