Aim: To determine the efficacy and tolerability of sibutramine hydrochloride in obese patients whose type 2 diabetes was poorly controlled on diet alone or with an oral antidiabetic agent
Methods: This study was a 24-week, double-blind, multicentre trial following a 5-week placebo run-in period. One hundred and seventy-five obese (body mass index (b.m.i.) ≥27 kg/m2) patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus were randomized either to sibutramine (n = 89; mean age 53.5 years; mean weight 99.3 kg) or placebo (n = 86; mean age 55 years; mean weight 98.2 kg) at 16 participating centres. To achieve moderate calorie restriction (deficit ≥ 250–500 kcal/day), individual dietary counselling was accompanied by either placebo or sibutramine (initial dosage of 5 mg/day titrated up by 5 mg biweekly through week 6, and maintained at 20 mg through week 24). The main outcome measures included changes in weight, b.m.i., waist and hip circumference, glycaemic control, lipid profile, and quality of life, and evaluation of reported adverse events.
Results: Sixty-seven per cent of sibutramine patients and 71% of placebo patients completed the study. At week 24 when comparing those who completed the course, sibutramine compared with placebo patients showed significantly greater (p < 0.001) absolute (−4.3 vs. −0.4 kg) and percentage (−4.5% vs. −0.5%) weight loss. Weight loss ≥5% or 10% was achieved by 33% and 8% of sibutramine patients, respectively, but no placebo patients (p < 0.03 or better). Improvement in glycaemic control was correlated with weight loss (p < 0.001). In 5% and 10% weight-loss responders, mean treatment differences were −0.53% and −1.65% (p ≤ 0.05), respectively, for HbA1c, and −1.4 mmol/l (p ≤0.05) and −3.8 (p ≤0.05) mmol/l for fasting plasma glucose. Sibutramine patients also showed improvements in fasting insulin, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and quality-of-life assessments. Overall, sibutramine was well tolerated compared with the placebo. Sibutramine treatment was associated with small mean increases in blood pressure (BP) and pulse, although an increase in BP was not seen in sibutramine-treated patients who lost ≥ 5% of their weight.
Conclusions: Sibutramine produced statistically and clinically significant weight loss when used in combination with recommendations for moderate caloric restriction. This weight loss was associated with improvements in metabolic control and quality of life, and sibutramine was generally well tolerated in obese patients with type 2 diabetes.