Background & Aims: It is unclear whether weight loss with the noradrenergic (norepinephrine) and serotonergic (5-hydroxytryptamine) reuptake inhibitor, sibutramine, is associated with altered stomach functions and whether genetics influence treatment response. Methods: Forty-eight overweight and obese but otherwise healthy participants were randomized to placebo or sibutramine (15 mg/day for 12 weeks). At baseline and posttreatment we measured the following: gastric emptying for solids and liquids by scintigraphy, gastric volumes by single-photon emission computed tomography, maximum tolerated volume and 30-minute postnutrient challenge symptoms, and selected gastrointestinal hormones. All participants received structured behavior therapy for weight management. The influence of candidate gene polymorphisms involved in norepinephrine and 5-hydroxytryptamine or receptor function (phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase, guanine nucleotide binding protein β polypeptide 3, α2A adrenoreceptor, and solute carrier family 6 [neurotransmitter transporter, serotonin] member 4 [homo sapiens] [SLC6A4]) on weight loss and gastric functions was evaluated. Results: The overall average weight loss posttreatment was 5.4 ± 0.8 (SEM) kg with sibutramine and 0.9 ± 0.9 kg with placebo (P < .001). The sibutramine group showed significant retardation in gastric emptying of solids (P = .03), reduced maximum tolerated volume (P = .03), and increased postprandial peptide YY compared with the placebo group. Obese females showed greater effects of sibutramine on weight loss and gastric emptying of solids and liquids. Gastric volumes and postchallenge symptoms were not significantly different in the 2 treatment groups. The LS/SS genotype of the promoter for SLC6A4 was associated with enhanced weight loss with sibutramine. Conclusions: Weight reduction with sibutramine is associated with altered gastric functions and increased peptide YY and is significantly associated with SLC6A4 genotype. The role of genetic variation in SLC6A4 on weight loss in response to sibutramine deserves further study.
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