Obesity is a chronic, relapsing disease that necessitates a multidisciplinary approach to management. Behavioral changes are the foundation to management, but adjunctive therapy is often warranted, including pharmacologic therapies and/or bariatric surgery. Until recently, treatment options included only short-term therapy (≤12 weeks), and paths beyond that schedule were challenging, as knowledge of the biology of obesity was lacking. With increased recognition of obesity as a chronic, complex medical disease, newer agents have been approved as long-term therapy, and the cornerstone of treatment is chronic behavior and lifestyle change. In the last decade, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several new weight loss medications for the chronic management of obesity. In this review paper, we provide the latest updates on obesity pharmacotherapy. The main areas we will cover include (1) pharmacological management of obesity, (2) a review of FDA-approved weight loss medications, (3) comanagement of obesity and its metabolic sequelae (type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and dyslipidemia), and (4) obesity-centric prescribing for mental illness, neurological disorders, and contraceptive planning.
Keywords: obesity; overweight; pharmacotherapy; weight loss.
© 2018 New York Academy of Sciences.