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Acomplia (rimonabant)

Although it's been much talked about lately, Acomplia, the so-called weight-loss magic pill has not yet been approved for use in the United States. Acomplia is poised to become one of the pharmaceutical industry's blockbusters - not only have initial test results gone remarkably well, and additionally, it seems Acomplia will be serve a dual purpose of fighting obesity and helping smokers to quit. Acomplia's manufacturers (Sanofi) plan to file for regulatory approval early next year (2005) in the United States and Europe.

Many dream of the day that they could really lose weight just by taking a pill. With Acomplia having impressive initial results, that dream may be a reality very soon. Based on studies over two years, users lost an average of 19 pounds and actually kept the weight off. Users also appeared to suffer fewer serious side effects than users of existing diet drugs such as Meridia and Xenical.

These results were recently announced at a meeting of the American Heart Association in New Orleans. The study included 3,040 obese people who were randomly assigned to take two different doses of Acomplia or an inactive placebo. They were all prescribed a moderate diet that, if followed, would cut 600 calories per day. Among the higher-dose Acomplia users, levels of good HDL cholesterol increased 25%, while bad triglycerides dropped 10%.

Additionally, there was an impressive decrease in fat around the belly of users, an indicator which may be a better measure of heart disease risk than overall weight. An earlier study found that 44 percent of American adults have waistlines greater than the risk threshold of 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women. In the higher-dose Acomplia group, waistlines shrank an average of 3.1 inches.

The placebo survey group lost an average of 5 lbs (14 lbs less than the average for those taking the higher dose of Acomplia). 63% percent of the higher-dose Acomplia users lost at least 5% of their body weight, while 33% lost at least 10%.

Top top it off, clinical trials in the United States indicated that Acomplia, taken in daily 20 milligram doses, can nearly double a patient's odds of stopping smoking. A study of 787 smokers who smoked an average of 23 cigarettes a day found that 36% of those who took Acomplia once a day actually quit smoking. By comparison, only 21 percent who took a placebo quit successfully. Acomplia also prevented the weight gain that many smokers experience after quitting. Acomplia users lost, on average, just over half a pound, while smokers who took a placebo while trying to quit gained 2.5 pounds.

Acomplia is quite promising weight loss drug and Prescriptions1.Net will provide more details and follow-ups as development and FDA-approval proceed.

Specific Acomplia articles and press releases

An effective obesity drug
Diet pill a driving force
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