Meridia® (Sibutramine), a popular drug used to treat obesity, has been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks among patients
What’s the problem?
A new study is linking the popular weight loss drug Meridia to an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. The trial involved almost 11,000 older overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes or heart disease or both who were randomized either to take Meridia or a placebo and followed for a period of 3.4 years. In the group taking Meridia, 11.4 percent had a heart attack, stroke or died as the result of a heart problem, versus 10 percent in the control group, a 16 percent increase. People taking Meridia also had a 28 percent higher risk for nonfatal heart attack and a 36 percent raised risk for nonfatal stroke, compared to those taking placebo, the authors found.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is slated to meet later this year to decide if regulatory action — perhaps a tougher “black-box” warning or even removing Meridia from the market — should be taken.