Wednesday, December 12, 2012



The FDA approved  sibutramine,  one  of the  more  popular appetite suppressants made by Abbott Laboratories, in 1997. The brand names include Meridia in North America and Reductil in other countries.
Sibutramine is unique in that it is approved by the FDA for long-term use, which is likely the cause of its popularity. Although many appetite suppressants are used off label for longer than  a few weeks or months, this is not considered to be an FDA-approved use. (Orlistat is another weight-loss drug approved by the FDA for long-term use.) The typical cost of a 30-day supply of Meridia is $112 to $213; how- ever, many medical insurance plans might cover it because a patient cannot purchase this medication without a doctors prescription.Sibutramine works in the same manner as phentermine, by increasing levels of catecholamines and inhibiting neuro- peptide Y, but sibutramine also increases levels of serotonin in the body. Sibutramine has been shown to cause at least 5 per- cent weight loss in 85 percent of obese patients and at least 10 percent weight loss in 57 percent of its consumers This drug has been associated with increased blood pressure, headaches, dry mouth, insomnia, and constipation, so people with a his- tory of heart disease or stroke should not take it. People who take certain antidepressants that increase serotonin levels can- not take sibutramine because of the risk of serotonin toxicity.

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