Beta-adrenergic stimulation and alpha 2-adrenergic inhibition increase lipolysis from fat cells. Twenty-eight obese women were placed on a calorie-restricted diet and one of five treatments was applied to one thigh three to five times per week for four weeks: (1) isoproterenol injections; (2) cream containing colforsin (forskolin), aminophylline, and yohimbine; (3) yohimbine cream; (4) colforsin cream; or (5) aminophylline cream. The opposite thigh was treated with a placebo (injection or cream). The treated thighs lost significantly more girth after treatment, both by injection and by cream. No adverse reactions were attributable to either the cream or the injections. It is concluded that local fat reduction from the thigh can be safely accomplished.