Weight Loss Medications in the Treatment of Obesity and Hypertension

  • Jordana B. Cohen
  • Kishore M. GaddeEmail author
Antihypertensive Agents: Mechanisms of Drug Action (Michael E. Ernst, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Antihypertensive Agents: Mechanisms of Drug Action


Purpose of Review

Weight loss is strongly associated with improvement in blood pressure; however, the mechanism of weight loss can impact the magnitude and sustainability of blood pressure reduction.

Recent Findings

Five drugs—orlistat, lorcaserin, liraglutide, phentermine/topiramate, and naltrexone/bupropion—are currently approved for weight loss therapy in the USA. Naltrexone/bupropion results in an increase in in-office and ambulatory blood pressure compared to placebo. Other therapies are associated with modest lowering of blood pressure, and are generally well-tolerated; nonetheless, evidence is limited regarding their effect on blood pressure, particularly longitudinally, in individuals with hypertension.


Although weight loss medications can be an effective adjunct to lifestyle modifications in individuals with obesity, there is limited evidence regarding their benefit with regard to blood pressure. Future studies evaluating the effectiveness of weight loss medications should include careful assessment of their short- and long-term impact on blood pressure in individuals with hypertension.


Obesity Hypertension Blood pressure Weight loss Weight loss medication Weight loss pharmacotherapy 



The authors thank Katelyn Daigle for editorial assistance in preparing the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Cohen has no financial conflicts of interest to disclose. Dr. Gadde is an advisor to AstraZeneca with payments made to his employer, Pennington Biomedical Research Center; has received research support from AstraZeneca, BioKier, and National Institutes of Health (NIH); and has received speaking honoraria from the American Diabetes Association.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This review article does not contain any studies with human subjects or animals performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Renal-Electrolyte and Hypertension Division, Department of Medicine, Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Pennington Biomedical Research CenterLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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