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Pharmacotherapy for childhood obesity: present and future prospects

Abstract

Pediatric obesity is a serious medical condition associated with significant comorbidities during childhood and adulthood. Lifestyle modifications are essential for treating children with obesity, yet many have insufficient response to improve health with behavioral approaches alone. This review summarizes the relatively sparse data on pharmacotherapy for pediatric obesity and presents information on obesity medications in development. Most previously studied medications demonstrated, at best, modest effects on body weight and obesity-related conditions. It is to be hoped that the future will bring new drugs targeting specific obesity phenotypes that will allow clinicians to use etiology-specific, and therefore more effective, anti-obesity therapies.

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Acknowledgements

The conduct of this research was supported by Intramural Research Program Grant 1ZIAHD000641 from the NICHD (to JA Yanovski).

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RS-K and SZY declare no conflict of interest. JAY is a Commissioned Officer in the United States Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services. JAY was the principal investigator for NICHD-sponsored clinical studies using metformin, orlistat and betahistine, and has received orlistat and matching placebo from Roche Pharmaceuticals and betahistine and matching placebo plus research support for clinical research studies from Obecure.

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Sherafat-Kazemzadeh, R., Yanovski, S. & Yanovski, J. Pharmacotherapy for childhood obesity: present and future prospects. Int J Obes 37, 1–15 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2012.144

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Keywords

  • clinical trials
  • obesity drug therapy
  • anti-obesity agents
  • child
  • adolescent
  • review

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