Table 6

Medications approved by the EMA for obesity. Indication, drug class, mechanism and side-effects for each medication is included.13 Risk factors include prediabetes, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and obstructive sleep apnoea.10

OrlistatLiraglutide (Saxenda)Naltrexone plus bupropion
IndicationBMI≥30 or ≥28 kg/m2 with ≥1 risk factorBMI≥30 or ≥27 kg/m2 with ≥1 risk factorBMI≥30 kg/m2 or ≥27 with ≥1 risk factor
Drug classGastric and pancreatic lipase inhibitorGlucagon-like peptide-1 agonistNoradrenaline and dopamine reuptake inhibitor plus opioid antagonist
MechanismReduces dietary fat absorptionIncreases satiety, delays gastric emptyingCentral appetite suppressant
Side effectsAbdominal pain, flatulence, steatorrhoea, anxiety, anorectal haemorrhage, bullous dermatitis, cholelithiasis, diverticulitis, hepatitis, oxalate nephropathy, pancreatitis, renal failureNausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, dizziness, gallbladder disorders, increased risk of infection, insomnia, pancreatitis, tachycardiaNausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, dizziness, increased blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, agitation
ContraindicationsCholestasis, chronic malabsorption syndrome, concomitant use with other medications for weight lossDiabetic gastroparesis, inflammatory bowel disease, severe congestive cardiac failure, ≥75 years old, obesity due to endocrinological or eating disorders, concomitant use with other medications for weight lossUncontrolled hypertension
  • BMI, body mass index; EMA, European Medicines Agency.