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Q: What is Meridia?

Dr. Donnica:
Dr. Donnica: MERIDIA® (sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate; Knoll Pharmaceuticals) C-IV Capsules, are an FDA-approved oral medication used for the medical management of obesity, including losing weight and maintaining that weight loss. It is a centrally acting prescription anti-obesity medication, which means that it suppresses appetite by acting on the brain.

  • MERIDIA is indicated for people who need to lose 30 pounds or more, and should be used in conjunction with a reduced calorie diet and, ideally, an exercise program.

  • In the majority of patients, MERIDIA has been shown to reduce weight by five to 10 percent when they also adhere to a diet.  By sustaining this weight loss, patients can reduce obesity-related health risks, including diabetes and hypertension.  Patients being treated with MERIDIA should see their doctor as directed for regular follow-up visits. During these visits, the doctor can follow the patient's body weight and carefully monitor their overall health, including regular monitoring of blood pressure and pulse rate.

  • As with all medications, MERIDIA may not be for everyone.  While MERIDIA is generally well tolerated and most side effects are mild and temporary, they include dry mouth, headache, insomnia and constipation.  MERIDIA also may substantially increase blood pressure in some people and this is why regular blood pressure monitoring is required when taking MERIDIA.  These blood pressure increases generally occur early in treatment and the prescribing physician may decide to decrease the dose of MERIDIA or discontinue the medication. In clinical trials, the number of patients who discontinued MERIDIA use because of hypertension was less than one-half of one percent and was comparable to placebo.  Still, MERIDIA should only be given with caution to those patients with a history of hypertension and should not be given to patients with uncontrolled or poorly controlled hypertension.

  • You cannot take MERIDIA if you are taking prescription medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which are sometimes used to treat depression or Parkinson's disease.  Be sure to inform your doctor of all medications you are taking before starting a Meridia prescription.  MERIDIA should not be taken if you are taking other weight-loss medications.  This includes prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, as well as herbal products.  MERIDIA should not be used by pregnant women or nursing mothers.

Created: 11/15/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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