Meridia/Sibutramine Hydrochloride

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:44 by admin
In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Sibutramine Hydrochloride, also known as Meridia, for the management of obesity, a widespread, chronic disease that contributes to the deaths of an estimated 300,000 Americans each year. Made by Abbott Laboratories, Meridia helps reduce food intake and is prescribed for weight loss and weight maintenance when used in conjunction with a reduced calorie diet.

Meridia is indicated for people whose initial body mass index (BMI) is at least 30. However, patients with other risk factors, such as hypertension or diabetes, can be treated with the drug if their BMI is 27 or higher. Meridia works to suppress the appetite primarily by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin.

The most common side effects associated with Meridia include dry mouth, headache, constipation and insomnia. In addition, the drug may cause hypertension, heart problems and heart attacks. The FDA recommends that patients taking Meridia have regular blood pressure evaluations. People with uncontrolled high blood pressure should not take the drug.

In March 2002 Italy's Health Ministry suspended the sale of products containing sibutramine, the primary ingredient in Meridia, after fifty "adverse events" were associated with the drug. In Italy, the drug is sold under the names Reductil, Reduxade and Ectiva. A spokesperson for the country's Pharmaceutical Commission would not comment on the specifics of the adverse events, saying only that the drug's "beneficial effects must be re-evaluated." Nearly 9 million people have used the drug since 1997.

In August 2002, Italy lifted the ban on the sale of sibutramine after the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products' Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products determined the drug's benefits outweighed its risks.

In an August 2003 letter sent to the FDA, consumer interest group Public Citizen revealed that after a review of the FDA's database, the organization found nearly 50 cases of deaths from cardiovascular causes among Meridia users.

See your doctor if you have experienced an adverse reaction after taking a weight-loss product containing sibutramine. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Diet Drugs
  2. Headaches
  3. Heart Attack Lawsuits
  4. High Blood Pressure (hypertension): Overview
  5. Severe Constipation: Overview
  6. Sleep Disorders: Overview
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