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Meridia Fiasco Shows Need for Watchful Eye Over the FDA

Meridia (sibutramine) is a prescribed drug that patients in Atlanta take orally to manage obesity during the losing and maintaining of weight. It is the first orally taken serotonin and noradrenalin reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). It influences the appetite control center in the brain to lessen food consumption by raising satiety Sibutramine that is thought to support weight loss.

Abbot Laboratories, the manufacturer of Meridian, conducted a voluntary recall in October of 2010 after the FDA called for the removal from the market. Meridia, a diet drug, was found to cause serious cardiac side effects and could even cause death. 12 months after the FDA voted that the risks associated with the taking of Meridia outweighed its benefits, the drug was approved nonetheless.

Meridia’s side effects include, anorexia, constipation, dry mouth, headaches, heart disease, insomnia, increased blood pressure, increased heart rates, mental impairment, seizures, strokes, and increased sweating. Meridia is also linked to serious and deadly side effects such as pulmonary hypertension (PPH). Other side effects include heart valve disease or cardiac valve dysfunction.

Public Citizen is a consumer advocacy group that presented a petition to the FDA concerning Meridia after 29 deaths and reports of hundreds of serious side effects were reported. Public Citizen thinks that the FDA ought to raise the standard for approving diet drugs and call for drug manufactrurers to make known a specific health benefit. Unfortunately, 29 deaths and countless reports of serious side effects have yet to change the FDA’s standards.

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