Sibutramine: What is it, its dosage and side effects
What is sibutramine?
Diet pills often promise a miracle in a bottle, but what they sometimes deliver isn't worth the magic. In October, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Meridia, which contains the compound sibutramine, has been withdrawn from the U.S. market after a clinical trial revealed an increased risk of heart attack and stroke among those taking the obesity drug.
- Sibutramine was withdrawn from the U.S. market in October 2010.
- Sibutramine affects chemicals in the brain that affect weight maintenance.
- Sibutramine is used together with diet and exercise to treat obesity that may be related to diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
- Sibutramine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
The recommended starting dose of MERIDIA is 10 mg administered once daily with or without food. If there is inadequate weight loss, the dose may be titrated after four weeks to a total of 15 mg once daily. The 5 mg dose should be reserved for patients who do not tolerate the 10 mg dose. Blood pressure and heart rate changes should be taken into account when making decisions regarding dose titration (see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS).
Doses above 15 mg daily are not recommended. In most of the clinical trials, MERIDIA was given in the morning.
You should not take this medication if you are allergic to sibutramine, or if you have:
- severe or uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure);
- an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia);
- a history of coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis);
- a history of heart disease (congestive heart failure, heart rhythm disorder);
- a history of heart attack or stroke; or
- if you are taking stimulant diet pills.
Before taking sibutramine:
tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, depression, underactive thyroid, seizures, a bleeding disorder, a history of gallstones, or if you are older than 65 or younger than 16.
- Tell your doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, especially antidepressants, cold or allergy medication, narcotic pain medicine, or migraine headache medicines.
- Tell your doctor if you do not lose at least 4 pounds after taking the medication for 4 weeks along with a low calorie diet.
Common side effects of Meridia (sibutramine hydrochloride) include:
- flu symptoms,
- runny or stuffy nose,
- sore throat,
- fast or pounding heartbeats,
- high blood pressure,
- new or worsening shortness of breath,
- seizure (convulsions),
- fast or uneven heartbeats,
- dry mouth,
- upset stomach,
- loss of appetite,
- stomach pain,
- back pain,
- joint pain,
- trouble sleeping (insomnia),
- skin rash, and
- warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin.