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Meridia Sibutramine Side Effects FAQ

What is Meridia?

Meridia (known generically as sibutramine), was a weight loss drug that was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997 to manage obesity. A 2009 study of Meridia, however, found an increased risk of Meridia heart attack and Meridia stroke (both non-fatal) in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease.

Earlier this year, Meridia was pulled from the market due to the serious side effects.

What are the allegations about Meridia?

Allegations about Meridia include that patients with a history of cardiovascular disease who take the drug are at an increased risk of Meridia heart attack and Meridia stroke (both non-fatal). A trial called Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes (SCOUT), found a 16 percent increase in the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease who took Meridia compared with patients who took a placebo.

Despite the increased risks, the study found that patients who used Meridia only lost 2.5 percent more body weight than patients who took a placebo.

What are some Meridia side effects?

Reported Meridia side effects include an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, uneven heartbeat and shortness of breath.

What does the FDA say about Meridia?

Earlier this year, the FDA requested that Abbott Laboratories remove Meridia from the market, stating that the availability of Meridia was not justified based on the serious risks versus the modest benefits of the drug.

In 2004, the FDA requested a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for Meridia, designed to inform patients about the risk. The FDA, however, found that there was not a defined population in which the benefits of Meridia outweighed the risk and because the REMS was unlikely to mitigate those risks, an acceptable risk mitigation strategy was not developed. For that reason, and because of the outcome of the SCOUT trial, the FDA requested Meridia be withdrawn from the market.

Are there any deaths associated with Meridia use?

According to Public Citizen, a public advocacy group that obtained information about Meridia through the Freedom of Information Act, Between February 1998 and September 30, 2001, 19 cardiac deaths occurred in patients taking Meridia.

What should I do if I took Meridia and may have suffered Meridia side effects?

You should contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.

Have any Meridia lawsuits been filed?

Currently, no lawsuits have been filed in the US regarding Meridia. Lawsuits have been filed, however, in Canada. Some lawyers in the US are investigating the possibility of a lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories.
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Last updated on Dec-21-10

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