The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently warned consumers about the risks of weight loss supplements adulterated with multiple pharmaceutical agents. Some of these supplements combine potent anorectics, such as amphetamines derivatives, with benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, and other medications to suppress the anorectics' adverse effects. These weight loss supplements represent the most recent generation of rainbow diet pills, named for their bright and varied colors, which date back more than 70 years. Beginning in the 1940s, several US pharmaceutical firms aggressively promoted rainbow pills to physicians and patients. By the 1960s the pills had caused dozens of deaths before the FDA began removing them from the US market. We used a variety of original resources to trace these deadly pills from their origins in the United States to their popularity in Spain and Brazil to their reintroduction to the United States as weight loss dietary supplements.
BACKGROUND: We offer some perspectives and commentary on the sedation of obese patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). DISCUSSION: Sedation in morbidly obese patients should conform to the same broad principles now current in ICU practice. These include a general presumption against benzodiazepines as first-line agents. Opioids should be avoided in any situation where spontaneous breathing is required. Remifentanil is the preferred agent where continuous stable opioid levels using an infusion are required, because of its lack of context-sensitive accumulation. Volatile anaesthetics may be an option for the same reason but there are no substantial, controlled demonstrations of effectiveness/safety in short-term use in the ICU setting. Propofol is a valuable resource in the morbidly obese patients but the duration of continuous sedation should not exceed 6 days, in order to avoid propofol infusion syndrome. Alpha-2 agonists offer a range of theoretically positive features for the sedation of morbidly obese patients, but at present there is a lack of pharmacokinetic data and a critical mass of high-grade clinical data. Dexmedetomidine has the attraction of not causing respiratory depression or obstructive breathing during sedation and its sympatholytic effects should help deliver stable blood pressure and heart rate. Ketamine has a poor tolerability profile in adults so its use in the ICU context is largely confined to paediatrics. CONCLUSION: None of the agents currently available is ideal for every situation encountered in the management of morbidly obese patients. This article identifies additional research needed to place sedation practice of obese patients on a more systematic footing.
Bariatric surgery is nowadays commonly applied as treatment for morbid obesity. As information about the effects of this procedure on a drug's pharmacokinetics is limited, we aimed to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of CYP3A probe substrate midazolam after oral and intravenous administration in a cohort of morbidly obese patients that was studied before and 1 year post bariatric surgery.
CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort study in morbidly obese patients, systemic clearance was 1.7 times higher 1 year after bariatric surgery, which may potentially result from an increase in hepatic CYP3A activity per unit of liver weight. Although MTT was found to be faster, oral bioavailability remained unchanged, which considering the increased systemic clearance implies an increase in the fraction escaping intestinal first pass metabolism.