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A law firm is investigating Meridia:

Meridia is the brand name of the popular diet drug sibutramine, and is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. It is estimated that nine million people worldwide have taken Meridia for the treatment of obesity and to promote weight loss since it was introduced to the market in 1998.

Since Meridia's introduction to the U.S. market in March 1998, it has been associated with 29 deaths in the U.S. Of the 29 patients that died, 19 of the deaths were from cardiovascular causes such as heart attacks.

Prior to its approval in 1997, an FDA advisory committee voted five to four that the benefits of Meridia did not outweigh the risks. The FDA medical officer who reviewed the drug wrote that Meridia "has an unsatisfactory risk-benefit ratio and therefore this Reviewer recommends non-approval of the original submission."

The concern of both the advisory committee and the FDA medical officer was based on evidence that Meridia significantly increases blood pressure and heart rate in patients.

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Reader Comments

Posted by

I was taking Meridia to loose weight. I monitored my blood pressure at first and had no problems. In Oct 2000, I started having extremely high blood pressure, and respiratory problems. I kept telling the ER mds that it was my heart, but being that I was a 39 yr old female, they kept giving me rxs for anxiety. By the time I got to meet with a cardiologist, my blood pressure was 205/134, and it felt like someone was sqeezing my heart in their hand. After tests, I was diagnosed with CHF, with a left ventricle function of only 25 %. I was taking Meridia, Vioxx, and a migraine med at the same time.

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