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Latest findings presented at conference in London organised by the Association for the Study of Obesity, have shown that many patients prescribed orlistat (Xenical) fail to achieve the weight loss target recommended by NICE to quality for continued therapy. (Patients must lose 5 percent of body weight within 3 months to qualify for further weight loss therapy.)
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The presentation looked at results of an audit of conducted of 331 patients who were seen at a weight management clinic.
- Patients had an average weight of 126kg and one third of patients were started on orlistat therapy.
- After three months, 34 percent of patients had lost 5 percent or more of their weight.
- 20 percent had lost between 3-5 percent of the weight.
- 25 percent had lost less than 3 percent.
- 20 percent had either failed to lose weight or had in fact gained weight.
Lead researcher Dr Karen Slevin commented that:
“If you look at absolute weight loss, rather than percentages, [the results] are very encouraging. Within the group that lost 3-5 percent of their weight, there are people who have lost close to a stone [6.4 kilos].” And that it should be a medical decision whether to observe the NICE guidance and stop therapy in those who failed to lose 5 percent of their weight after 3 months.
Source: Association for the Study of Obesity (2002)
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