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In October 2010, sibutramine hydrochloride was withdrawn from the market in the United States.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.
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.
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.
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