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  • Sales of the Diet Drug Meridia (sibutramine) Halted in the U.S.

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    Friday, October 08, 2010 8:55 am Email this article
    The diet drug Meridia (sibutramine) will no longer be sold in the U.S. per a request by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    "FDA requested this action after concluding Meridia's continued availability is not justified since patients who take the drug are at an increased risk of heart attacks or strokes," the FDA's Dr. John Jenkins said in media briefing.

    European authorities suspended marketing of the Meridia (sibutramine) earlier this years.

    Prescriptions written for Meridia (sibutramine) have fallen from a peak of 1.6 million in 2001 to less than 300,000 in 2008.

    The FDA noted that less than 100,000 people are taking Meridia (sibutramine) in the U.S.

    The drug is taken by 8 million people worldwide according to CNN.

    Comment: Although articles often claimed that Meridia (sibutramine) inhibited both serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake, at the doses used for weight loss it had very little effect on serotonin reuptake, and worked almost entirely by inhibiting noradrenaline reuptake.

    I am not a fan of noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors such as Meridia (sibutramine), the antidepressant Cymbalta (duloxetine) or Wellbutrin (bupropion).

    I think they weaken the body, may cause the adrenal glands to shrink, and may require weeks or months to recover from when the drug is stopped.

    The reason I say this is that when the antidepressant Elavil (amitriptyline) is given chronically to rodents, their adrenal gland shrink. Part of the mechanism of action of Elavil (amitriptyline) is blocking noradrenaline reuptake.

    Therefore, I am not a fan of these drugs.

    And as far as I know, blocking noradrenaline reuptake does NOT occur naturally. Therefore, our body is NOT used to handling this.

    If it is desirable to increase noradrenaline levels, I MUCH prefer the idea of taking L-tyrosine ( or better yet, N-acetyl-L-tyrosine ) along with a noradrenaline-releasing substance such as green tea or ephedrine or phentermine.

    So for me, there is no love lost with the sales of Meridia (sibutramine) being stopped.

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