Fahad Zubair, MD: Efficacy, Benefit of Pharmacotherapy for Obesity Management


A discussion into available pharmacotherapy for obesity and the uptake in practice of newer agents.

The pharmacotherapy options for obesity management have expanded in recent years, proving both effective and safe for patients undergoing weight loss treatment.

In an interview with HCPLive, Fahad Zubair, MD, Medical Director of Obesity Medicine, Allegheny Health Network, discussed these available medication classes that have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Zubair highlighted the general medication classes that are available for weight loss. The oldest medications include stimulants, such as phentermine, which aid patients with appetite surpression, energy, and could help improve basil metabolic rate. He noted the good application of these medications despite their age and their low cost, leading them to be widely prescribed.

The other classes Zubair highlighted included medications that can benefit patients with binge eating behavior and food addictive behavior. The most recent class of medication include the GLP-1 receptor agonist class, which Zubair noted are the best medications available in terms of both safety and efficacy.

As medications initially approved for diabetes, the agents' may help treat an patient's metabolic health and improve their control of blood sugar, but additionally show signficant weight loss over the treatment period.

Zubair then discussed the prescribing uptake of the agents, noting the exponential increase regarding their prescriptions. He indicated that these agents aid in developing discipline for patients with obesity and the safety allows long-term prescription if a patient is successful.

However, Zubair went on to note that the expense of these medications and limited coverage requires cliniicians to prove the overall benefit of these medications, so more prescriber's plans will cover them in the future.

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