On the same day that the U.S. government was lamenting the news that obesity has caught up with smoking as a leading killer of Americans, a study demonstrated that a pill may help people quit smoking and lose weight at the same time.
Called rimonabant, the drug works by blocking certain receptors in the brain that urge people to smoke and eat. In research presented at the March 2004 American College of Cardiology Conference in New Orleans, rimonabant helped overweight people drop an average of 20 pounds in one study while doubling smokers’ success at quitting in another study.
Rimonabant developer Sanofi-Synthelabo of France financed the research. By next year, Sanofi-Synthelabo plans to seek U.S. approval to sell rimonabant under the brand name Acomplia.
Source: Daniel Q. Haney of the Associated Press, March 10, 2004