Meridia is an obesity drug produced by Abbott Laboratories that was recently recalled after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a report describing serious, and in some cases deadly, adverse side effects. These side effects have already affected hundreds of people nationwide and a recall may mean that you are entitled to compensation for any damages you have suffered. To get advice about the Meridia recall and your legal rights, contact Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos. Or attorneys are familiar with the specifics of this drug and its history, and we will be able to help you determine if you have been injured by this drug and what damages you might be able to recover.
Meridia is the brand name of the drug sibutramine, manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. It is an anti-obesity drug and works on two brain chemicals (serotonin and norepinephrine) that control appetite and make users feel full. Meridia falls in the same class of many anti-depressants such as Prozac. It is also classified as a Schedule IV Controlled Substance, which means that users can become addicted and suffer withdrawal symptoms when use is discontinued. According to the FDA, about 100,000 people in the United States currently take Meridia (as well as eight million people worldwide).
The FDA approved Meridia in November of 1997 for weight loss and maintenance of weight loss in obese people. Even at that time, the FDA had concerns about its safety since it was known to increase both blood pressure and heart rate. However the drug was approved because the FDA believed that the benefit of losing weight outweighed other risks. Public advocacy groups began petitioning for a recall almost immediately. From 1998 to September of 2001, 29 deaths and 397 serious side effects were reported by users of Meridia. Since reporting is voluntary, the actual number of incidents and deaths is believed to be much higher. Over 400 serious side effects have been reported. In a recent study done by the Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial, the data showed a 16 percent increased risk for heart attack, stroke and death among people taking Meridia as compared with those taking a placebo. In addition, only a small difference was found in weight loss among those taking the drug and those receiving a placebo. Based on this study, the FDA requested the recall and advised physicians to stop prescribing the drug.
The use of Meridia can cause any of these possible side effects:
Since this drug is used primarily by the obese, Meridia side effects can compound existing conditions by placing additional strain on the heart. Meridia withdrawal could prevent persons suffering from side effects of the drug from stopping its use.
If you or a loved one has used, or is currently using Meridia for weight control, you may be at risk of injury. If any of the above symptoms has been experienced you should contact your physician at once. To learn more about the Meridia recall and the possibility of recovering damages for your injuries, contact a Los Angeles Meridia recall class action lawyer today. Our experienced attorneys will work hard to protect your rights and see that you recover the compensation that you deserve.