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Genetics May Contribute to Sibutramine Success

Variations in three candidate genes may offer guidance in selecting patients most likely to benefit

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Selecting patients for weight-loss therapy with sibutramine and behavioral counseling based on candidate genes may improve response to the therapy, according to research published in the October issue of Gastroenterology.

April B.M. Grudell, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues analyzed data from 181 overweight or obese subjects who were randomized to receive placebo or 10 or 15 milligrams of sibutramine daily for 12 weeks. All subjects also received behavioral weight-management materials and met with a psychologist periodically. The researchers assessed the subjects for particular markers of polymorphisms of genes that might affect the drug's actions: α2A adrenoreceptor, serotonin transporter and GNβ3.

Each dosage of sibutramine led to weight loss, the researchers report. Variations in these genes were individually associated with the degree of weight loss with sibutramine at 12 weeks. Significant overall treatment effects were seen in α2A CC but not α2A CG/GG; GNβ3 TC/TT but not GNβ3 CC; and 5HTTLPR LS/SS but not 5HTTLPR LL, the investigators found.

"Candidate gene variations provide useful markers of response to sibutramine and may help select obese patients likely to experience improved outcome with this multimodal treatment because the different markers are present in almost 50 percent of patients," the authors write. "We conclude that the selected markers of the candidate genes are individually significant predictors of weight loss in response to multidimensional sibutramine and behavioral therapy."

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