Meridia Is Withdrawn from the Market

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
November/December 2010 Volume 21, Number 6
©2010 Gürze Books

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently recommended that physicians stop prescribing the anti-obesity drug sibutramine (Meridia®).On October 8, the FDA and Meridia’s maker, Abbott Laboratories, announced that Meridia would be withdrawn from the market. The FDA took the action based upon the outcome of the Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial (SCOUT) (N Engl J Med 2010 2:363: 905). Sibutramine acts by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

The results of the SCOUT study showed a 16% increase in the risk of serious heart-related events, including nonfatal heart attacks, nonfatal strokes, the need to be resuscitated once the heart stopped, and death, in a group of patients given sibutramine compared with another group that received a placebo. There was only a slight difference in weight loss between the placebo group and the group that received sibutramine.

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