Ann Geriatr Med Res.  2019 Sep;23(3):98-104. 10.4235/agmr.19.0028.

Pharmacological Interventions for Treatment of Sarcopenia: Current Status of Drug Development for Sarcopenia

  • 1Aging Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 2Department of Functional Genomics, KRIBB School of Bioscience, University of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Korea.


Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function with age, was first recognized as a disease in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) (M62.84) and has recently attracted attention as aged populations increase. However, the diagnostic criteria for sarcopenia remain controversial and there are as yet no US Food and Drug Administration-approved medications for sarcopenia. Given that both intrinsic and extrinsic factors contribute to sarcopenia onset and development, understanding the mechanism of sarcopenia is important for the development of therapeutic strategies. In this review, we described a variety of drugs for sarcopenia under investigation, including myostatin/ActR2 signaling inhibitors, exercise mimetics, anabolic hormones, and natural compounds. However, the combination of non-drug therapies with exercise and nutritional supplements are also needed as more easily accessible intervention strategies against sarcopenia rather than pharmacological treatments alone. Many approaches to develop therapeutic methods to overcome sarcopenia may lead to healthy aging.


Sarcopenia; Skeletal muscle; Aging; Diagnosis; Drug

MeSH Terms

International Classification of Diseases
Muscle, Skeletal
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