Weight-loss drug increases depression risk

Advice to assess obese patients for depression before being given weight loss drug rimonabant has been reiterated following evidence linking the drug with mental problems.

Findings of a meta-analysis of four trials carried out by Danish researchers showed patients given rimonabant were 2.5 times more likely to stop treatment because of depression than those on placebo. Patients were also three times more likely to quit treatment because of anxiety.

The four trials included a total of 4,105 patients who were randomly assigned 20mg rimonabant daily or placebo. Patients suffering from depressed mood were excluded from the trial.

Patients given the drug had 4.7kg greater weight loss after the first year than those on placebo. The rate of serious adverse events was 40 per cent higher in the treatment group.

In July the EMEA said rimonabant should be contraindicated in those with depression or those on antidepressants.

Dr David Haslam, clinical director of the National Obesity Forum, said GPs need to consider these contraindications before prescribing rimonabant.

A spokeswoman for manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis said it 'has actively sought to ensure that treatment is prescribed to the right patient'.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Medical examiners to scrutinise deaths in community settings

The MDU's Dr Kathryn Leask explains how the expansion of the medical examiner system...

Person receiving a COVID-19 booster

COVID-19 booster campaign to start on 5 September, NHS England says

The COVID-19 booster programme will begin in care homes and for housebound patients...

GP consulting room

Nine in ten GPs fear their practice will struggle to cope this winter

Nearly nine in ten GPs fear that their practice will struggle to cope this winter,...

BMA sign

BMA elects new deputy chair of England GP committee and chair of Scottish council

Dr David Wrigley has been elected as new deputy chair of the BMA's GP committee in...

UK money

Almost half of practices say income from private fees has fallen in past year

Almost half of GP practices have seen their income from private and professional...

COVID-19 vaccination centre

BMA raises 'serious concerns' about GP workload and funding for autumn COVID boosters

The BMA has raised 'serious concerns' about the workload implications of this autumn's...