Is Rimonabant safe and effective for weight loss in overweight and obese people?

From: The Cochrane Collaboration

Journal rating:
rating: 98%
Study Quality:
rating: 100%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
rating: 75%
rating: 50%


  • 4 studies involved 6,625 people


  • The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
  • This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped together to form an overall outcome.


  • Within 1 year, 20mg of Rimonabant produced a 4.9 kg greater reduction in body weight in comparison to a placebo.
  • Improvements in waist circumference, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and blood pressure were also seen with Rimonabant.
  • Rimonabant at 5 mg provided limited weight loss of only 1.3 kg greater than a placebo. No clinically relevant effects on plasma lipids (blood fats) and blood pressure were found.
  • Rimonabant at 20 mg caused significantly more adverse effects, especially of nervous system, psychiatric or gastro-intestinal origin.


  • Yes (without confidence)


Editors Notes

  • Despite a modest reduction in weight, the trial participants had to also follow a low-carb diet.
  • There was a 40% drop-out rate from the trials. This may artificially improve the results coming from the Rimonabant participants.
  • Rimonabant is not recommended for patients with severe depression and/or patients who are treated with antidepressive medications. Rimonabant is furthermore not recommended for patients with other untreated psychiatric conditions.