Obesity drug Meridia withdrawn by Abbott Labs

The obesity drug, Meridia, has been taken off the US market by Abbott Labs

The obesity drug, Meridia or Sibutramine, is being voluntarily withdrawn by Abbott Laboratories from the US and Canadian markets.

The reason for the withdrawal is an increased risk of stroke and heart attack shown by clinical trial data, according to the FDA or US Food and Drug Administration.

In November 1997, Meridia (Sibutramine) was approved by the FDA for maintenance of weight loss and weight loss in obese people. The drug was approved because people who took it during trials showed a five percent loss of body weight, compared to people who didn’t.

Both groups used exercise and diet, so the better results were not due to the drug on its own.

A Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial (SCOUT) was initiated as part of a post market requirement to look at cardiovascular safety of Sibutramine once Europe had approved the drug. and the FDA decided to pull the drug once they had read that report.

The data showed a 16 percent increase risk of serious heart events, including non-fatal strokes and heart attacks. Many of these were incidents where the heart stopped beating and the patient had to be resuscitated.

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Authored by: Richard Lee

Richard has been traveling since he took a year off from college, where he was doing a BA in Journalism. He traveled half the world, backpacking with his girlfriend (now his wife). They spent time in South America, Asia, Greece and much of Europe. After writing about his experiences for several airline and travel magazines, he never went back to college.