What types of drugs are used to treat obesity?

Updated: Jun 09, 2021
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Currently, the 3 major groups of drugs used to manage obesity are as follows:

  • Centrally acting medications that impair dietary intake

  • Medications that act peripherally to impair dietary absorption

  • Medications that increase energy expenditure

Setmelanotide is the first drug approved for weight management in patients with rare genetic conditions (ie, proopiomelanocortin [POMC], proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 1 [PCSK1], leptin receptor [LEPR] deficiencies).

Two glucagonlike peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists (liraglutide, semaglutide) have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for chronic weight management.

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