Anti-obesity medication or weight loss medications are pharmacological agents that reduce or control weight. These medications alter one of the fundamental processes of the human body, weight regulation, by altering either appetite, or absorption of calories. The main treatment modalities for overweight and obese individuals remain dieting and physical exercise.
In the United States orlistat (Xenical) is currently approved by the FDA for long-term use. It reduces intestinal fat absorption by inhibiting pancreatic lipase. Rimonabant (Acomplia), a second medication, works via a specific blockade of the endocannabinoid system. It has been developed from the knowledge that cannabis smokers often experience hunger, which is often referred to as "the munchies". It had been approved in Europe for the treatment of obesity but has not received approval in the United States or Canada due to safety concerns. The European Medicines Agency in October 2008 recommended the suspension of the sale of rimonabant as the risks seem to be greater than the benefits.