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

Government must show evidence behind PPE strategy, warns BMA

Government must show evidence behind PPE strategy, warns BMA

Chronic shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) across the NHS during the...

Viewpoint: Bullying is a silent epidemic within the NHS

Viewpoint: Bullying is a silent epidemic within the NHS

There is a lack of training in general practice around understanding bullying, says...

HRT prescriptions lower in most deprived areas of England, study finds

HRT prescriptions lower in most deprived areas of England, study finds

Prescriptions for HRT are 29% lower in GP practices in England's most deprived areas...

Map: Which parts of England are most reliant on GPs aged over 55?

Map: Which parts of England are most reliant on GPs aged over 55?

More than two-fifths of the full-time equivalent (FTE) GP workforce is aged over...

Government outlines PPE supply plans as GPs remain in dark over reimbursement

Government outlines PPE supply plans as GPs remain in dark over reimbursement

The government has outlined plans to provide 'an uninterrupted supply' of PPE during...

Four in five GPs report heavy workload as COVID-19 second wave builds

Four in five GPs report heavy workload as COVID-19 second wave builds

Four in five GPs say their practice is currently facing levels of workload that are...