Under the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the popular weight loss pill Meridia® is voluntarily being withdrawn from the U.S. market after a study showed an increase risk of cardiovascular events.
In 1997, Meridia was approved by the FDA to be used by obese patients to aid in weight loss. At that time, clinical data showed that the appetite suppressant drug in Meridia, sibutramine, helped to reduce body weight by at least 5 percent than those on the placebo who relied on diet and exercise alone. However, a new study has shown a link between Meridia and higher risk of cardiovascular problems.
Approximately 10,000 patients took part in what is known as the SCOUT study (Sibutramine Cardiovascular OUTcomes Trial). The study, which was required after the approval of the drug in Europe, showed a 16 percent increase in the risk of serious heart events including non-fatal heart attacks, non-fatal stroke, the need to be resuscitated once the heart stopped, and death.
What should I do if I’m currently taking Meridia?
Physicians are advised to stop prescribing Meridia to their patients, and patients should stop taking this medication.