Which Weight Loss Rx Is Best?

Weight loss medication effectiveness compared in new study

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) Which weight loss medication is the best? There may actually be a clear answer, according to a new study.

Currently, five prescription weight loss medications are available on the market: orlistat, lorcaserin, naltrexone-bupropion, phentermine-topiramate and liraglutide.

Data on how well these medications, when compared to one another, has been limited until now. The University of California researchers behind this study compared how well these medications work, as well as their associated adverse events.

These researchers evaluated 28 randomized clinical trials, which included a total of 29, 018 patients.

All five weight loss medications were associated with at least 5 percent weight loss at one year. Furthermore, this study found that two weight loss medications in particular were linked with the highest chance of achieving weight loss of at least 5 percent. Those two medications were phentermine-topiramate and liraglutide.

Dr. Siddharth Singh and colleagues found liraglutide and naltrexone-bupropion to be linked with the highest odds for discontinuation of treatment due to adverse events when compared to placebo.

The approach for weight loss will depend on a variety of factors and, therefore, will be individualized. Speak with your doctor about a weight loss program that is right for you.

This study was recently published in JAMA. Information on funding sources and conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 17, 2016
Last Updated:
June 20, 2016