Which medications are used off-label to promote weight-loss in obesity?

Updated: Jun 09, 2021
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Several medications that are approved for other indications but that may also promote weight loss have been used off-label for obesity. These include several antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Medications used off-label for obesity include the following:

  • Methylphenidate - Not approved by the FDA for obesity management, but several anecdotal reports have described it as having variable success for this purpose [163]

  • Zonisamide - Gadde and colleagues reported that randomized use of the antiepileptic drug zonisamide in a cohort of 60 obese subjects was associated with a weight loss of about 6% of baseline weight, with few adverse effects [164]

  • Octreotide - Lustig and colleagues reported the potential utility of octreotide in ameliorating the distinct subclass of hypothalamic obesity [165]

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