Regulation of body weight is organized by distributed brain circuits that use a variety of neuropeptides and transmitters, and that are responsive to endocrine and metabolic signals. Targeting of these circuits with novel pharmaceutical drugs would be helpful additions to lifestyle interventions for the treatment of obesity. The recent FDA approval of two anti-obesity drugs holds promise in a field in which previous drugs were removed from clinical use because of unacceptable psychiatric and cardiovascular side effects. Here, the modes of action of anti-obesity drugs are reviewed.
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