Aims To investigate whether the satiety-inducing agent sibutramine affected body weight and associated anthropometry in overweight and obese (body mass index (BMI) > 27) Type 2 diabetic patients on sulphonylurea therapy.
Methods A randomized, placebo-controlled trial was undertaken in 134 patients with stable metabolic control on chronic sulphonylurea therapy. Patients were placed on moderate caloric restriction and received treatment with either sibutramine (15 mg/day) or placebo for 6 months.
Results Fifty-three of 69 sibutramine-treated and 57/65 placebo-treated patients completed the study. Both groups showed progressive weight loss. At the end of the trial weight loss was two times greater in the sibutramine group (mean ± sem; −4.5 ± 0.5 kg) than placebo (−1.7 ± 0.5 kg, P < 0.001 vs. sibutramine). There was a trend for more patients to lose > 5% of initial body weight in the sibutramine group than placebo. BMI (P < 0.001) and waist circumference (P < 0.001) were also decreased to a greater extent by sibutramine. Mean reductions in HbA1c were commensurate with weight loss in both the sibutramine and placebo (−0.78 ± 0.17% and −0.73 ± 0.23%; P = 0.84). Sibutramine was well tolerated with only two patients withdrawn due to potentially drug-related serious adverse events (palpitations).
Conclusions Sibutramine, in conjunction with moderate caloric restriction, enhances weight loss and reduces waist circumference in overweight and obese Type 2 diabetic patients receiving sulphonylurea therapy. This is associated with additional improvements in glycaemic control in a limited number of patients losing ≥ 10% of their baseline body weight.