FDA Continues Its Recommendation Against Meridia Use

Published:November 23rd, 2010

Meridia, a weight loss drug with a generic name of Sibutramine, was voluntarily withdrawn by Abbott from the market on October 8, 2010 after a clinical trial that proves its effect in increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart and stroke.

Meridia is a prescription medication that was introduced in the US market in 1997 for maintenance of weight loss in overweight and obese patients. According to various studies, this weight loss drug can effectively cause a decrease in weight in sixty percent of patients.

However, after the SCOUT (Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcome Trial) which proved its very small benefit in weight reduction and its high chance of developing non-fatal heart attacks, non-fatal stroke and other cardiovascular events, the FDA requested Abbott, the producer of Meridia, to voluntarily stop marketing this medication.

The SCOUT which was performed in more than ten thousand obese subjects across Europe, Latin America and Australia demonstrated a sixteen percent increase in the risk of developing cardiovascular events.   Furthermore, in this clinical trial, it was also proven that there is non-significant difference between the cardiovascular causes of death among patients who took Meridian and those who did not.  And after the five-year trial, it has been shown that there is only a modest difference of more than two percent between the study population who took the drug and those who took the placebo.

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