Current and emerging medications for overweight or obesity in people with comorbidities.
Recently, the recognition of obesity as a complex disease that requires chronic management has become more widespread. There has also been a movement away from a focus on body mass index alone, and toward the management of obesity-related comorbidities as well as excess weight. This article examines the current and emerging pharmacological options for weight management in people with overweight or obesity who have, or are at a high risk of, weight-related comorbidities. In the USA, the current options for pharmacological weight management are phentermine (indicated for short-term use only), orlistat, combined phentermine/topiramate extended release, lorcaserin, naltrexone/bupropion and liraglutide 3.0 mg. Currently, orlistat, naltrexone/bupropion and liraglutide 3.0 mg are approved in Europe. All of the above-mentioned medications have shown weight-loss efficacy versus placebo. Those approved for long-term weight management have also been associated with improvements in weight-related comorbidities, such as hypertension, prediabetes, diabetes or dyslipidaemia, or related biomarkers. As with all drugs, the safety and tolerability profiles of medications for weight management should be considered alongside their efficacy to ensure correct use. Additional medications for weight management that are in clinical development include bupropion/zonisamide and beloranib. The field of obesity treatment is advancing with a number of medications being recently approved, and with other pharmacological options emerging.