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The weight-loss drug, sibutramine (Meridia) was withdrawn from Europe earlier this year because of increased cardiovascular risk associated with it’s use; it is still available in the US. The drug rimonabant (Accomplia) was initially available in Europe, but later withdrawn, and it never did pass muster with the FDA because of an associated risk of  psychiatric problems, including suicide.

New drugs in the pipeline include Anexa and Contrave, which contain active ingredients already available separately (bupropion, naltrexone, phentermine and topiramate; in various combinations of one or more). Early results suggest an 8-14% weight-loss as compared to 2.5% in the control group.

A new drug, tesofensine, which inhibits the re-uptake of neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline) thereby allowing for their prolonged action, has shown very positive results in the initial clinical trials (twice as effective as current drugs), but has not yet been approved for use.

It is clear from the above that weight-loss medications are an inexact science, with potential, systemic, unintended side effects. Since I wrote “The Relativity Diet” there still is no pharmacological aid of sufficient benefit to warrant its use. I do not think the risk or expense justifies the marginal loss of 6-10% at one year.

It may be, perhaps likely so, that one day a magic pill there will be; but, not yet. It is necessary to default to science and logic, a rather timeless beauty.