The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Diet, Drugs, and Surgery for Weight Loss
Revised 4/17/15: In Table 1, the mean weight loss range for lorcaserin has been revised (please see addendum) and a new footnote, number 19, has been added.

Adults with a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9 kg/m2 are considered overweight. Those with a BMI ≥30 are considered obese. Losing even a small amount of weight and increasing physical activity can prevent some of the complications of obesity, particularly type 2 diabetes. Diet and exercise are the preferred methods for losing weight, but long-term failure rates are high. Several drugs have been approved by the FDA for weight reduction, but adherence is poor, adverse effects are common, and patients usually regain the lost weight when the drug is stopped. Bariatric surgery can produce substantial weight loss and significantly reduce obesity-related comorbidities; long-term data on its safety are encouraging, but still limited. Guidelines for the management of overweight or obese adults have recently been published.1,2


WEIGHT LOSS — Adults ... more      

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