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Sibutramine is used for weight loss and weight maintenance in adults (age 16 years old and older). The medication is specifically approved for use in people who have a BMI of 30 or greater, or a BMI of 27 or greater along with certain risk factors (such as high cholesterol or diabetes). It works by affecting certain brain chemicals, causing people to feel full more quickly.

What Is Sibutramine Used For?

In October 2010, sibutramine hydrochloride was withdrawn from the market in the United States.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. 
Sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate (Meridia®) is a prescription weight-loss medication that should be used in combination with a low-calorie diet. Sibutramine is approved for individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater, or a BMI of 27 or greater along with other risk factors, such as high cholesterol or diabetes. Notably, sibutramine is approved only for people age 65 and younger.
(Click BMI Calculator to find your BMI.)
With obesity on the rise (see Obesity Statistics), many people are searching for products to help with weight loss. Although the ideal weight loss plans focus on gradual weight loss by eating a healthy diet and increasing physical activity (see How to Lose Weight), many people have difficulty following such plans (or feel they need extra assistance in their efforts). Before turning to drastic measures such as weight-loss surgery, many people consider using weight-loss pills, especially if they have unsuccessfully tried to control their obesity (and exercise and diet have been ineffective). While there are many dangerous and unapproved weight-loss drugs on the market, sibutramine is FDA-approved and has been shown to be safe and effective for weight loss.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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