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      Medications that cause weight gain and alternatives in Canada: a narrative review


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          The cause of the obesity epidemic is multifactorial, but may, in part, be related to medication-induced weight gain. While clinicians may strive to do their best to select pharmacotherapy(ies) that has the least negative impact on weight, the literature regarding the weight effects of medication is often limited and devoid of alternative therapies.


          Antipsychotics, antidepressants, antihyperglycemics, antihypertensives and corticosteroids all contain medications that were associated with significant weight gain. However, there are several medication alternatives within the majority of these classes associated with weight neutral or even weight loss effects. Further, while not all of the classes of medication examined in this review have weight-favorable alternatives, there exist many other tools to mitigate weight gain associated with medication use, such as changes in dosing, medication delivery or the use of adjunctive therapies.


          Medication-induced weight gain can be frustrating for both the patient and the clinician. As the use of pharmaceuticals continues to increase, it is pertinent for clinicians to consider the weight effects of medications prior to prescribing or in the course of treatment. In the case where it is not feasible to make changes to medication, adjunctive therapies should be considered.

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          Most cited references186

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          Liraglutide versus glimepiride monotherapy for type 2 diabetes (LEAD-3 Mono): a randomised, 52-week, phase III, double-blind, parallel-treatment trial.

          New treatments for type 2 diabetes mellitus are needed to retain insulin-glucose coupling and lower the risk of weight gain and hypoglycaemia. We aimed to investigate the safety and efficacy of liraglutide as monotherapy for this disorder. In a double-blind, double-dummy, active-control, parallel-group study, 746 patients with early type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to once daily liraglutide (1.2 mg [n=251] or 1.8 mg [n=247]) or glimepiride 8 mg (n=248) for 52 weeks. The primary outcome was change in proportion of glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)). Analysis was done by intention-to-treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NTC00294723. At 52 weeks, HbA(1c) decreased by 0.51% (SD 1.20%) with glimepiride, compared with 0.84% (1.23%) with liraglutide 1.2 mg (difference -0.33%; 95% CI -0.53 to -0.13, p=0.0014) and 1.14% (1.24%) with liraglutide 1.8 mg (-0.62; -0.83 to -0.42, p<0.0001). Five patients in the liraglutide 1.2 mg, and one in 1.8 mg groups discontinued treatment because of vomiting, whereas none in the glimepiride group did so. Liraglutide is safe and effective as initial pharmacological therapy for type 2 diabetes mellitus and leads to greater reductions in HbA(1c), weight, hypoglycaemia, and blood pressure than does glimepiride.
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            Antipsychotic-induced weight gain: a comprehensive research synthesis.

            The purpose of this study was to estimate and compare the effects of antipsychotics-both the newer ones and the conventional ones-on body weight. A comprehensive literature search identified 81 English- and non-English-language articles that included data on weight change in antipsychotic-treated patients. For each agent, a meta-analysis and random effects metaregression estimated the weight change after 10 weeks of treatment at a standard dose. A comprehensive narrative review was also conducted on all articles that did not yield quantitative information but did yield important qualitative information. Placebo was associated with a mean weight reduction of 0.74 kg. Among conventional agents, mean weight change ranged from a reduction of 0.39 kg with molindone to an increase of 3.19 kg with thioridazine. Among newer antipsychotic agents, mean increases were as follows: clozapine, 4.45 kg; olanzapine, 4.15 kg; sertindole, 2.92 kg; risperidone, 2.10 kg; and ziprasidone, 0.04 kg. Insufficient data were available to evaluate quetiapine at 10 weeks. Both conventional and newer antipsychotics are associated with weight gain. Among the newer agents, clozapine appears to have the greatest potential to induce weight gain, and ziprasidone the least. The differences among newer agents may affect compliance with medication and health risk.
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              Dapagliflozin maintains glycaemic control while reducing weight and body fat mass over 2 years in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus inadequately controlled on metformin.

              Dapagliflozin, a highly selective inhibitor of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2), reduces hyperglycaemia and weight in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) by increasing urinary glucose excretion. Long-term glycaemic control, body composition and bone safety were evaluated in patients with T2DM after 102 weeks of dapagliflozin treatment.

                Author and article information

                Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes
                Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes
                Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy
                Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                21 August 2018
                : 11
                : 427-438
                [1 ]The Wharton Medical Clinic, Toronto, Canada, wharton@ 123456whartonmedicalclinic.com
                [2 ]School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto, Canada
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Rebecca AG Christensen, The Wharton Medical Clinic, 402 – 658 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4J 5B9, Canada, Tel +1 416 453 3206, Fax +1 416 461 4157, Email wharton@ 123456whartonmedicalclinic.com
                © 2018 Wharton et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited.

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.


                Endocrinology & Diabetes
                weight gain,weight loss,weight neutral,adverse effects of medications,obesity,adjunctive therapy


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