AIM: This article provides the first comprehensive meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials of medications for obesity.
METHOD: Based on stringent inclusionary criteria, a total of 108 studies were included in the final database. Outcomes are presented for comparisons of single and combination drugs to placebo and for comparisons of medications to one another.
RESULT: Overall, the medications studied produced medium effect sizes. Four drugs produced large effect sizes (ie d>0.80; amphetamine, benzphetamine, fenfluramine and sibutramine). The placebo-subtracted weight losses for single drugs vs placebo included in the meta-analysis never exceeded 4.0 kg. No drug, or class of drugs, demonstrated clear superiority as an obesity medication. Effects of methodological factors are also presented along with suggestions for future research.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 12 print issues and online access
$259.00 per year
only $21.58 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Prices vary by article type
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
Similar content being viewed by others
Represents three independent studies.
Represents data from a single study published in multiple articles.
Represents two independent studies.
Lijesen GK, Theeuwen I, Assendelft WF, Van Der Wal G . The effect of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity by means of the Simeons therapy: a criteria-based meta-analysis Br J Clin Pharmac 1995 40: 237–243.
Van Gaal LF, Wauters MA, Peiffer FW, De Leeuw IH . Sibutramine and fat distribution: is there a role for pharmacotherapy in abdominal/visceral fat reduction? Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1998 22(Suppl): S38–S40.
Greenway FL . Clinical studies with phenylpropanolamine: a meta-analysis Am J Clin Nutr 1992 55: 203S–205S.
Scoville BA . Review of amphetamine like drugs by the Federal Drug Administration: clinical data and value judgments. In: G Bray (ed). Obesity in perspective, DHEW publication no. (NIH) 75–708. US Government Printing Office: Washington, DC 1973.
Weintraub M . Phenylpropanolamine as an anorexiant agent weight control: a review of published and unpublished studies. In: JD Morgan, DV Kagan, JS Brody (eds). Phenylpropanolamine: risks, benefits, and controversies Praeger: New York 1985 53–79.
Committee on Nutrition, Massachusetts Medical Society . Obesity treatment using drug therapy. White paper The Massachusetts Medical Society: Waltham, MA 1998.
Goldstein DJ, Potvin JH . Long-term weight loss: the effect of pharmacological agents Am J Clin Nutr 1994 60: 647–657.
National Task Force on the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity . Long-term pharmacotherapy in the management of obesity JAMA 1996 276: 1907–1915.
Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). Public Law 103–417: 103rd Congress, 2nd Session Senate, Report 103–410 Washington, DC 1–49.
Apfelbaum M, Vague P, Ziegler O, Hanotin C, Thomas F, Leutenegger E . Long-term maintenance of weight loss after a very-low-calorie diet: a randomized blinded trial of the efficacy and tolerability of sibutramine Am J Med 1999 106: 179–184.
Wadden TA, Bartlett SJ, Foster GD, Greenstein RA, Wingate BJ, Stunkard AJ, Letizia KA . Sertraline and relapse prevention training following treatment by very-low-calorie diet: a controlled clinical trial Obes Res 1995 3: 549–557.
James WPT, Astrup A, Finer N, Hilsted J, Kopelman P, Rossner S, Saris WHM, Van Gaal LF . Effects of sibutramine on weight maintenance after weight loss: a randomized trial Lancet 2000 356: 2119–2125.
Rosenthal R . Parametric measures of effect size. In: H Cooper, LV Hedges (eds). The handbook of research synthesis Russell Sage: New York 1994 231–244.
Lipsey MW, Wilson DB . The efficacy of psychological, educational, and behavioral treatment: confirmation from meta-analysis Am Psychol 1993 48: 1181–1209.
Shadish, WR, Haddock, CK . Combining estimates of effect size. In: H Cooper, LV Hedges (eds). The handbook of research synthesis Russell Sage: New York 1994 261–281.
Hedges LV . Estimation of effect size from a series of independent experiments Psychol Bull 1982 92: 490–499.
Hedges LV, Olkin I . Statistical methods for meta-analysis Academic Press: San Diego, CA 1985.
Cooper H, Hedges LV . The handbook of research synthesis (Part VI) Russell Sage: New York 1994.
Cohen J . A power primer Psychol Bull 1992 112: 155–159.
National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) . Clinical guidelines on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity: the evidence report US Government Press: Washington DC 1998.
Ozer DJ . Correlation and the coefficient of determination Psychol Bull 1985 97: 307–315.
Kopelman PG . Obesity as a medical problem Nature 2000 404: 635–643.
Kernan WN, Viscoli CM, Brass LM, Broderick JP, Brott T, Feldmann E, Mogenstern LB, Wilterdink JL, Horwitz RI . Phenylpronanolamine and the risk of hemorrhagic stroke New Engl J Med 2000 343: 1826–1832.
Kolanowski J . A risk–benefit assessment of anti-obesity drugs Drug Safety 1999 20: 119–131.
Scheen AJ, Lefebvre PJ . Pharmacological treatment of obesity: present status Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1999 23: 47–53.
Haller CA, Benowitz NL . Adverse cardiovascular and central nervous system events associated with dietary supplements containing ephedra alkaloids New Engl J Med 2000 343: 1833–1838.
Greenway FL, Ryan DH, Bray GA, Rood JC, Tucker EW, Smith SR . Pharmaceutical cost savings of treating obesity with weight loss medications Obes Res 1999 7: 523–531.
This paper was supported by a faculty research grant from the University of Missouri-Kansas City awarded to Dr Haddock and a minority scientist development grant from the American Heart Association, awarded to Dr Poston.
Appendix 1: Studies included in the meta analysis
Appendix 1: Studies included in the meta analysis
Abramson R, Garg M, Cioffari A, Rotman PA. An evaluation of behavioral techniques reinforced with an anoretic drug in a double-blind weight loss study. J Clin Psychiatry 1980; 41: 234–237.
Alger S, Larson K, Boyce VL, Seagle H, Fontvielle A, Ferraro R, Rising R, Ravussin E. Effect of phenylpropanolamine on energy expenditure and weight loss in overweight women. Am J Clin Nutr 1993; 57: 120–126.
Allen GS. A double-blind clinical trial of diethylpropion hydrochloride, mazindol, and placebo in the treatment of exogenous obesity. Curr Ther Res 1997; 22: 678–685.
Altschuler S, Conte A, Sebok M, Marlin R, Winick C. Three controlled trials of weight loss with phenylpropanolamine. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1982; 6: 549–556.
Altschuler S, Frazer DL. Double-blind clinical evaluation of the anorectic activity of phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride drops and placebo drops in the treatment of exogenous obesity. Curr Ther Res 1986; 40: 211–217.
Atkinson RL, Greenway FL, Bray GA, Dahms WT, Molitch ME, Hamilton K, Rodin J. Treatment of obesity: comparison of physician and nonphysician therapists using placebo and anorectic drugs in a double-blind trial. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1977; 1: 113–120.
Bacon GE, Lowery GH. A clinical trial of fenfluramine in obese children. Curr Ther Res 1967; 9: 626–630.
Baird IM, Howard AN. A double-blind trial of mazindol using a very low calorie formula diet. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1977; 1: 271–278.
Bandisode MS, Boshell BR. Double blind clinical evaluation of mazindol (42–548) in obese diabetics. Curr Ther Res 1975; 18: 816–824.
Bolding OT. Diethylpropion hydrochloride: an effective appetite suppressant. Curr Ther Res 1974; 16: 40–48.
Bradley MH, Raines J. The effects of phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride in overweight patients with controlled stable hypertension. Curr Ther Res 1989; 46: 74–84.
Bray GA, Ryan DH, Gordon D, Heidingsfelder S, Cerise F, Wilson K. A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial of sibutramine. Obes Res 1996; 4: 263–270.
Breum L, Astrup A, Andersen T, Lammert O, Nielsen E, Garby L, Quaade F. The effect of long-term dexfenfluramine treatment on 24-hour energy expenditure in man: a double-blind placebo controlled study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1990; 14: 613–621.
Breum L, Pedersen JK, Ahlstrom F, Frimodt-Moller J. Comparison of an ephedrine/caffeine combination and dexfenfluramine in the treatment of obesity: a double-blind multicentre trial in general practice. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1994; 18: 99–103.
Brightwell DR, Naylor CS. Effects of a combined behavioral and pharmacologic program on weight loss. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1979; 3: 141–148.
Brodbin P, O'Connor CA. A double-blind clinical trial of an appetite depressant, fenfluramine, in general practice. Practitioner 1967; 198: 707–710.
Brun LD, Bielmann P, Gagne C, Moorjani S, Nadeau A, Lupien, PJ. Effects of fenfluramine in hypertriglyceridemic obese subjects. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1988; 12: 423–431.
Campbell CJ, Bhalla IP, Steel JM, Duncan LJP. A controlled trial of phentermine in obese diabetic patients. Practitioner 1977; 218: 851–855.
Connolly VM, Gallagher A, Kesson CM. A study of fluoxetine in obese elderly patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetic Med 1995; 12: 416–418.
Footnote 1Conte A. Evaluation of Sanorex-a new appetite suppressant. J Obes Bariat Med 1973; 2: 104–107.
*Conte A. Evaluation of Sanorex-a new appetite suppressant. J Obes Bariat Med 1973; 2: 104–107.
*Conte A. Evaluation of Sanorex-a new appetite suppressant. J Obes Bariat Med 1973; 2: 104–107.
Crommelin RM. Nonamphetamine, anorectic medication for obese diabetic patients: controlled and open investigations of mazindol. Clin Med 1974; 81: 20–24.
Dahms WT, Molitch ME, Bray GA, Greenway FL, Atkinson RL, Hamilton K. Treatment of obesity: cost–benefit assessment of behavioral therapy, placebo, and two anorectic drugs. Am J Clin Nutr 1978; 31: 774–778.
Davidson MH, Hauptman J, DiGirolamo M, Foreyt JP, Halsted CH, Heber D, Heimburger DC, Lucas CP, Robbins DC, Chung J, Heymsfield SB. Weight control and risk factor reduction in obese subjects treated for 2 y with orlistat: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 1999; 281: 235–242.
DeFelice EA, Chaykin LB, Cohen A. Double-blind clinical evaluation of mazindol, dextroamphetamine and placebo in treatment of exogenous obesity. Curr Ther Res 1973; 15: 358–366.
DeFelice E, Bronstein S, Cohen A. Double-blind comparison of placebo and 42–548, a new appetite suppressant, in obese volunteers. Curr Ther Res 1969; 11: 256–262.
Drent ML, Larsson I, William-Olsson T, Quaade F, Czubayko F, von Bergmann K, Strobel W, Sjostrom L, van der Veen EA. Orlistat (RO 18-0647), a lipase inhibitor, in the treatment of human obesity: a multiple dose study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1995; 19: 221–226.
Elliott BW. A collaborative investigation of fenfluramine: anorexigenic with sedative properties. Curr Ther Res 1970; 12: 502–515.
Elmaleh, MK, Miller, J. Controlled clinical evaluation of a new anorectic agent in obese adults. Pa Med 1974; 77: 46–50.
Enzi G, Baritussio A, Marchiori E, Crepaldi G. Short-term and long-term clinical evaluation of a non-amphetaminic anorexiant (mazindol) in the treatment of obesity. J Int Med Res 1976; 4: 305–318.
Enzi G, Crepaldi G, Inelmen EM, Bruni R, Baggio B. Efficacy and safety of dexfenfluramine in obese patients: a multi-center study. Clin Neuropharmac 1988; 11(Suppl): S173–S178.
Ferguson JM, Feighner JP. Fluoxetine induced weight loss in overweight non-depressed humans. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1987; 11: 163–170.
Finer N, Finer S, Naoumova RP. Prolonged use of a very low calorie diet (Cambridge diet) in massively obese patients attending an obesity clinic: safety, efficacy, and additional benefit from dexfenfluramine. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1989; 13: 91–93.
Galloway DB, Logie AW, Petrie JC. Prolonged action fenfluramine in nondiabetic patients with refractory obesity. Postgrad Med J 1975; 51: 155–157.
Goldrick RB, Hevnstein N, Whyte HM. Effects of caloric restriction and fenfluramine on weight loss and personality profiles of pati-ents with long-standing obesity. Austr NZ J Med 1973; 3: 131–141.
Goldstein DJ, Rampey AH, Potvin JH, Fludzinski LA. Fluoxetine in obese patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Clin Res 1992; 40: 240A (abstract).
Footnote 2Holman SL, Goldstein DJ, Enas GG. Pattern analysis method for assessing successful weight reduction. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1994; 18: 281–285.
Goldstein DJ, Rampey AH Jr, Enas GG, Potvin JH, Fludzinski LA, Levine LR. Fluoxetine: a randomized clinical trial in the treatment of obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1994; 18: 129–135.
Gray DS, Fujioka K, Devine W, Bray GA. A randomized double-blind clinical trial of fluoxetine in obese diabetics. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1992; 16: S67–S72.
Footnote 3Greenway F, Herber D, Raum W, Morales S. Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials with non-prescription medications for the treatment of obesity. Obes Res 1999; 7: 370–378.
‡Greenway F, Herber D, Raum W, Morales S. Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials with non-prescription medications for the treatment of obesity. Obes Res 1999; 7: 370–378.
Guy-Grand B, Apfelbaum M, Crepaldi G, Gries A, Lefebvre P, Turner P. International trial of long-term dexfenfluramine in obesity. Lancet 1989; 2: 1142–1144.
†Pfohl M, Luft D, Blomberg I, Schmulling R-M. Long-term changes of body weight and cardiovascular risk factors after weight reduction with group therapy and dexfenfluramine. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1994; 18: 391–395.
Hanotin C, Thomas F, Jones SP, Leutenegger E, Drouin P. Efficacy and tolerability of sibutramine in obese patients: a dose-ranging study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1998; 22: 32–38.
Hanotin C, Thomas F, Jones SP, Leutenegger E, Drouin P. A comparison of sibutramine and dexfenfluramine in the treatment of obesity. Obes Res 1998; 6: 285–291.
Heber KR. Double-blind trial of mazindol in overweight patients. Med J Aust 1975; 2: 566–567.
Hill JO, Hauptman J, Anderson JW, Fujioka K, O'Neil PM, Smith DK, Zavoral JH, Aronne LJ. Orlistat, a lipase-inhibitor, for weight maintenance after conventional dieting: a 1-y study. Am J Clin Nutr 1999; 69: 1108–1116.
Hoebel BG, Krauss IK, Cooper J, Willard D. Body weight decreased in humans by phenylpropanolamine taken before meals. J Obes Bariat Med 1975; 4: 200–206.
Holdaway IM, Wallace E, Westbrooke L, Gamble G. Effect of dexfenfluramine on body weight, blood pressure, insulin resistance, and serum cholesterol in obese individuals. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1995; 19: 749–751.
Hollander PA, Elbein SC, Hirsch IB, Kelley D, McGill J, Taylor T, Weiss SR, Crockett SE, Kaplan RA, Comstock J, Lucas CP, Lodewick PA, Canovatchel W, Chung J, Hauptman J. Role of orlistat in the treatment of obese patients with type 2 diabetes: a 1-year randomized double-blind study. Diabetes Care 1998; 21: 1288–1294.
Hooper ACB. Comparison of fenfluramine (with ad libitum food intake) with 1000 calorie diet in obesity. J Irish Med Assoc 1972; 65: 35–37.
Johnson WG, Hughes JR. Mazindol: its efficacy and mode of action in generating weight loss. Addict Behav 1979; 4: 237–244.
Kaplan NM, Jose A. Thyroid as an adjuvant to amphetamine therapy of obesity: a controlled double-blind study. Am J Med Sci 1970; 260: 105–111.
Kolanowski J, Younis LT, Vanbutsele R, Detry JM. Effect of dexfenfluramine treatment on body weight, blood pressure and noradrenergic activity in obese hypertensive patients. Eur J Clin Pharmac 1992; 42: 599–606.
‡Kornhaber A. Obesity-depression: clinical evaluation with a new anorexigenic agent. Psychosomatics 1973; 14: 162–167.
‡Kornhaber A. Obesity-depression: clinical evaluation with a new anorexigenic agent. Psychosomatics 1973; 14: 162–167.
Kutnowski M, Daubresse J, Friedman H, Kolanowski J, Krzentowski G, Scheen A, van Gaal L. Fluoxetine therapy in obese diabetic and glucose intolerant patients. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1992; 16(Suppl): S63–S66.
Lafreniere F, Lambert J, Rasio E, Serri O. Effect of dexfenfluramine treatment on body weight and postprandial thermogenesis in obese patients: a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1993; 17: 25–30.
Langlois KJ, Forbes JA, Bell GW, Grant GF Jr. A double-blind clinical evaluation of the safety and efficacy of phentermine hydrochloride (Fastin) in the treatment of exogenous obesity. Curr Ther Res 1974; 16: 289–296.
Lawson AAH, Roscoe P, Strong JA, Gibson A, Peattie P. Comparison of fenfluramine and metformin in the treatment of obesity. Lancet 1970; i: 437–441.
Levine LR, Rosenblatt S, Bosomworth J. Use of a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, fluoxetine, in the treatment of obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1987; 11: 185–190.
Levine LR, Enas GG, Thompson WL, Byyny RL, Dauer, AD, Kirby RW, Kreindler TG, Levy B, Lucas CP, Mcllwain HH, Nelson EB. Use of fluoxetine, a selective serotonin-uptake inhibitor, in the treatment of obesity: a dose–response study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1989; 13: 635–645.
Lucas CP, Sandage BW. Treatment of obese patients with dexfenfluramine: a multicenter, placebo-controlled study. Am J Ther 1995; 2: 962–967.
Marbury TC, Angelo JE, Gulley RM, Krosnick A, Sugimoto DH, Zellner SR. A placebo-controlled dose-response study of dexfenfluramine in the treatment of obese patients. Curr Ther Res 1996; 57: 663–674.
Mathus-Vliegen EMH, van de Voorde K, Kok AME, Res AMA. Dexfenfluramine in the treatment of severe obesity: a placebo-controlled investigation of the effects on weight loss, cardiovascular risk factors, food intake, and eating behavior. J Intern Med 1992; 232: 119–127.
Mathus-Vliegen LMH, Res AMA. Dexfenfluramine influences dietary compliance and eating behavior, but dietary instruction may overrule its effect on food selection in obese subjects. J Am Diet Assoc 1993; 93: 1163–1165.
Mathus-Vliegen EMH. Prolonged surveillance of dexfenfluramine in severe obesity. Neth J Med 1993; 43: 246–253.
McKay RHG. Long-term use of diethylpropion in obesity. Curr Med Res Opin 1973; 1: 489–493.
McQuarrie HG. Clinical assessment of the use of an anorectic drug in a total weight reduction program. Curr Ther Res 1975; 17: 437–443.
Miach PJ, Thomson W, Doyle AE, Louis WJ. Double-blind cross-over evaluation of mazindol in the treatment of obese hypertensive patients. Med J Aust 1976; 2: 378–380.
Munro JF, Seaton DA, Duncan LJP. Treatment of refractory obesity with fenfluramine. Br Med J 1966; 2: 624–625.
Murphy JE, Donald JF, Molla AL, Crowder D. A comparison of mazindol (Teronac) with diethylpropion in the treatment of exogenous obesity. J Int Med Res 1975; 3: 202–206.
Noble RE. A controlled study of a weight reduction regimen. Curr Ther Res 1971; 13: 685–691.
Nolan GR. Use of an anorexic drug in a total weight reduction program in private practice. Curr Ther Res 1975; 18: 332–337.
O'Connor HT, Richman RM, Steinbeck KS, Caterson ID. Dexfenfluramine treatment of obesity: a double blind trial with post trial follow-up. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1995; 19: 181–189.
O'Kane M, Wiles PG, Wales JK. Fluoxetine in the treatment of obese type 2 diabetic patients. Diabetic Med 1994; 11: 105–110.
Oster HL, Medlar RE. A clinical pharmacologic study of benzphetamine (Didrex®), a new appetite suppressant. Arizona Med 1960; 17: 398–404.
Persson I, Andersen U, Deckert T. Treatment of obesity with fenfluramine. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1973; 6: 93–97.
Petrie JC, Bewsher PD, Mowat JA, Stowers, JM. Metabolic effects of fenfluramine-a double-blind study. Postgrad Med J 1975; 51: 139–144.
Pijl H, Koppeschaar HPF, Willekens FLA, de Kamp IO, Veldhuis HD, Meinders AE. Effect of serotonin re-uptake inhibition by fluoxetine on body weight and spontaneous food choice in obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1991; 15: 237–242.
Recasens MA, Barenys M, Sola R, Blanch S, Masana L, Salas-Salvado J. Effect of dexfenfluramine on energy expenditure in obese patients on a very-low-calorie-diet. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1995; 9: 162–168.
Sainani GS, Fulambarkar AM, Khurana BK. A double blind trial of fenfluramine in the treatment of obesity. Br J Clin Pract 1973; 27: 136–138.
Schteingart DE. Effectiveness of phenylpropanolamine in the management of moderate obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1992; 16: 487–493.
Schwartz LN. A non-amphetamine anorectic agent: preclinical background and a double-blind clinical trial. J Int Med Res 1975; 3: 328–332.
Seagle HM, Bessesen DH, Hill JO. Effects of sibutramine on resting metabolic rate and weight loss in overweight women. Obes Res 1998; 6: 115–121.
Sebok M. A double-blinded, placebo-controlled, clinical study of the efficacy of a phenylpropanolamine/caffeine combination product as an aid to weight loss in adults. Curr Ther Res 1984; 28: 701–708.
Sedgwick JP. Mazindol in the treatment of obesity. Practitioner 1975; 214: 418–420.
Silverstone JT, Solomon T. The long-term management of obesity in general practice. Br J Clin Pract 1965; 19: 395–398.
Simkin BWL. A controlled clinical trial of benzphetamine (Didrex®) in the management of obesity. Curr Ther Res 1960; 2: 33–38.
Simkin B, Wallace L. Some quantitative observations on a methampetamine–phenobarbital anorexic compound in obese outpatients. Am J Med Sci 1960; 239: 533–538.
Sirtori C, Hurwitz A, Azarnoff DL. Hyperinsulinemia secondary to chronic administration of mazindol and d-amphetamine. Am J Med Sci 1971; 261: 341–349.
Sjostrom L, Rissanen A, Andersen T, Boldrin M, Golay A, Koppeschaar HPF, Krempf M. Randomised placebo-controlled trial of orlistat for weight loss and prevention of weight regain in obese patients. Lancet 1998; 352: 167–172.
Sonka J, Limanova Z, Zbirkova A, Kratochvil O. Effects of diet, exercise, and anorexigenic drugs on serum thryoid hormones. Endokrinologie 1980; 76: 351–356.
Sproule BC. Double-blind trial of anorectic agents. Med J Aust 1969; 1: 394–395.
Stewart DA, Bailey JD, Patell H. Tenuate dospan as an appetite suppressant in the treatment of obese children. Appl Ther 1970; 12: 34–36.
Stewart GO, Stein GR, Davis TME, Findlater P. Dexfenfluramine in type II diabetes: effect on weight and diabetes control. Med J Austr 1993; 158: 167–169.
Swinburn BA, Carmichael HE, Wilson MR. Dexfenfluramine as an adjunct to a reduced-fat, ad libitum diet: effects on body composition, nutrient intake, and cardiovascular risk factors. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1996; 20: 1033–1040.
Thorpe PC, Isaac PF, Rodgers J. A controlled trial of mazindol (Sanorex®, Teronao®) in the management of the obese rheumatic patients. Curr Ther Res 1975; 17: 149–155.
Truant AP, Olon LP, Cobb S. Phentermine resin as an adjunct in medical weight reduction: a controlled, randomized, double-blind prospective study. Curr Ther Res 1972; 14: 726–738.
Valle-Jones JC, Brodie NH, O'Hara H, O'Hara J, McGhie RL. A comparative study of phentermine and diethylpropion in the treatment of obese patients in general practice. Pharmatherapeutica 1983; 3: 300–304.
Van Gaal LF, Broom JI, Enzi G, Toplak H. Efficacy and tolerability of orlistat in the treatment of obesity: a 6-month study dose-ranging study. Eur J Clin Pharmac 1998; 54: 125–132.
Vernace BJ. Controlled comparative investigation of mazindol, d-amphetamine and placebo. J Obes Bariat Med 1974; 3: 124–129.
Visser M, Seidell JC, Koppeschaar PF, Smits P. The effect of fluoxetine on body weight, body composition and visceral fat accumulation. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1993; 17: 247–253.
Waal-Manning HJ, Simpson FO. Fenfluramine in obese patients on various antihypertensive drugs: Double-blind controlled trial. Lancet 1969; 2: 1392–1395.
Walker BR, Ballard IM, Gold JA. A multicentre study comparing mazindol and placebo in obese patients. J Int Med Res 1977; 5: 85–90.
Wallace AG. AN 448 Sandoz (mazindol) in the treatment of obesity. Med J Aust 1976; 1: 343–345.
Weintraub M. Long-term weight control: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded multimodal intervention study. Clin Pharmac Ther 1992; 51: 581–585.
†Weintraub M, Sundaresan PR, Madan M, Schuster B, Balder A, Lasagna L, Cox C. Long-term weight control study I (weeks 0 to 34): the enhancement of behavior modification, caloric restriction, and exercise by fenfluramine plus phentermine versus placebo. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1992; 51: 586–594.
†Weintraub M, Sundaresan PR, Schuster B, Ginsberg G, Madan M, Balder A, Stein EC, Byrne L. Long-term weight control study II (weeks 34–104): an open-label study of continuous fenfluramine plus phentermine versus targeted intermittent medication as adjuncts to behavior modification, caloric restriction, and exercise. Clin Pharmac Ther 1992; 51: 595–601.
†Weintraub M, Sundaresan PR, Schuster B, Moscucci M, Stein EC. Long-term weight control study III (weeks 104 to 156): an open-label study of dose adjustment of fenfluramine and phentermine. Clin Pharmac Ther 1992; 51: 602–607.
†Weintraub M, Sundaresan PR, Schuster B, Averbuch M, Stein EC, Cox C. Long-term weight control study IV (weeks 156 to 190): the second double-blind phase. Clin Pharmac Ther 1992; 51: 608–614.
†Weintraub M, Sundaresan PR, Schuster B, Averbuch M, Stein EC, Byrne L. Long-term weight control study V (weeks 190 to 210): follow-up of participants after cessation of medicine. Clin Pharmac Ther 1992; 51: 615–618.
†Weintraub M, Sundaresan PR, Cox C. Long-term weight control study VI: individual participant response patterns. Clin Pharmac Ther 1992; 51: 619–633.
†Weintraub M, Sundaresan PR, Schuster B. Long-term weight control study VI (weeks 0 to 210): serum lipid changes. Clin Pharmac Ther 1992; 51: 634–641.
†Weintraub M. Long-term weight control study: conclusions. Clin Pharmac Ther 1992; 51: 642–646.
Weintraub M, Rubio A, Golik A, Byrne L, Scheinbaum ML. Sibutramine in weight control: a dose-ranging, efficacy study. Clin Pharamc Ther 1991; 50: 330–337.
Wise PJ. Clinical experience with a new dosage form of phentermine hydrochloride. J Obes Bariat Med 1975; 4: 102–105.
About this article
Cite this article
Haddock, C., Poston, W., Dill, P. et al. Pharmacotherapy for obesity: a quantitative analysis of four decades of published randomized clinical trials. Int J Obes 26, 262–273 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijo.0801889
This article is cited by
Current Diabetes Reports (2017)
An Ecological Momentary Intervention for weight loss and healthy eating via smartphone and Internet: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
Serious adverse events reported for antiobesity medicines: postmarketing experiences from the EU adverse event reporting system EudraVigilance
International Journal of Obesity (2016)
International Journal of Obesity (2014)