Efficacy of pharmacotherapy for weight loss in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis

Susan L Norris, Xuanping Zhang, Alison Avenell, Edward Gregg, Christopher H Schmid, Curi Kim, Joseph Lau
Archives of Internal Medicine 2004 July 12, 164 (13): 1395-404

BACKGROUND: Obesity is closely related to type 2 diabetes mellitus, and weight reduction is an important part of the care delivered to obese persons with diabetes. The objective of this review was to assess the efficacy of pharmacotherapy for weight loss in adults with type 2 diabetes.

METHODS: A systematic review of the literature was performed, and studies were included if pharmacotherapy was used as the primary strategy for weight loss among adults with type 2 diabetes. Published and unpublished studies with any design were included. A random effects model was used to combine outcomes from randomized controlled trials.

RESULTS: Sufficient data for the meta-analysis were available for fluoxetine, orlistat, and sibutramine. Fourteen randomized, placebo-controlled trials were included in the review, with a total of 2231 patients. Pharmacotherapy produced modest reductions in weight for fluoxetine (3.4 kg [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.7-5.2 kg] at 8-16 weeks of follow-up; 5.1 kg [95% CI, 3.3-6.9 kg] at 24-30 weeks; and 5.8 kg [ 95% CI, 0.8-10.8 kg] at 52 weeks); orlistat (2.6 kg [95% CI, 2.1-3.2 kg] [2.6% loss] at 52 weeks); and sibutramine (4.5 kg [95% CI, 1.8-7.2 kg] [3.3% loss] at up to 26 weeks). Glycated hemoglobin was also modestly reduced: fluoxetine (1.0% [95% CI, 0.4%-1.5%] at 8-16 weeks; 1.0% [95% 0.6%-1.4%] at 24-30 weeks; and 1.8% [95% CI, -0.2%-3.8%] at 52 weeks); orlistat (0.4% [95% CI, 0.3%-0.5%]); and sibutramine (0.7% [95% CI, -0.5%-1.9%]). Gastrointestinal adverse effects were common with orlistat; tremor, somnolence, and sweating with fluoxetine; and palpitations with sibutramine.

CONCLUSIONS: Fluoxetine, orlistat, and sibutramine can achieve statistically significant weight loss over 26 to 52 weeks. However, the magnitude of weight loss was modest, and the long-term health benefits and safety remain unclear. Interventions that combine pharmacologic therapy with intensive behavioral interventions may be more effective but need additional research.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.