Review of pharmacotherapy options for the management of obesity

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Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners


Purpose: To highlight the prevalence and impact of obesity in the United States and provide nurse practitioners (NPs) with an overview of pharmacotherapy options for treatment of overweight and obese individuals. Data source: A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted using multiple databases, including PubMed, MEDLINE, and Ovid. Keywords used to obtain relevant articles included obesity and drug, or orlistat, topiramate/phentermine, lorcaserin, bupropion/naltrexone, and liraglutide. Conclusions: Obesity is a prevalent disease with more than two thirds of Americans being considered overweight and one third being obese. Obesity places patients at an increased risk for many comorbidities that impact patient health as well as public health. There are currently five approved medications for the chronic management of obesity, two of which were approved in 2014. These pharmacological therapies are options to aid weight loss in patients that are obese or those who are overweight with additional risk factors. Implications for practice: NPs can assist patients struggling with their weight. With new pharmacotherapy options, there is an opportunity to add to diet and exercise in order to achieve increased weight loss. A decrease in obesity would potentially alleviate the burden on the healthcare system, both socially and economically, and improve patient quality of life.

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