Post-marketing withdrawal of anti-obesity medicines

Most of the drugs licensed for the treatment of obesity over the past 65 years have been withdrawn because of siginifcant adverse reactions. The reasons for these withdrawals raise serious concerns about the exaxt reasons why we event consider using such drugs to manage obesity.

Our publication in BMC of the post-marketing withdrawal of anti-obesity medicinal products because of adverse drug reactions identified all the anti-obesity medications withdrawn since 1950 because of adverse drug reactions after regulatory approval, and examined the evidence used to support such withdrawals, investigated the mechanisms of the adverse reactions, and explored the trends over time.

We did this by conducting searches in PubMed, the World Health Organization database of drugs, the websites of drug regulatory authorities, and selected full texts, and we hand searched references in retrieved documents.

We managed to identifty 25 anti-obesity medications withdrawn between 1964 and 2009; 23 of these were centrally acting, via monoamine neurotransmitters. Psychiatric disturbances, cardiotoxicity (mainly attributable to re-uptake inhibitors), and drug abuse or dependence (mainly attributable to neurotransmitter releasing agents) together accounted for 80% of the withdrawals. Deaths were associated with seven products (28%). I

You can read the full paper here. And also consider carefully whether taking an anti-obsestiy drug (many of which are available on the internet) is worth the serious harms.

BMC Med. 2016 Nov 29;14(1):191.
Post-marketing withdrawal of anti-obesity medicinal products because of adverse drug reactions: a systematic review. BMC Medicine201614:191 DOI: 10.1186/s12916-016-0735-y

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