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Fighting the Worst Enemy: Obesity

At the latest European Society of Cardiology Congress, there were new reports about how effective rimonabant is in treating obesity. Rimonabant, an investigational drug produced by Sanofi-Aventis, is very effective in helping patients to lose weight and quit smoking. The newest trials with this drug are very promising.

In their latest trial, 1,507 overweight and obese people were treated by receiving either a placebo or one or two doses of rimonabant (5–20 milligrams per day). People taking 20 milligrams of rimonabant had lost a lot of weight and at the same time their lipid profiles improved, as compared to people who were on placebo. (Those taking 5 milligrams still lost more weight than placebo patients, but the weight loss wasn’t that big). Plus, waist measurements improved a lot in people treated with rimonabant.

In those taking the 20 milligram dose, almost 42 percent of patients lost 11 percent of their baseline body weight, HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), increased by 29 percent, and triglycerides decreased by 11 percent. More than that, the number of people with metabolic syndrome dropped to half for the people taking 20 milligrams of rimonabant.

In conclusion investigators said that rimonabant has a direct positive effect on lipid metabolism.

Is rimonabant really that good? Can we say that it’s a real obesity solution?

That we are going to see. While all the positive aspects of rimonabant appear more and more every day, the other side is also becoming apparent. Thirty percent of the patients in the RIO-Europe trial stopped the treatment with rimonabant because of side effects (some like nausea, dizziness, and diarrhea). At another meeting at the European Congress, rimonabant (which they all agreed really improves the quality of life), was discovered to cause amnesia and depression in a small number of people.

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