Rimonabant (Molecule of the Month for May 2007)
SR141716, Anti-Obesity drug
Rimonabant is an anorectic anti-obesity drug. Its main avenue of effect is reduction in appetite.In Europe, it is indicated for use in conjunction with diet and exercise for patients with a body mass index greater than 30 kg/mē, or patients wih a BMI greater than 27 kg/mē with associated risk factors, such as type 2 diabetes or dyslipidaemia. In the UK, it has been available since the end of July 2006.
It is a CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist. Rimonabant is the first selective CB1 receptor blocker to be approved for use anywhere in the world. Belgian researchers writing in the Lancet 2005 said people taking rimonabant lost an average of 8.6 kilograms (18.9 pounds) in a year. They also lost an average of 8.5 centimetres (over three inches) from their waists. However, in May 2007, Canadian researchers reported also in the Lancet that the long-term impact of the drugs was not clearly known with side effects including increased blood pressure and pulse rate for sibutramine and mood-related disorders for rimonabant reported.
Rimonabant may also be found to be effective in assisting some smokers to quit smoking. Sanofi-Aventis is currently conducting studies to determine the possible value of rimonabant in smoking-cessation therapy.
Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for May 2007 )