Diet drug increases risk of depression and anxiety

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According to a recent study published in the November 17th issue of the Lancet by Arne Astrup, MD, and colleagues at the University of Copenhagen, the diet drug rimonabant is responsible for increased instances of depression and anxiety in its users. Specifically, patients taking the drug were 2.5 times more likely to stop treatment due to depression and three times more likely to discontinue treatment due to anxiety than those taking placebo. The study, although a meta-analysis, confirms and adds to the information revealed in previous studies. The study’s findings are in addition to findings from the FDA that link rimonabant with risk of suicide. The following is an excerpt of an article from MedicineNet.com that reviews the study:

THURSDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) — People who take the weight-loss drug rimonabant may face heightened risks for severe depression and anxiety, Danish researchers report.

The finding follows a recommendation by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel in June that the agency not approve the diet drug because of continuing concerns about increased risks for suicidal thoughts among some users. Previously, the FDA rejected the drug as an aid to help people quit smoking.

“Up to this point in time, there has been controversy over the rates and severity of psychiatric adverse effects with rimonabant,” noted Dr. Philip Mitchell, head of the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and co-author of an editorial that accompanies the study.

This is the first review to examine rates of severe psychiatric symptoms with rimonabant (Acomplia), symptoms severe enough that patients discontinue treatment, Mitchell said.

The report is published in the Nov. 17 edition of The Lancet.

In the meta-analysis, Dr. Arne Astrup, from the department of human nutrition at the University of Copenhagen, collected data on more than 4,100 patients enrolled in four clinical trials. Those trials compared taking rimonabant (20 milligrams a day) against a placebo

Click here to read the entire article from MedicineNet.com

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