Weight Loss Drug Yanked from Market

Abbott Laboratories is taking its weight loss drug Meridia (sibutramine) off the market, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The company voluntarily withdrew the drug in the wake of findings showing an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in people who used the drug.  Meridia is taken by about 8 million people worldwide.

According to Paging Dr. Gupta:

“Approved in 1997 for weight loss, the original data on the drug showed that people who took Meridia lost at least 5 percent more of their body weight ... The FDA requested the company withdraw the drug, after reviewing data from a follow-up study known as the Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial (SCOUT ). It showed there was a 16 percent increase in the risk of serious heart events”.

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