In the treatment of obesity, a number of weight loss drugs are prescribed by the doctors. Amongst them, Meridia is one of the most common one. It was in the year 1997 that this drug was approved by the FDA as a drug for weight loss management, but to be used along with reduced-calorie diet. Only obese people, who have had an initial body mass index (BMI) of ≥ 30 kg/m2 were prescribed this drug.
The reports of study:
But, a SCOUT study or Sibutramine Cardiovascular Morbidity/Mortality Outcomes in Overweight showed that people, who take Meridia, experience more cardiovascular problems than those, who are only on an exercise and diet plan or placebo for reducing weight. The study began in the year 2002 and was an initiative to look at the cardiovascular safety of this drug. After the reports came, it was in 2010 that the FDA intervened into the matter and requested Abbott, the maker of Meridia to pull it out of the US Market.
What was the outcome?
As per the reports, it was clearly evident that Meridia is not safe for those, who have had a history of cardiovascular diseases. Sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate or Meridia is associated with side effects such as –
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Heart diseases.
Limitation of Meridia prescription:
However, the reports also found that those, who have recently had a heart attack or stroke or congestive heart failure, did not have any risk from taking Meridia. Hence, this clearly showed that the risk was more on those, who have had a history of cardiovascular diseases and not on others. Therefore, Abbott decided to add a contraindication label on Meridia that would state about its risks for those, who have this condition.
Doctors, therefore, do not prescribe Meridia to those patients, who have moderate to severe hypertension, arteriosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases in the past. Anyone, who has had signs and symptoms of stroke in the past, blood pressure troubles and heart attack problems, must not be prescribed this drug.
What should you do?
If you have been prescribed Meridia or have been taking it for quite some time, ask your doctor if it is suitable for you or not and discuss your health condition with him or her. Let your doctor know about your previous heart diseases and problems, so that whether Meridia would be a safe choice for you or not, can be determined in advance.
In case you have already been taking Meridia, get in touch with your doctor or special medical attention at once, if you experience –
- Any abnormality in your heart rhythm or heart rate
- Heart palpitation
- Pain in the chest
- Light-headedness and dizziness.
Meridia must not be taken without consulting with your doctor and dosage must be maintained. Ask your doctor about the right dosage and alternative medicine, if this drug does not suit your health condition. If any difficulty is felt, Meridia consumption must be discontinued at once.