Cover image for: Obesity and Medicines
CPD50m of CPD
Total Rating(s)114
Published25 October 2017
Updated21 May 2019
Reviewed08 February 2020
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia

Course Overview

Why is it that some medicines can cause people to gain weight whilst others may assist people to lose weight?


  • What disease states are affected by obesity?
  • Which antidepressant agents cause the most weight gain?
  • When are weight loss medicines contraindicated?
  • How serious are adverse effects of weight loss medicines?
  • Strategies for weight reduction and much, much more...


Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some musculoskeletal conditions, and some cancers. As the level of excess weight increases, so too does the risk of developing these conditions. In addition, being overweight can hamper the ability to control or manage chronic disorders.

Medicines can contribute to both weight reduction and weight gain. Greater awareness of medicines that adversely affect a healthy weight – especially those used in prevalent comorbid conditions – will assist nurses to implement weight management strategies and better educate patients to manage the side effects of these medicines.


The purpose of this Course is to provide education about the pathogenesis of obesity and how medications can contribute to this condition in order to assist patients to obtain and maintain optimum weight health.

Learning Outcomes

  • Correlate obesity with co-morbid conditions to improve patient outcomes through the implementation of weight reduction strategies.
  • Use your understanding of specific medicines that cause weight gain in order to improve patients’ quality of life by managing the side effects of these medicines.
  • Link alternative therapies for weight reduction with education strategies to improve patient outcomes through effective weight management.

Target Audience

Registered nurses and other health professionals who work with patients with diet-related disease or who routinely administer medicines that can cause weight gain.


No conflict of interest exists for anyone in the position to control content for this activity. Wherever possible, generic or non-proprietary names of medications or products have been used.


Portrait of Jenny Gowan
Jenny Gowan

Jenny Gowan, a practising pharmacist, is a teaching associate at Monash University, Melbourne and a clinical associate of RMIT University. She is a member of the PSA Branch committee, the Expert Group for Therapeutic Guidelines – Respiratory version 5, an editorial board member of AUS-DI, SHPA "Don’t Rush to Crush", the Guidelines Committee for the Australian Asthma Handbook (AAH) and the writing group for the RACGP ‘Medical Care of older persons in RACF’ (Silver book). Jenny is an accredited consultant pharmacist who conducts her own company, which focuses on medication reviews in the home and aged care facilities, plus education, writing, training, and consultation. Jenny works regularly in community pharmacy plus sessions in a GP clinic at a Community Health Centre. She has published over 400 educational articles. Jenny has presented talks at many Australian and international conferences to GPs, nurse practitioners, nurses, podiatrists, pharmacists, and other health professionals. In 2013, she was awarded the Australian Pharmacist of the Year by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and, in 2016, the AACP-MIMs Australian Consultant Pharmacist of the Year.

CPD50m of CPD
Total Rating(s)114
Published25 October 2017
Updated21 May 2019
Reviewed08 February 2020
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia
Topic Tags
Healthy Lifestyle Counselling
Medication Safety
Metabolic Syndrome

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Learner Reviews


114 Total Rating(s)

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Caitlyn Ann Willems
26 Jun 2019

This resource was applicable to my gp clinic and definitely helpful.

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Neil Mcintyre
23 Jun 2019

Medically orientated

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Kristie Denholm
20 Jun 2019

it was informative

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Patricia Ajun
18 Jun 2019

Very informative and easy to follow.

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Marcella Brown
17 Jun 2019

I knew some medications caused weight gain, but was not sure of which ones. It was good to actually see which medications caused the most weight gain.

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Elizabeth Mitchell
11 Jun 2019


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Jane ellen delves
10 Jun 2019

I gained new information regarding medication and weight gain/ loss

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Fiona Hayman
09 Jun 2019

Great refresher!!

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Cheryl Algie
08 Jun 2019

This activity is directly relevant to my scope as an enrolled nurse, and is an area of my practice I consider high risk since... This online learning covered the topics of medications, obesity, healthy lifestyle counselling, nutrition, medication safety and obesity and medications. It provided me with new knowledge. I do not foresee any barriers getting in the way of applying this. I am likely to make changes to my practice and Give advise on healthy living choices .

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Larissa Jachmann
06 Jun 2019

Very good