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Study: New Weight Loss Drug May Help Dieters

Overweight and Obese Dieters Lost More Weight With Acomplia Than Placebo
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WebMD Health News

April 14, 2005 -- A new weight loss drug called AcompliaAcomplia looks promising, say European researchers.

They studied 1,500 people with obese or overweight body mass index (BMI). Participants who took Acomplia for a year -- while also cutting 600 calories from their daily intake -- lost more weight than their dieting peers who got a placebo.

The dose mattered. Those who took 20 milligrams of Acomplia fared best. They lost more weight and had greater improvements in waist size, cholesterol, triglycerides (a blood fat link to diabetes and heart disease risk), insulin resistance, and prevalence of metabolic syndromemetabolic syndrome (abnormalities that greatly raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes).

The findings appear in The Lancet's April 16 edition.

Year-Long Test

First, all participants had their calories cut by the researchers, who included Luc Van Gaal of Belgium's University Hospital Antwerp.

After four weeks, participants had lost an average of about 4 pounds (1.9 kilograms) and their cholesterol dropped 6% without any medication.

Next, participants were assigned to one of three treatment groups. One group took five milligrams of Acomplia per day. The second group took 20 milligrams of Acomplia. The third group got a placebo pill.

Meanwhile, everyone kept dieting. Their calories were limited throughout the study.

A year later, all groups had lost at least some weight. More weight was lost with Acomplia compared with the placebo.

After one year the average weight loss was about 14 pounds (6.6 kilograms) with 20 milligrams per day of Acomplia, 7.5 pounds with 5 milligrams per day of Acomplia, and about 4 pounds with the placebo, says the study.

Here's how the results look for people who completed the study:

  • Weight loss of 5% or more: 67% with 20 milligrams of Acomplia, 44% with 5 milligrams of Acomplia, 30% with the placebo.
  • Weight loss of 10% or more: 39% with 20 milligrams of Acomplia, 15% with 5 milligrams of Acomplia, and 12% with the placebo.

Weight loss with Acomplia appeared to be sustained for up to 36-40 weeks, says the study. "How this finding will translate into prolonged weight loss in clinical practice has yet to be determined," the researchers write.

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