A drug called Amlexanox is used to treat canker sores. Researchers have found that obese mice lost weight without any change in what they ate or how much activity they got.
In the study researchers gave mice a high-calorie diet. They became obese and then were injected with the canker sore drug, Amlexanox. The mice lost weight in spite of eating the same amount of calories they had been eating. The mice also lost body fat and reversed type 2 diabetes that was a result of obesity. The researchers believe that the drug works by changing the way the mice's genes controlled their metabolism rather than as an appetite suppressant.
"Amlexanox appears to work in mice by inhibiting two genes-IKKE and TBK1-that we think together act as a sort of brake on metabolism," said Dr. Alan Saltiel, the lead researcher.. "By releasing the brake, amlexanox seems to free the metabolic system to burn more, and possibly store less, energy."
"One of the reasons that diets are so ineffective in producing weight loss for some people is that their bodies adjust to the reduced calories by also reducing their metabolism, so that they are 'defending' their body weight," Dr. Saltiel continues. source
Clinical trials in humans are intended for later this year. Because the drug is already approved by the FDA for canker sores, if it is effective and safe for weight loss, it could potentially be available for weight loss more quickly than other drugs waiting for FDA approval.
The findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine.