Obesity is a major public health problem worldwide. Only relatively few treatment options are, at present, available for the management of obese patients. Furthermore, treatment of obesity is affected by the widespread misuse of drugs and food supplements. Ephedra sinica is an old medicinal herb, commonly used in the treatment of respiratory tract diseases. Ephedra species contain several alkaloids, including pseudoephedrine, notably endowed with indirect sympathomimetic pharmacodynamic properties. The anorexigenic effect of pseudoephedrine is attributable primarily to the inhibition of neurons located in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), mediating satiety stimuli. Pseudoephedrine influences lipolysis and thermogenesis through interaction with beta 3 adrenergic receptors and reduces fat accumulation through down-regulation of transcription factors related to lipogenesis. However, its use is associated with adverse events that involve to a large extent the cardiovascular and the central nervous system. Adverse events of pseudoephedrine also affect the eye, the intestine, and the skin, and, of relevance, sudden cardiovascular death related to dietary supplements containing Ephedra alkaloids has also been reported. In light of the limited availability of clinical data on pseudoephedrine in obesity, along with its significantly unbalanced risk/benefit profile, as well as of the psychophysical susceptibility of obese patients, it appears reasonable to preclude the prescription of pseudoephedrine in obese patients of any order and degree.

In search of an ideal drug for safer treatment of obesity: The false promise of pseudoephedrine

Frara, Stefano;Giustina, Andrea;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Obesity is a major public health problem worldwide. Only relatively few treatment options are, at present, available for the management of obese patients. Furthermore, treatment of obesity is affected by the widespread misuse of drugs and food supplements. Ephedra sinica is an old medicinal herb, commonly used in the treatment of respiratory tract diseases. Ephedra species contain several alkaloids, including pseudoephedrine, notably endowed with indirect sympathomimetic pharmacodynamic properties. The anorexigenic effect of pseudoephedrine is attributable primarily to the inhibition of neurons located in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), mediating satiety stimuli. Pseudoephedrine influences lipolysis and thermogenesis through interaction with beta 3 adrenergic receptors and reduces fat accumulation through down-regulation of transcription factors related to lipogenesis. However, its use is associated with adverse events that involve to a large extent the cardiovascular and the central nervous system. Adverse events of pseudoephedrine also affect the eye, the intestine, and the skin, and, of relevance, sudden cardiovascular death related to dietary supplements containing Ephedra alkaloids has also been reported. In light of the limited availability of clinical data on pseudoephedrine in obesity, along with its significantly unbalanced risk/benefit profile, as well as of the psychophysical susceptibility of obese patients, it appears reasonable to preclude the prescription of pseudoephedrine in obese patients of any order and degree.
2021
Dietary restriction
Obesity
Severe adverse events
Sympaticomimetic drugs
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11768/135686
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