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The effect of sibutramine on energy expenditure and appetite during chronic treatment without dietary restriction


OBJECTIVE: To assess the contribution of a thermogenic effect to weight loss induced by eight weeks treatment with sibutramine (15mg/d) vs placebo in obese subjects.

DESIGN: Randomised, placebo controlled, double blind study.

SUBJECTS: Thirty-two (7 male, 25 female) healthy obese body mass index (BMI) 33.9±0.5 kg/m2 subjects completed the trial.

MEASUREMENTS: Energy expenditure (EE) was measured by indirect calorimetry during a 32 h stay in a respiration chamber before and after 8 weeks treatment. Visual analogue scales were completed for assessment of appetite sensation. No dietary restriction was given.

RESULTS: Sibutramine caused a significant weight loss compared with placebo (−2.4 kg vs+0.3 kg, P<0.001). Despite the larger weight loss after 8 weeks, 24-h EE did not decrease more in the sibutramine than in the placebo group (−2.6% vs −2.5%, P=ns). When the changes in 24-h EE were adjusted for changes in body weight, 24-h EE decreased significantly less in the sibutramine group than in the placebo group (0.8% vs 3.8%, P<0.02). Sibutramine significantly decreased both hunger and anticipated food consumption, and increased satiety scores.

CONCLUSIONS: The weight reducing effect of sibutramine in humans is caused by a dual mechanism: reduction of energy intake by increasing satiety and decreasing hunger and prevention of the decline in EE that follows weight loss.

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Correspondence to DL Hansen.

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Hansen, D., Toubro, S., Stock, M. et al. The effect of sibutramine on energy expenditure and appetite during chronic treatment without dietary restriction. Int J Obes 23, 1016–1024 (1999).

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  • thermogenesis
  • human
  • obesity
  • appetite
  • sibutramine

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