Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Drug treatment for Pediatric Obesity??

A study in the June 18 Early Release issue of Pediatrics found that sibutramine is effective for weight loss in adolescents aged 12-16 years. While sibutramine is investigational in adolescents, pediatric dosing has been approved for orlistat, a competitor drug.

Do you favor or oppose pharmacologic treatment of obesity in this age group? Please respond using the comments function.


Unknown said...

In both pediatric and adult patients, the use of weight loss drugs is problematic for a number of reasons. First, the effects over time are relatively small. The recent Pediatrics study of sibutramine observed a BMI difference of 2.6. For most patients in this study, this relatively small degree of loss leaves then still solidly within the overweight range. Secondly, little is known about the long-term effectiveness of weight-loss drugs, sibutramine included. Generally, these substances are intended for use as an adjunct to changes in behavior and diet and do not carry an indication for long-term use. Thirdly, and perhaps the most important, using medication for weight loss in children can easily send the wrong message: that weight loss is best done through medical intervention and not through the family members taking a responsibility for healthy eating and activity.

CINCH said...

Stan said...

It is certainly interesting that pharmacologic treatment is possible however obesity in any age group and especially adolescence is a complicated and often misunderstood entity. As i have expressed before we are in danger of ignoring or minimizing the psychoemotional factors at work.Also, it is important to be aware that juvenile obesity has many characteristics of an addiction, As a consequence it must be viewed as such. In these cases pharmacotherapy is less than ideal. I would be happy to discuss this at greater length, SHG