New drug policy in childhood obesity.Int J Obes (Lond). 2005 Sep; 29 Suppl 2:S62-5.IJ
To update physicians, especially paediatricians, in the rapidly developing field of pharmacotherapy of childhood and adolescent obesity.
The paper reviews current and investigational antiobesity drugs.
At present, there are only few drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adult obesity. The most important ones are sibutramine and orlistat. The FDA in the USA approved the latter drug in 2003, and it has recently been approved by the European Union for the treatment of adolescents. There are several investigational antiobesity agents but only few new and promising substances like Rimonabant (a cannabinoid receptor antagonist) and axokine (ciliary neutrotrophic factor) are already at an advanced stage of development.
In adults, it seems to be justified using drugs for long-term treatment of 'medically important' obesity. Strict guidelines concerning the treatment of obese adolescents with orlistat are needed. It is only hoped that double-blind placebo-controlled studies investigating the new and promising drugs will also include adolescents and provide sufficient scientific data to get them licensed for the treatment of obese adolescents.