Comparison of the effects of sibutramine and orlistat on obese, poorly-controlled type 2 diabetic patients

Kuei Mei Chou, Be Yi Huang, Jen Kuang Fanchiang, Chih Hung Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: We assessed and directly compared weight loss effects of sibutramine and orlistat treatment in a group of obese, poorly-controlled type 2 diabetic patients. Methods: This study recruited 34 diabetic subjects [glycohemoglobin (HbA1c) > 8%] with a body mass index of at least 27 kg/m2. A 36-week, three-phase, prospective, randomized, cross-over comparative study was conducted. In phase 1, 34 patients were randomly divided into two groups. One group received sibutramine for 3 months, then completed a 3 month wash-out period and, finally, shifted to orlistat for another 3 months. The second group followed the same procedure but received orlistat first and then sibutramine. The efficacy measures were rate of weight reduction, glycemic control, insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular risk factors, including waist circumference, lipid profiles and blood pressure. Results: The sibutramine-treated group achieved 2.0 kg (2.5%) weight loss with observable but not statistically significant changes in insulin sensitivity, glycemic control, and cardiovascular risk factors. There were no significant changes in systolic or diastolic blood pressure. The weight reduction in the orlistat-treated group was only 0.8 kg (0.9%), which was significantly less than that of the sibutramine group. There were significant differences in total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and HbA1c. Direct comparative analysis revealed no significant differences between these two groups. Conclusion: This study indicates that sibutramine treatment produced greater reduction in weight than orlistat in obese, poorly-controlled type 2 diabetic patients. However, no significant differences in waist circumference, and lipid or glucose levels were found between the two groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-546
Number of pages9
JournalChang Gung Medical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 11 2007


  • Obesity
  • Orlistat
  • Sibutramine
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Weight reduction


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