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Relationship between the use of drugs and changes in body weight among patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Tauqeer Hussain Mallhi
Iram Ijaz
Yusra Habib Khan
Amna Javed
Amna Javed
Umdatun- Nisa Saleem
Raja Ahsan Aftab
Abdulaziz Ibrahim Alzarea
Nasser Hadal Alotaibi
Nasser Hadal Alotaibi
Abdullah Salah Alanazi
Muhammad Salman
Muhammad Hammad Butt


Purpose: To investigate the impact of drugs on the body weight of patients.
Methods: All the randomized controlled trials that evaluated the impact of medications on the body weight of patients were searched in various databases. Studies quantifying the impact of drugs on body weight when compared to placebo or any other treatment were considered for this review. Moreover, the quantitative synthesis of evidence was also performed by generating the forest plot.
Results: A total of 20 studies involving 18,547 participants were included in the current review. Weight gains ranging from 0.5 to 2.6 kg were associated with the use of pioglitazone, espindolol, brexpiprazole, glimepiride and ezogabine while weight loss ranging from 1.1 to 12 kg was linked with the use of betahistine, naltrexone, bupropion, liraglutide, phentermine, topiramate, orlistat, zonisamide, duloxetine, semaglutide, metformin and linagliptin. The quantitative synthesis suggested that drugs can significantly reduce body weight by -0.53 kg (CI 95 % -1.01, -0.04, p < 0.04) when compared to standard treatment.
Conclusion: The findings of this review suggest substantial association of drugs and weight change during pharmacotherapy. Pioglitzone, brexpiprazole, espindolol, ezogabine and glimepiride cause weight gain while naltrexone, bupropion, betahistine, topiramate, phentermine, zonisamide, semaglutide, linagliptin, liraglutide, orlistat, duloxetine and metformin were associated with weight loss. Drug-induced changes in body weight might cause serious consequences and should be addressed before initiating treatment.