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Two-drug obesity treatment effective: Study

12 April 2011 No Comment

A NEW treatment for obesity that combines two existing drugs resulted in twice as much weight loss as the only approved long-term anti-obesity medication, according to a study released on Monday.

A mix of Phentermine and topiramate, sold under the brand name of Topamax, was shown in clinical trials to be twice as effective as orlistat, which is commercialised in some countries as Xenical or Alli, it said.

The drug combo appears to have additional health benefits, including improved ‘markers,’ or indicators, for blood pressure, sugar levels, lipids and inflammation, it added. Phentermine is the most widely prescribed short-term weight drug in the United States.

Topiramate is an anticonvulsant approved for treating seizure disorders and migraines. It has been shown to work well for weight loss in obese patients with type 2 diabetes, but – taken alone – has also been linked to cognitive and psychiatric side effects.

Lower doses taken with a controlled-release mechanism and in combination with other drugs would likely reduce those side effects, tests have shown.

Led by Kishore Cadde of the Duke University Medical Centre, in Durham, North Carolina, the new trial was conducted over 20 months with nearly 2,500 overweight or obese adults with at least two major health-risk symptoms.

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