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Pharmacological Advances to the Treatment of Obesity

Obesity is one of the most serious problems of the 21st century and affects nearly 300 million people worldwide. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 18% of the adult population is obese. More alarming is the fact that there is a strong correlation between the development of childhood obesity and its prevalence in adulthood. Also, children who do not have this disease have a high probability of staying within normal weight in adulthood. Therefore, the presence of an early obesity predisposes to a prevalence of this condition in adult ages. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved five long-term obesity drugs for adults who are obese so far: lorcaserin, phentermine/topiramate, naltrexone/bupropion, Orlistat and liraglutide over the past two years. A fifth alternative, orlistat is a long-term medication that is effective for up to six months and is the only drug used to treat childhood obesity. For this reason, new pharmacological alternatives are investigated. Therefore, it is very important the knowledge of the intestine-brain axis and hence leptin, which regulates food intake and energy balance in normal weight subjects and is a key hormone in food and body regulation in both children and adults.


Milton E. Londoño-Lemos

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