Back in May of this year, I told you about Tesofensine, a new diet drug being developed by the Danish drug company, NeuroSearch. Well, it’s back in the news.

A new study, published in the online version of the Lancet, is singing the praises of Big Pharma’s latest attempt at weight loss in a pill.

Following up on their initial tests, this latest study claims that “Tesofensine produces a weight loss of approximately 10 percent more than placebo and diet in obese patients,” said lead researcher Dr. Arne Astrup, from the Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Life Sciences, at the University of Copenhagen.

Other drugs produce only about 5 percent weight loss, Astrup noted.

The researchers seem to be pretty excited about tesofensine’s ability to compete head to head with gastric bypass surgery for the title of medical weight loss champion.

According to the researchers, “This drug could replace the need for gastric bypass surgery in some obese patients”.

“There is an enormous gap between the existing weight-loss compounds and gastric surgery,” Astrup said. “Tesofensine could close that gap.

“If you combine the drug with an effective diet, you could probably reach the 20 percent weight loss seen in gastric surgery.”

This is my favorite part of the quote:

“Tesofensine could compete with gastric surgery and be offered to those who are below the threshold for surgery or for patients who do not wish [to have] gastric surgery,” Astrup said.

“There are also patients who cannot tolerate gastric surgery.”

So let me get this straight.

Finally, there is a solution for all of those poor unfortunate overweight individuals who happen to be below the threshold for gastric surgery, cannot tolerate surgery or foolishly do not wish to have gastric surgery.

And that solution is:


Perhaps there is another solution.

How about a little less of this:

And a little more of this:

Instead of:

Relying on a pharmaceutical solution which:

  • Alters levels of three key brain chemicals – serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline

Professor Steve O’Rahilly, a Cambridge University obesity expert, said: ‘If we could treat obesity, like we treat high blood pressure, with safe, effective and affordable drugs this would be an enormous boon to health care.

‘To date, obesity drugs that have been effective have not been safe, and conversely those that are safer, are relatively ineffective. The results with this new drug demonstrate that, over a six-month period, it is quite effective.

However, as the drug is likely to have actions on parts of the brain not involved in weight control, the risk of serious side effects on longer-term administration will need to be watched very carefully.’

  • Stops working as soon as you stop taking it.

Once starting the drug, people would need to keep taking it to maintain the benefit, Astrup said. “There is no treatment that is working beyond its taking. This is true for all anti-diabetic medication, hypertension medication and everything, including anti-obesity drugs,” he said. “It’s a long-term treatment, and, in some cases, a permanent treatment to keep body weight down.

  • And has numerous short-term side effects:
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes, such as anger and confusion
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Increased Blood Pressure

The choice is yours.



  1. Start taking one medication and you will probably end up taking many others in order to mask the side effects of the first. What a great way to hook us all in.

  2. Point made is perfect, DR!
    They say there is a 20% weight (fat) loss of after gastric bypass surgery? BS! It is more like 65-7-%! And it is a permanent one!

  3. “Following up on their initial tests, this latest study claims that “Tesofensine produces a weight loss of approximately 10 percent more than placebo and diet in obese patients,” said lead researcher…”

    You lose 10 pounds in six months with diet and placebo. An extra 10% weight loss gets you to 11 pounds. No thanks.


  4. I respectfully ask you to consider the positives to this drug. (and no, I have no stake in it, and this is the first I’ve heard of it.) If there are a bunch of fat people who won’t exercise but aren’t GB candidates, wouldn’t you rather have them lose weight and probably be less of a burden on the health care system by taking this pill? It has to be cheaper than paying for knee replacements and drugs for diabetes, cancer, and the other myriad of illnesses related to being fat. And yes, I can see how it’s just trading one drug dependence for another, but until there’s a pill for exercise motivation…..

  5. Laura:
    “wouldn’t you rather have them lose weight and probably be less of a burden on the health care system by taking this pill? “
    Unfortunately, this pill wouldn’t do that if the weight loss is just 11%, and possibly even less, if experience with previous drugs is any indicator. On top of that, you can’t take these drugs for longer than six or twelve months.

  6. Causes insomnia, mood swings, increased heart rate and blood pressure…seems to me that while you would lose some weight the pill isn’t making you any healthier.

  7. I finally read the article abstract.

    The placebo plus energy-restricted diet cohort lost 2% of body weight. Energy-restricted, drugged subjects (0.5 mg) lost 9.2% of body weight.

    For perspective, assume dieters were 200 lb at start of the study. Placebo group lost 4 lb. Drugged group lost 18.4 lb.

    So the drug looks better than I thought initially. It’s a small study and requires confirmation and long-term follow-up, but it does look twice as potent than other drugs on the market.

    Many metabolic and medical disorders associated with obesity improve with loss of just 5 or 10% of body weight.


  8. I like the pictures where you say “How about a little less of this” and “And a bit more of this”. If I had a woman like the one in the picture, I’d be slim as a rake too :)

  9. LOL – It definitely seems like it would be a lot less hassle to go ahead and avoid those cheeseburgers every once in a while, rather than resorting to expensive drugs or surgeries –

  10. you kno, the older I get the more I love to eat…I cant explain why…but seriously, who cares about obesity, we got statins to help prevent heart attacks…

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