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Science Briefing

Successes seen with obesity pill

October 03, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. of San Diego said its experimental obesity pill, Empatic, slimmed patients in a study.

At least twice as many patients on Orexigen's Empatic drug lost at least 5% of their weight compared with those who took a placebo after 24 weeks, meeting a federal guideline necessary for U.S. approval, the company said in a statement.

In the 729-patient study, people on the highest dose of Empatic had a mean weight loss of 7.5% compared with 1.4% for those who took a placebo after 24 weeks, the company said.

Empatic is a combination treatment that includes the antidepressant bupropion and zonisamide, an anti-seizure drug.

The most common side effects were headache, nausea and insomnia, Orexigen said. No serious side effects were reported.

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