People with heart disease who want to lose weight should avoid taking Abbott’s weight loss pill Meridia, according to a new study funded by the drug’s manufacturer.
In Europe, the drug, known as sibutramine, has already been banned because it increases people’s risk of having nonfatal heart attacks and strokes.
An expert advisory committee of the Federal Drug Administration will meet later this month to determine if the United States should implement its own ban.
A webmd.com article titled, “Weight Loss Pill Meridia Raises Heart Attack, Stroke Risks,”quoted editors of the New England Journal of Medicine as calling Meridia “another flawed diet pill.”
They note that in return for offering a weight loss of under 9 pounds — less than 5% of the body weight of the overweight participants in the study — the drug had a one-in-70 chance of causing a heart attack or stroke.
Since “the modest weight loss with [Meridia] did not translate into clinical benefit,” the editors say, “it is difficult to discern a credible rationale for keeping this medication on the market.”
As an advocate for consumers’ rights, the Simmons law firm will keep you updated on the FDA committee’s recommendations.