Drugs commonly associated with weight change: Umbrella systematic review and meta-analysis (Protocol)

Juan P. Domecq, Gabriela Prutsky, Zhen Wang, Tarig Elraiyah, Juan P. Brito, Karen Mauck, Mohammed H. Lababidi, Aaron Leppin, Salman Fidahussein, Larry J. Prokop, Victor M. Montori, Mohammad H. Murad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Many drugs and treatments given to patients for various reasons affect their weight. This side effect is of great importance to patients and is also a concern for the treating physician because weight change may lead to the emergence or worsening of other health conditions.Objective: The aim of this study is to summarize the evidence about commonly prescribed drugs and their association with weight change.Methods/Design: Umbrella systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.We will use an umbrella approach to identify eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We will search for systematic reviews of RCTs that compare any of the drugs that have been associated with weight gain (obesogenic) or weight loss (leptogenic); these have been summarized by our experts' panel in a predefined list. Two reviewers will independently determine RCT eligibility. Disagreement will be solved by consensus and arbitrated by a third reviewer. We will extract descriptive, methodological, and efficacy data in duplicate. Our primary continuous outcomes will be weight loss or gain expressed as a mean difference (MD) for weight (kg) or BMI (kg/m2). We will calculate the MD considering the mean difference in weight or BMI between baseline and the last available follow-up in both study arms (drugs and placebo). Our primary dichotomous outcome, presented as a relative risk, will compare the ratio of the incidence of weight change in each trial arm. When possible, results will be pooled using classic random-effects meta-analyses and a summary estimate with 95% confidence interval will provided. We will use the I2 statistic and Cochran's Q test to assess heterogeneity. The risk of bias will be assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Publication bias, if appropriate, will be evaluated, as well as overall strength of the evidence.Discussion: This systematic review will offer the opportunity to generate a ranking of commonly prescribed drugs in terms of their effect on weight, allowing guideline developers and patient-physician dyad to choose between available therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number44
JournalSystematic reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 29 2012


  • Adults
  • Drug
  • Leptogenic
  • Obesogenic
  • Systematic review
  • Weight change
  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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