A Review of Acomplia

Acomplia, known in its generic form as rimonabant, is a AcompliaEuropean weight loss drug designed to help obese patients lose weight. It is not been approved yet in the United States. It is considered a cannabinoid-1 receptor blocker or CB1, the first in a new class of medications.

How it works

Acomplia works by blocking the CB1 receptors in the brain that are responsible for glucose and fat deposit, as well as in other organs like the liver and gastrointestinal tract. Essentially, it turns off the same receptors in the brain that gives marijuana smokers the “munchies” when the smoke. The thought is that by turning these receptors off, the body does not feel hungry, allowing the patient to diet effectively and lose the weight that they need to.

Uses for Acomplia

Acomplia is designed to be used in conjunction with a diet and exercise program. The pill is designed for use in patients who suffer from type 2 diabetes and who are obese or overweight, particularly those with a large waist circumference. Proponents of Acomplia also believe that the drug may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well.

Acomplia and quitting smoking

Acomplia has also been studied as a stop-smoking aid by the manufacturer. In studies, patients who took Acomplia were more motivated to quit. In the United States, however, the FDA issued a non approvable letter for the use of Acomplia as a stop-smoking aid, though an approvable letter was issued for the use of Acomplia as a weight loss drug.

Approval of Acomplia

Acomplia was approved for marketing in the European Union as of June 2006. The launch of the medication was started in Britain, followed by Denmark, Ireland, Germany, Finland, and Norway. It has yet to be approved for marketing in the United States. Approval in the United States has so far been withheld because of concerns about the suicidal tendencies that are a potential side effect of the medication.

Trial studies of Acomplia

In Europe, several clinical trial studies have been performed on Acomplia. The medication can help patients lose excess body weight, which in turn can help them improve their individual risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Of the patients participating in the trials, about half had improvements in their bad cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and blood sugar – more than is normally observed through weight loss without the use of Acomplia.

Potential side effects

One of the main side effects of Acomplia was vomiting and nausea, which was severe enough to cause about 19% of trial patients to leave the trial. Continued studies of Acomplia noted that about a quarter of all patients had some form of psychiatric symptom, ranging from anxiety and insomnia to aggression. An increase in depression and suicidal tendencies was also observed.
Overall, Acomplia has proven to be very successful at helping patients to lose the weight that they need to live fuller and healthier lives. When used under a doctor's observation, this powerful medication can cause dramatic health improvements even for the severely overweight with only limited side effects.

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