Consumer Alert: Abbott Laboratories Withdraws Its Obesity Drug Meridia

The drug maker Abbott Laboratories has agreed to take its weight loss and obesity drug Meridia (substance name sibutramine) off the market, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") announced Friday, October 8.  According to FDA, clinical trial testing of Meridia showed an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients taking Meridia.[1] 

The new data showing that Meridia users suffer more heart attacks and strokes comes from the Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes trial, known by its initials as the SCOUT trial.  The SCOUT data demonstrated a 16% increase in risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (defined as non-fatal heart attack, non-fatal stroke, resuscitation after cardiac arrest and cardiovascular death) in patients treated with Meridia compared to patients taking a placebo.[2]   At the end of the SCOUT trial, patients taking Meridia lost slightly more weight than patients taking placebo, but FDA has concluded that the risk for an adverse cardiovascular event from Meridia outweighed any benefit from that modest weight loss.[3]

In it's press release concerning the withdrawal, Abbott Laboratories instructs those taking Meridia to stop taking the drug and see their doctor for alternatives.[4]   

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. is investigating potential claims on behalf of Meridia patients.  If you wish to speak to us about a potential claim or an injury caused by Meridia, please call Kathy Neuman, R.N., B.S.N. at 1-800-553-9910 or contact her via email at contact us.

[1] FDA New Release, "Abbott Laboratories agrees to withdraw its obesity drug Meridia (October 8, 2010)
[2] FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA Recommends Against the Continued Use of Meridia (sibutramine) [10-8-2010]
[3] Id.
[4] Abbott Press Release, "Abbott to Voluntarily Withdraw Meridia® (Sibutramine) in the U.S.   (October 8, 2010).

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