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  • FDA Recalls Weight Loss Drug Meridia—Act Now!

    This October the Food and Drug Administration removed yet another risky weight loss drug from the market: Meridia, a popular anti-obesity medication from Abbott Laboratories. The FDA determined that the severe risks far outweighed the already minimal benefits after the publication of a damning study early in 2010 and years of warnings by safety advocates.

    Study Links Meridia to Heart Attacks and Strokes

    The study found that Meridia, also known by its generic name sibutramine, increased the risk of serious heart problems of 16 percent, heightening the likelihood for complications such as heart attacks, strokes, and even death. The study also found that taking Meridia resulted in only a small weight loss.

    The FDA approved Meridia in 1997 to be prescribed for people struggling with obesity. Meridia is designed to block the re-uptake of certain brain chemicals called norepinephrine and serotonin. At the time, studies found that taking Meridia helped people lose at least 5 percent of their weight compared with people who took a placebo and relied on diet and exercise alone.

    Stop Taking Meridia Immediately

    It is estimated that about 100,000 Americans take Meridia. The FDA recommends that all currently on the medication should cease taking it immediately, and that doctors should stop prescribing it. The risk of heart disease should also end after a patient discontinues the medication.

    The recall is reminiscent of the Fen-phen fiasco of the 1990s, when the earlier anti-obesity medication was shown to cause heart valve problems and pulmonary hypertension, both potentially fatal conditions. Though concerns about the drug’s safety surfaced within the manufacturing company in 1994, Wyeth did not withdraw their enormously popular drug until 1997.

    For decades pharmaceutical manufacturers labored to develop effective drugs that would help people lose weight without risking dangerous side effects. Now that Meridia is no longer on the market, only two prescription weight loss drugs remain available: orlistat and phentermine. Doctors consider neither to be very effective.

    Act Now—Contact Us Today

    Seeger Weiss LLP is investigating injury claims associated with Meridia. If you or someone you know has taken Meridia and suffered adverse side effects, contact us today. An experienced attorney with Seeger Weiss LLP will assist you in evaluating your claim. Attorney consultations incur no obligation on your part and all initial consultations are free of charge. Seeger Weiss LLP has office locations in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

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