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04-19-2017 | Obesity | Review | Article

Tailoring pharmacotherapy to specific eating behaviours in obesity: Can recommendations for personalised therapy be made from the current data?

Journal: Acta Diabetologica

Authors: Carl A. Roberts, Paul Christiansen, Jason C. G. Halford

Publisher: Springer Milan


Pharmacotherapy provides an adjunct to behaviour modification in the management of obesity. There are a number of new drug therapies purportedly targeting appetite; liraglutide, and bupropion/naltrexone, which are European Medicines Agency and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, and lorcaserin and phentermine/topiramate, which have FDA approval only. Each of the six drugs, used singly or in combination, has distinct pharmacological, and presumably distinct behavioural, mechanisms of action, thus the potential to provide defined therapeutic options to personalise the management of obesity. Yet, with regard to pharmacotherapy for obesity, we are far from true personalised medicine. We review the limited mechanistic data with four mono and combination pharmacotherapies, to assess the potential for tailoring their use to target specific obesogenic behaviours. Potential treatment options are considered, but in the absence of adequate research in respect to effects of these drugs on eating behaviour, neural activity and psychological substrates that underlie poorly controlled eating, we are far from definitive therapeutic recommendations. Specific mechanistic studies and broader behavioural phenotyping, possibly in conjunction with pharmacogenetic research, are required to characterise responders for distinct pharmacotherapeutic options.
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