The risk of weight gain and the benefit of weight loss

How Duromine® can help your patients

The causes of overweight and obesity are complex. While diet and physical activity are central to energy balance, both are directly and indirectly influenced by a wide range of social, environmental, behavioural, genetic and physiological factors. For many people, weight gain is hard to avoid and very difficult to reverse[1].

The dangers of being overweight or obese are well documented, and with the prevalence of obesity steadily increasing over the past 6 decades[2], advising patients about the health benefits of losing weight and helping them to do so, is becoming increasingly important for healthcare practitioners[3].

In fact, obesity, which is defined as a body mass index (BMI) over 30 kg/m[2] is a medical condition encountered daily by physicians and is increasingly becoming a major concern for healthcare practitioners due to the high risk of accompanying comorbid disorders[2].

Obesity is a significant risk factor for and contributor to increased morbidity and mortality, most importantly from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes, but also from cancer and chronic diseases, including osteoarthritis, liver and kidney disease, sleep apnoea, and depression[2]. Obesity is also strongly associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality as well as cardiovascular and cancer mortality[2].

Furthermore, people who have obesity, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for hypertension, dyslipidaemia, gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis as well as mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. A lower quality of life as well as body pain and difficulty with physical functioning are also negative effects of being overweight or obese[4].

Many epidemiological studies have confirmed by observations that weight loss improves patient outcomes[3]. Studies have shown that the health benefits of losing weight, even as little as 5% of a person’s body weight, are significant[5], including a decreased risk of heart attack or stroke[5].

In terms of diabetes, research has shown that a 5 -10% weight loss can decrease HbA1C markers by an average of half a point, an effect close to that of some oral diabetes medications[5]. Modest weight loss has also been found to significantly decrease insulin levels[5] which can assist with a reversal of insulin resistance[6].

Losing weight can also lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol as well as decrease triglyceride levels.

Weight loss of 5% can also ease pressure on joints and if weight loss is maintained, could decrease a patient’s chances of developing arthritis later in life[6].

Decreasing body weight by just 5% has also been shown to ease high blood pressure, decrease the severity of sleep apnoea and improve general sleep as well as ease depression in certain patients[6].

Furthermore, a weight loss of just 10% has also been shown to significantly decrease inflammation, decreasing the risk of vascular damage[5].

Recognition of the association between obesity and comorbidities is critical for patient diagnosis and management by primary care doctors[3].

Research has shown that physicians’ direct discussion of their patients’ weight status is associated with clinically significant patient weight loss. In fact, in a survey conducted among patients between 2005 and 2008 in the USA, overweight and obese participants were significantly more likely to report a 5% weight loss in the past year if their doctor had told them they were overweight[3].

Ideally a patient’s weight loss journey needs to begin with lifestyle changes in terms of diet and exercise[5]. Lifestyle interventions that are combined with pharmacotherapy have been shown to result in less weight regain than lifestyle interventions alone[1].

Duromine®, South Africa’s leading prescription appetite suppressant[7], can help suppress appetite[8]. Duromine®, which is available in 15 mg and 30 mg capsules, is an anorectic agent used in the management of obesity. Its active ingredient is Phentermine resin, a sympathomimetic amine chemically related to amphetamine, which acts as an appetite suppressant. Duromine® is indicated as a short-term aid to be used alongside a medically monitored comprehensive regimen of weight reduction which should include exercise, diet (caloric/kilojoule restriction) and behaviour modifications[8].

Go to and register on the doctor site to access information that can assist you in managing your obese and overweight patients.


[1] Australian Government. National Health and Medical Research Council. Clinical Practice Guidelines For The Management Of Overweight And Obesity In Adults, Adolescents And Children In Australia. 2013.

[2] Pi-Sunyer, X. The medical risks of obesity. National Institute of Health. Postgrad Med. 2009 November; 121(6): 21–33. doi:10.3810/pgm.2009.11.2074

[3] Pool, A et al. The Impact of Physician Weight Discussion on Weight Loss in US Adults. Obes Res Clin Pract. 2014 Mar-Apr; 8(2): e131–e139 at (Website accessed on 25 June 2019)

[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity (2015) at (Website accessed on 25 June 2019)

[5] Pietrzykowska, NB. MD, FACP. Benefits of 5-10 Percent Weight-loss. Obesity Action Coalition (2019) at (Website accessed on 25 June 2019)

[6] Web MD. What a 5% Weight Loss Can Do for Your Health (2018) at (Website accessed on 25 June 2019).

[7] Impact Rx – May 2019.

[8] Duromine® approved package insert. July 2000.