A double blind placebo controlled study was carried out in 40 subjects newly referred for treatment for obesity to determine the effects of the new thermogenic β adrenoceptor agonist BRL 26830A. The subjects were randomised to receive either BRL 26830A, 200 mg daily for two weeks then 400 mg daily, or placebo for 18 weeks, and all were instructed to follow a 3·35 MJ diet that was low in fat and high in fibre. Weight loss was 15·4 (SD 6·6) kg in subjects given BRL 26830A compared with 10·0 (5·9) kg in those given placebo (p=0·02). The relative weight loss was 0·93 (0·39)% a week with BRL 26830A and 0·61 (0·38)% with placebo (p=0·02). Urinary excretion of nitrogen was similar in both groups, whereas measurements of skinfold thickness indicated a 4·1 kg difference in the amount of fat lost, suggesting that weight loss with BRL 26830A was mainly from adipose and not lean tissue. BRL 26830A had no effect on resting pulse rate or pressor effects on either diastolic or systolic blood pressure. No significant differences were found between the two groups in serum cholesterol concentration, percentage of high density lipoprotein cholesterol, plasma concentrations of glucose and insulin, the ratio of glucose to insulin, serum concentrations of triiodothyronine and thyroxine, and creatinine clearance. Short term administration of BRL 26830A to six subjects who had taken the drug for 18 weeks showed that the expenditure of energy increased by 11·6% during the second hour after administration, which suggests that BRL 26830A may enhance weight loss thermogenically.
BRL 26830A may be a useful drug in the treatment of obesity.