A healthcare provider may prescribe sibutramine to help people lose weight and to help prevent people from regaining the weight they lost. It is available as a capsule that is taken once a day. The medication works by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, causing a sense of fullness. Potential side effects of sibutramine include insomnia, headaches, and constipation.
What Is Sibutramine?
In October 2010, sibutramine hydrochloride was withdrawn from the market in the United States. Studies have shown that it increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This medication will no longer be available in the United States. People should stop taking it and should ask their healthcare providers about more appropriate weight loss options.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with sibutramine. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects include but are not limited to:
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Meridia [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: Abbott Laboratories;2010 August.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Meridia (sibutramine): market withdrawal due to risk of serious cardiovascular events (10/8/2010). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm228830.htm. Accessed October 15, 2010.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed October 22, 2007.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
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