Sibutramine

What is sibutramine?

Sibutramine was withdrawn from the U.S. market in October 2010.

Sibutramine affects chemicals in the brain that affect weight maintenance.

Sibutramine is used together with diet and exercise to treat obesity that may be related to diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

Sibutramine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Sibutramine has been used to produce appetite suppression for the purpose of attaining weight loss in the treatment of patients with obesity.

Sibutramine, formerly sold under the brand name Meridia among others, is an appetite suppressant which has been discontinued in many countries. Until 2010, it was widely marketed and prescribed as an adjunct in the treatment of obesity along with diet and exercise. It has been associated with increased cardiovascular events and strokes and has been withdrawn from the market in several countries and regions including Australia, Canada, China, the European Union,Hong Kong, India,Mexico, New Zealand,the Philippines, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.However, the drug remains available in some countries.

What is sibutramine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Sibutramine is a medication that assists with weight-loss by altering neurotransmitters within the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are produced and released by nerves in order to communicate with other nerves. Released neurotransmitters may attach to other nerves or they may be taken up again by the nerves that release them, a process termed reuptake. Sibutramine blocks the reuptake of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Blocking the reuptake of neurotransmitters alters the balance of neurotransmitters within the nerve cells and thereby affect nerve function and interaction.

Patients taking sibutramine may achieve a 5-10% reduction from their baseline weight. Additionally, sibutramine-assisted weight loss has been accompanied by improvement in blood lipids (e.g, cholesterol). Sibutramine was approved by the FDA in 1997.

What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Overdose symptoms may include headache, dizziness, and fast heart rate.

What should I avoid while taking sibutramine?
Sibutramine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.