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Side Effects of Sibutramine

Although most people tolerate sibutramine well, side effects are possible. Some of the most commonly reported side effects of sibutramine include headaches, a dry mouth, and a loss of appetite. These side effects are typically minor and easily treated. However, some side effects of sibutramine may need immediate medical attention. Some of these side effects include depression, unexplained or unusual bleeding, and seizures.

An Introduction to Sibutramine Side Effects

In October 2010, sibutramine hydrochloride was withdrawn from the market in the United States.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 hydrochloride monohydrate (Meridia®). However, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. In most cases, side effects occur when too much sibutramine is taken.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with sibutramine. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of sibutramine side effects with you.)

Sibutramine Side Effects to Report

There are a number of side effects with sibutramine that you should report to your healthcare provider. These include, but are not limited to:
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • A rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Feelings of a rapidly or forcefully beating heart (known as heart palpitations)
  • Seizures
  • A dangerous side effect known as "serotonin syndrome," which can cause the following symptoms:
    • Weakness
    • Restlessness or anxiety
    • Confusion or unconsciousness
    • Fever, shaking, or vomiting
    • A rapid heartbeat 
  • Any unusual or unexplained bleeding
  • Gallstones (which are caused by weight loss itself)
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including an unexplained rash, hives, itching, unexplained swelling, wheezing, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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