A 'Super pill'
Trial results of a new super pill, known as Rimonabant, have found the drug to be highly effective in the treatment of lipid disorders, obesity and in helping quitting smoking.
The results presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2004 Congress in Munich, showed that the pill lessens risk factors associated with the development of deadly diseases like heart disease, strokes and diabetes.
The first year analysis of the two-year study showed people taking 20mg once a day lost an average of 19lbs in weight, 11lbs more than those on dummy pills. And the results appeared to show improved levels of "good", or HDL, cholesterol in patients, independent of weight loss.
Results announced earlier this year showed use of the drug doubled the chances of quitting cigarettes without weight gain.
"The drug could be a major advance in the management, not just of obesity, but of the risk factors of obesity," The Daily Mail quoted Dr. Nick Finer, a consultant in obesity medicine at the Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, as saying.
"We are excited for several reasons. One is the trial has given superb results in terms of weight loss. Two, it actually incredibly closely mirrors the result of an earlier trial of people who had lipid disorders. Three, this information about the effects of the drug performing independent of weight loss in improving HDL cholesterol by about 25 percent, that is a huge increase and that is something we don't have drugs for at the moment," he added.