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November 17th, 2009
Xenical Shown to Help Overweight Teens with Weight Loss

Treatment with Xenical weight loss drug combined with a low-calorie diet, exercise and behavioural therapy has been found to help obese teenagers lose weight and improve weight management, suggests a new study.

Behavioural modification, by itself, has not been successful for maintaining weight loss in adolescents struggling with obesity. Investigators are saying that there is a requirement for other ways to encourage weight loss.

Canadian prescription drugs Xenical, also known as orlistat, has been proven to noticeably aid in weight loss by limiting fat absorption in the intestines. The prescription drug is currently approved for use by obese and overweight adults notes Dr. Jean-Pierre Chanoine, from the Vancouver Children’s hospital.

A study was done by Chanoine on 539 obese teenagers to assess weight-related outcomes. The teens were randomly treated with Xenical or an inactive placebo. The participants were also required to follow a low-calorie diet, exercise, and underwent behavioural therapy for an entire year.

Of the subjects, 117 teens given the placebo and 232 in the Xenical group actually finished the study, but of the two groups 180 and 328, respectively, were still included in the final analysis.

There was a drop in body mass index (BMI are measurements of weight in relation to height) experienced by both groups until week 12.

After this time, the BMI average stayed the same in the Xenical group while the placebo group’s BMI increased to higher levels than recorded at the start of the study.

After one year, BMI dropped by 0.55 for the Xenical group, while increasing by 0.31 for the placebo group.

For the Xenical group, the researchers reported a reduction of BMI by at least 5-10%, a significantly higher rate than the control group.

Side effects were common for the teens taking Xenical, but were mild gastrointestinal effects including passage of fatty or oily stool and abdominal pain.

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