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Current Drug Targets in Obesity Pharmacotherapy – A Review

[ Vol. 18 , Issue. 8 ]


Sangeeta P. Bhat* and Arun Sharma*   Pages 983 - 993 ( 11 )


Obesity, an impending global pandemic, is not being effectively controlled by current measures such as lifestyle modifications, bariatric surgery or available medications. Its toll on health and economy compels us to look for more effective measures. Fortunately, the advances in biology and molecular technology have been in our favour for delineating new pathways in the pathophysiology of obesity and have led to subsequent development of new drug targets. Development of antiobesity drugs has often been riddled with problems in the past. Some of the recently approved drugs for pharmacotherapy of obesity have been lorcaserin, phentermine/topiramate and naltrexone/ bupropion combinations. Several promising new targets are currently being evaluated, such as amylin analogues (pramlintide, davalintide), leptin analogues (metreleptin), GLP-1 analogues (exenatide, liraglutide, TTP-054), MC4R agonists (RM-493), oxyntomodulin analogues, neuropeptide Y antagonists (velneperit), cannabinoid type-1 receptor blockers (AM-6545), MetAP2 inhibitors (beloranib), lipase inhibitors (cetilistat) and anti-obesity vaccines (ghrelin, somatostatin, Ad36). Many of these groups of drugs act as “satiety signals” while others act by antagonizing orexigenic signals, increasing fat utilisation and decreasing absorption of fats. Since these targets act through various pathways, the possibility of combined use of two or more classes of these drugs unlocks numerous therapeutic avenues. Hence, the dream of personalized management of obesity might be growing closer to reality.


Obesity, pharmacotherapy, weight management, novel targets, pathophysiology, anti-obesity drugs.


Department of Pharmacology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh- 202002, Uttar Pradesh, India; and Department of Pharmacology, Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry – 605502, Department of Pharmacology, Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry – 605502

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