Obesity Pharmacotherapy

Med Clin North Am. 2018 Jan;102(1):135-148. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2017.08.010.


Although diet, physical activity, and behavioral modifications are the cornerstones of weight management, weight loss achieved by lifestyle modifications alone is often limited and difficult to maintain. Pharmacotherapy for obesity can be considered if patients have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater or BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater with weight-related comorbidities. The 6 most commonly used antiobesity medications are phentermine, orlistat, phentermine/topiramate extended release, lorcaserin, naltrexone sustained release (SR)/bupropion SR, and liraglutide 3.0 mg. Successful pharmacotherapy for obesity depends on tailoring treatment to patients' behaviors and comorbidities and monitoring of efficacy, safety, and tolerability.

Keywords: Liraglutide; Lorcaserin; Naltrexone/bupropion; Obesity; Orlistat; Pharmacotherapy; Phentermine/topiramate; Weight management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Obesity Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Benzazepines / therapeutic use
  • Drug Combinations
  • Fructose / analogs & derivatives
  • Fructose / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lactones / therapeutic use
  • Naltrexone / therapeutic use
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Orlistat
  • Phentermine / therapeutic use
  • Topiramate


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Benzazepines
  • Drug Combinations
  • Lactones
  • Topiramate
  • Fructose
  • Naltrexone
  • lorcaserin
  • Orlistat
  • Phentermine