Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Xenical May Cut Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Diet Drug Safe, Maintains Weight Loss During 4-Year Study
WebMD Health News

Dec. 23, 2003 -- The diet drug Xenical -- combined with lifestyle changes -- helps prevent type 2 diabetes, a new study shows.

But the drug doesn't work all by itself. But when combined with regular exercise and a low-fat, reduced-calorie diet, the drug helps people lose more weight then they would through exercise and diet alone.

More importantly, the drug cut the risk of diabetes by 37%. Most of this effect was because of diabetes prevention in people with impaired glucose tolerance. Impaired glucose tolerance, or IGT, is one of the early signs of the metabolic meltdown leading to diabetes.

"[These] results represent a significant step forward in diabetes prevention, confirming that adding Xenical to lifestyle changes is a more effective strategy than lifestyle changes alone in delaying or preventing this deadly disease," researcher Lars Sjöström says in a news release from Roche, the company that makes Xenical.

The findings appear in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

An Extra 6-Pound Weight Loss With Xenical

All of the 3,300 men and women in the Roche-sponsored study were obese, with an average weight of about 224 pounds and an average age of about 43 years. At the beginning of the study, about one in five already had impaired glucose tolerance.

Everybody in the study underwent "lifestyle changes." In this study, that meant a reduced-calorie diet with no more than 30% of calories from fat and not more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day. It also meant dietary counseling every two weeks for six months, with monthly counseling sessions for the next three and a half years. Everyone was encouraged to add at least a half mile of walking to their daily activities -- and everyone had to keep a physical activity diary.

That worked for the people who got placebo pills instead of Xenical. After four years, those who stayed with the program lost more than 6.5 pounds.

But those who took Xenical three times a day -- and stayed with the program -- lost nearly 13 pounds.

Staying with any diet program is tough. About two-thirds of those assigned to placebo dropped out of the study, mostly because they weren't happy with how much weight they were losing. In contrast, more than half of those getting Xenical stayed in the study.

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
jennie brand miller

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner