London, Oct 23 : Tried every possible way to shed those extra pounds but unable to get results? Well, a new weight loss drug may address the problem effectively.
The powerful new drug, known as tesofensine, which was originally developed as a treatment for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, can help users shed two stones in six months.
It is twice as effective as current treatments and can see overweight patients lose up to 10 per cent of their body weight quickly.
In tests, obese patients given the medication daily for 24 weeks lost around two stones in weight.
Tesofensine targets chemicals in the brain to suppress hunger, helping patients to overcome the temptation to over-eat.
Researchers said that It was 'very effective' as a weight-loss drug, and further tests are being conducted.
"If we could treat obesity like we treat high blood pressure, with safe, effective and affordable drugs, this would be an enormous boon to health care," the Daily Express quoted Professor Steve O'Rahilly, of Cambridge University, as saying.
The number of prescriptions for slimming pills passed the one million mark last year, but there has been concern that those currently available on the NHS do not help patients lose enough weight.
Research suggests the new drug is five times more effective than going on a diet and taking a dummy pill, and up to twice as effective as a diet combined with current weight-loss pills.
If further tests prove tesofensine to be safe, it could be licensed within three years.
The report's authors, led by Professor Arne Astrup, of the University of Copenhagen, concluded: "This phase two study shows that the drug tesofensine is very effective in producing weight loss in patients over six months."
According to the research, current side-effects of tesofensine include nausea and bowel problems.
The findings are published in The Lancet Online.