Effect of orlistat, micronised fenofibrate and their combination on metabolic parameters in overweight and obese patients with the metabolic syndrome: the FenOrli study

T D Filippatos, D N Kiortsis, E N Liberopoulos, M Georgoula, D P Mikhailidis, M S Elisaf
Current Medical Research and Opinion 2005, 21 (12): 1997-2006

BACKGROUND: Obesity is becoming increasingly common worldwide and is strongly associated with the metabolic syndrome (MetS). MetS is considered to be a cluster of risk factors that increase the risk of vascular events.

OBJECTIVE: In an open-label randomised study (the FenOrli study) we assessed the effect of orlistat and fenofibrate treatment, alone or in combination on reversing the diagnosis of the MetS (primary end-point) as well as on anthropometric and metabolic parameters (secondary end-points) in overweight and obese patients with MetS but no diabetes.

METHODS: Overweight and obese patients (N = 89, body mass index (BMI) > 28 kg/m2) with MetS [as defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) III criteria] participated in the study. Patients were prescribed a low-calorie low-fat diet and were randomly allocated to receive orlistat 120 mg three times a day (tid) (O group), micronised fenofibrate 200 mg/day (F group), or orlistat 120 mg tid plus micronised fenofibrate 200 mg/day (OF group). Body weight, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, serum total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), non-HDL-C, triglyceride, creatinine (SCr) and uric acid (SUA) levels, as well as homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) index and liver enzyme activities were measured at baseline and after 3 months of treatment.

RESULTS: Of the 89 patients enrolled, three (one in each group) dropped out during the study due to side effects. After the 3-month treatment period, 43.5% of patients in the O group, 47.6% in the F group and 50% in the OF group no longer met the MetS diagnostic criteria (primary end-point, p < 0.0001 vs. baseline in all treatment groups). No significant difference in the primary end-point was observed between the three treatment groups. Significant reductions in body weight, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, TC, LDL-C, non-HDL-C, triglyceride and SUA levels, as well as gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase activity and HOMA index were observed in all treatment groups. In the OF group a greater decrease in TC (-26%) and LDL-C (-30%) was observed compared with that in the O and F groups (p < 0.01) and a more pronounced reduction of triglycerides (-37%) compared with that in the O group (p < 0.05). SUA levels and alkaline phosphatase activity decreased more in the F and OF groups compared with the O group (p < 0.05). Moreover, SCr significantly increased and estimated creatinine clearance decreased in the F and OF groups but they were not significantly altered in the O group (p < 0.01 for the comparison between O and either F or OF groups). Glucose (in groups O and OF), as well as insulin levels and HOMA index (in all groups), were significantly reduced after treatment (p < 0.05 vs. baseline).

CONCLUSION: The combination of orlistat and micronised fenofibrate appears to be safe and may further improve metabolic parameters in overweight and obese patients with MetS compared with each monotherapy.

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