Precautions and Warnings With Sibutramine

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Sibutramine

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking sibutramine include the following:
  • Sibutramine may cause a dangerous group of symptoms known as serotonin syndrome. This is most likely to occur if sibutramine is taken along with other medications that affect serotonin. These other medications include other antidepressants, triptans (migraine medications), and several other medications (see Drug Interactions With Sibutramine for more information). Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you have any possible symptoms of serotonin syndrome, including:
    • Confusion
    • Seeing or hearing things that are not really there (hallucinations)
    • Fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
    • Feeling faint
    • Fever
    • Sweating
    • Muscle spasms
    • Difficulty walking
    • Diarrhea.
  • Sibutramine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. This can cause problems, especially if you already have high blood pressure, heart problems, or a history of a stroke.
  • Sibutramine can make glaucoma worse. Check with your healthcare provider before taking sibutramine if you have glaucoma.
  • Before you take sibutramine, your healthcare provider should make sure your obesity is not caused by a medical problem.
  • In the past, other weight-loss medications have been shown to cause pulmonary hypertension, a dangerous lung problem. Although sibutramine does not appear to cause this problem, it is still a possibility.
  • In studies, some of the people who took sibutramine experienced seizures. Let your healthcare provider know if you have a history of seizures or epilepsy.
  • There have been reports of increased bleeding in people who took sibutramine. It is not known why this would happen (or even if it is related to sibutramine).
  • Weight loss can cause or worsen gallstones. If you have a history of gallstones, check with your healthcare provider before attempting to lose weight.
  • The liver and kidneys help to remove sibutramine from the blood. If you have liver or kidney disease, your body may not handle sibutramine as well as normal.
  • Sibutramine can interact with a number of different medications (see Drug Interactions With Sibutramine for more information).
  • Sibutramine is a controlled substance, which means that it has the potential to be abused.
  • Sibutramine is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Meridia and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if sibutramine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Meridia and Breastfeeding).
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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