Can sibutramine (Meridia) be used to treat obesity?

Updated: Feb 20, 2019
  • Author: Steven M Schwarz, MD, FAAP, FACN, AGAF; Chief Editor: Jatinder Bhatia, MBBS, FAAP  more...
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Answer

Sibutramine (Meridia), [52, 53] a selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), was withdrawn from the US market on October 8, 2010 because of an increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke. [54] Europe suspended sibutramine from the market earlier in 2010.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested the market withdrawal after reviewing data from the Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial (SCOUT), [54] which was initiated as part of a postmarket requirement to look at the cardiovascular safety of sibutramine after the European approval of this drug. The trial demonstrated a 16% increase in the risk of serious heart events, including nonfatal MI, nonfatal stroke, the need to be resuscitated once the heart stopped, and death, in a group of patients given sibutramine and another given placebo. A very small difference (2.5%) in weight loss was noted between the placebo group and the group that received sibutramine. [54]


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