Researchers in Denmark have called for a new obesity drug to be studied in further trials after research showed that it can produce weight loss double that of currently approved drugs.
Tesofensine has been shown to be safe and effective in animal models, and also caused unintended weight loss when it was given to obese patients with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. It works by suppressing hunger, leading to an energy deficit which burns off excess body fat.
The drug underwent a randomised, placebo-controlled study of 161 obese patients in five Danish obesity-management centres.
Those patients given tesofensine recorded a significant weight loss compared with those receiving a placebo.
In doses of 0.5mg and 1mg, the results represented a weight loss of around twice that attained using Reductil (sibutramine) or Acomplia (rimonabant), the currently-approved therapies in Europe.
The most common side-effects caused by tesofensine were dry mouth, nausea, constipation, hard stools, diarrhoea, and insomnia.
The study’s authors, writing in The Lancet, said: “We conclude that tesofensine 0·5mg, once daily for 6 months, has the potential to produce twice the weight loss as currently approved drugs; however, larger phase III studies are needed to substantiate our findings.”
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