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Sibutramine Hydrochloride Oral capsule

It is used to promote and maintain weight loss in obese patients

Generic Name: sibutramine

Brand Names: Meridia

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

Special Alerts:

On October 8, 2010, the manufacturer announced a voluntary withdrawal of sibutramine from the US market. The withdrawal was requested by FDA following review of new data on cardiovascular risk. (See Cardiovascular Effects under Cautions.)


FDA approved a REMS for sibutramine to ensure that the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks. The REMS may apply to one or more preparations of sibutramine and consists of the following: medication guide. See the FDA REMS page ([Web]) or the ASHP REMS Resource Center ([Web]).

What is this medicine?

NOTE: Sibutramine has been withdrawn from the market and is no longer available.

SIBUTRAMINE (si BYOO tra meen) is used to promote and maintain weight loss in obese patients. This medicine should be used with a reduced calorie diet and, if appropriate, an exercise program.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have or have had any of these conditions:
  • anorexia nervosa, bulimia or other eating disorder
  • glaucoma
  • heart disease like congestive heart failure or a previous heart attack
  • heart rhythm problems or palpitations, chest pain
  • high blood pressure
  • kidney or liver disease
  • peripheral vascular disease (PVD)
  • stroke or symptoms of a stroke
  • thyroid disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to sibutramine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take this medicine with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 16 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with the following medications:
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • medicines for colds, sinus, and breathing difficulties
  • other medicines for weight loss including prescription, nonprescription, and herbal products
  • procarbazine
  • tryptophan

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • certain migraine headache medicines like almotriptan, dihydroergotamine, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan
  • dextromethorphan
  • erythromycin
  • fentanyl
  • ketoconazole
  • lithium
  • medicines for anxiety, depression or other mental problems
  • meperidine
  • pentazocine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need to have your blood pressure and heart rate checked.

This medicine is intended to be used in addition to a healthy diet and appropriate exercise. The best results are achieved this way. Do not increase or in any way change your dose without consulting your doctor or health care professional.

A weight loss of 4 pounds or more during your first month of treatment is a good indicator of success with this medicine. Most of the weight you will lose will be lost gradually during 6 to 12 months.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • changes in vision
  • chest pain
  • difficulty breathing
  • fever
  • heart palpitations
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • muscle or joint pain
  • pain, burning or tingling in the hands or feet
  • seizures
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual swelling of the arms or legs
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • trouble sleeping

Last Updated: August 29, 2011
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