UPDATE 10/8/10: Abbott Laboratories voluntarily pulls Meridia from the market “because clinical trial studies showed there was an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in people who used the drug.”
The consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen, is urging the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to yank the weight loss drug Meridia from the pharmacies all across the country because of its potentially life-threatening risks.
So far, 84 people taking Meridia have died following heart-related complications. While Meridia comes with clear warnings that it should not be taken by those who have high blood pressure, take MAO-inhibitors or take any other stimulant diet pills, Public Citizen is strongly petitioning the FDA to pull the serotonin-norepinephrine-reuptake inhibitor drug before more individuals are harmed or die.
In November, the FDA said it was “making no conclusions about the preliminary findings” following a 10,000-patient study, which found evidence of a slightly higher risk of heart-related problems in individuals taking Meridia.
According to Reuters, Meridia’s use has decreased in the country since it was developed eight years ago. Still in the past 12 months, some 294,000 U.S. prescriptions were filled for the weight loss drug.
If the FDA does take some sort of action against Meridia and Abbott Laboratories, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the drug, it won’t be the first time the federal regulatory agency tried to prevent a dangerous product from being sold and used by citizens. In 2008, the FDA issued a massive warning on scores of dangerous diet pills from Asian countries and then prior to that, in 1997, the FDA requested that the controversial diet drug fen-phen be withdrawn from the market.
Meridia is structurally similar to amphetamines, and helps to produce feelings of satiety, therefore influencing appetite so that you will eat less and feel less hungry.
Here is DietsInReview.com’s complete review of Meridia.