Efficacy and safety comparative evaluation of orlistat and sibutramine treatment in hypertensive obese patients

Giuseppe Derosa, A. F G Cicero, G. Murdolo, M. N. Piccinni, E. Fogari, G. Bertone, L. Ciccarelli, R. Fogari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: The aim of our study was to comparatively evaluate the efficacy and safety of orlistat and sibutramine treatment in obese hypertensive patients, with a specific attention to cardiovascular effects and to side effects because of this treatment. Methods: Patients were enrolled, evaluated and followed at three Italian Centres of Internal Medicine. We evaluated 115 obese and hypertensive patients. (55 males and 60 females; 26 males and 29 females, aged 50 ± 4 with orlistat; 28 males and 30 females, aged 51 ± 5 with sibutramine). All patients took antihypertensive therapy for at least 6 months before the study. We administered orlistat or sibutramine in a randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical study. We evaluated anthropometric variables, blood pressure and heart rate (HR) during 12 months of this treatment. Results: A total of 113 completed the 4 weeks with controlled energy diet and were randomized to double-blind treatment with orlistat (n = 55) or sibutramine (n = 58). Significant body mass index (BMI) improvement was present after 6 (p <0.05), 9 (p <0.02), and 12 (p <0.01) months in both groups, and body weight (BW) improvement was obtained after 9 (p <0.05) and 12 (p <0.02) months in both groups. Significant waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC) and waist /hip ratio (W/H ratio) improvement was observed after 12 months (p <0.05, respectively) in both groups. Significant systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) improvement (p <0.05) was present in orlistat group after 12 months. Lipid profile [total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides) reduction (p <0.05, respectively) was observed in orlistat group and triglyceride reduction (p <0.05) in sibutramine group after 12 months. No significant change was observed in sibutramine group during the study. No significant HR variation was obtained during the study in both groups. Of the 109 patients who completed the study, 48.1% of patients in the orlistat group and 17.5% of patients in the sibutramine group had side effects (p <0.05 vs. orlistat group). Side-effect profiles were different in the two treatment groups. All orlistat side effects were gastrointestinal events. Sibutramine caused an increase in blood pressure (both SBP and DBP) in two patients, but it has been controlled by antihypertensive treatment. The vitamin changes were small and all mean vitamin and β-carotene values stayed within reference ranges. No patients required vitamin supplementation. Conclusions: Both orlistat and sibutramine are effective on anthropometric variables during the 12-month treatment; in our sample, orlistat has been associated to a mild reduction in blood pressure, while sibutramine assumption has not be associated to any cardiovascular effect and was generically better tolerated than orlistat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Orlistat
  • Safety
  • Sibutramine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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