SIBUTRAMINE IN OBESITY

The clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of sibutramine in the management of obesity: a technology assessment

Background

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of co-morbidity, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Following the withdrawal of fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine in 1997, interest has focused on a novel anti-obesity drug: sibutramine. (Note: since the completion of this review, phentermine has been withdrawn from the market - May 2001.) The aim of this review was to assess systematically the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of sibutramine in the management of obesity.

Findings

Although many trials demonstrated statistically significant differences between groups in terms of weight loss in favour of sibutramine versus placebo, the differences may not always be of clinical significance. The clinical significance of between-group differences for secondary outcomes may also be debatable. Possible adverse effects should be taken into account when prescribing sibutramine.

Conducted by: S O'Meara1, R Riemsma1, L Shirran1, L Mather1, G ter Riet1,2

1. NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination; 2. Department of Epidemiology, Maastricht University, and Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam

Further details

Project page on HTA Programme website

Related guidance

Commissioned to inform NICE Technology Appraisal 31: The clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of sibutramine for obesity. London: National Institute for Clinical Excellence; 2001. NB: This guidance is obsolete and has been replaced by CG43 Obesity

Publications

O'Meara S, Riemsma R, Shirran L, Mather L, ter Riet G. The clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of sibutramine in the management of obesity: a technology assessment. Health Technol Assess. 2002;6(6):1-97

Funding

Commissioned by the HTA Programme on behalf of NICE's Technology Assessment Report (TAR) process