The Food and Drug Administraion announced today that the weight loss drug Meridia (sibutramine) will be pulled off the market today. The drug’s maker has voluntarily agreed to stop selling the Meridia after studies show it causes an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
“Meridia’s continued availability is not justified when you compare the very modest weight loss that people achieve on this drug to their risk of heart attack or stroke,” said Dr. John Jenkins, M.D., director of the Office of New Drugs in the FDA‘s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Physicians are advised to stop prescribing Meridia to their patients and patients should stop taking this medication. Patients should talk to their health care provider about alternative weight loss and weight loss maintenance programs.”
GlaxoSmithKline, makers of the popular weight loss supplement Alli, are funding a documentary on the eating habits of Americans. They could also fund another documentary; this one on the industry of pirated drugs sold on the Internet… including their own Alli.
The counterfeit Alli looks a lot like the real Alli. But, the counterfeit pills are filled with sibutramine, not Orlistat – the main ingredient in authentic Alli.
The main difference between sibutramine and Orlistat is that the former is a substance that should not be used without a doctor’s oversight. Sibutramine is the active ingredient in the prescription weight loss drug Meridia. What’s worse, Alli is taken three times daily, while Meridia should only to be taken once a day.
So far, there is no word on the fake Alli making its way to brick and mortar retail outlets. According to GlaxoSmithKline, you can identify the fake, and potentially fatal, Alli by scoping out the following clues: (more…)
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. (more…)