Background: The prevalence of morbid obesity is increasing rapidly. Weight reduction is very difficult using diet restriction and physical activity alone. Sibutramine has been shown to be effective and safe as an adjuvant therapy to diet restrictions.
Objectives: To describe our experience using sibutramine in weight reduction treatment of adolescents suffering from morbid obesity.
Methods: The study group comprised 20 young persons (13 females, mean age 15 years 4 months, range 13–18 years) with morbid obesity (body mass index over the 95th percentile for age and/or ≥ 30 kg/m²) were treated with sibutramine 10 mg once a day for 1 year.
Results: Mean BMI was 40 ± 5.6 kg/m² (range 30.1–49.5 kg/m²) at the beginning of treatment. Most patients showed an early weight reduction to mean BMI 39.3 ± 4.9 and 35.9 ± 5.7 at 3 and 6 months respectively, but stopped losing weight over the next 6 months. During the follow-up period 17 patients discontinued the treatment. The main reason for dropout was the slow rate of weight reduction after 6 months. Patients suffering from concomitant disorders (severe asthma, hypertension, sleep obstructive apnea) showed improvement after weight reduction. Adverse reactions from the treatment were transient, mild and well tolerated.
Conclusions: Sibutramine may help in achieving weight reduction for a short period and in improving concomitant health problems, however its long-term effect is limited.