A September 1, 2010 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (“NEJM”) suggests that Meridia, also known as sibutramine, raises the risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients who have a history of cardiovascular disease.  Because of the serious risks associated with Meridia’s use, the editors of NEJM recommended that Meridia be removed from the market.  On September 15, 2010, an FDA advisory panel will review the safety of Meridia and discuss arguments that it be taken off the market entirely.

First approved in 1997, Meridia is a popular diet drug and is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories.  Meridia decreases appetite by altering key chemicals in the brain.  When Meridia was first approved as a weight-loss drug, early clinical trials found that Meridia raised blood pressure and pulse rates.  In response, the FDA requested Abbott include a warning about these risks on Meridia’s label.

Findings of the NEJM Study

The most recent Meridia study found that in nearly 10,000 overweight or obese patients, those who used Meridia had a 16% greater risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.  Nonfatal heart attacks occurred in 4.1% of Meridia users, compared with those taking the placebo, and nonfatal strokes occurred in 2.6% of Meridia users.  Additionally, the study found that there was no increased risk of heart attack or stroke in people with diabetes alone.  After reviewing preliminary results of the clinical trial in January, Meridia was removed from the European market.  Rather than follow the actions taken by the European Medical Agency, the FDA instead chose to limit Meridia’s use to patients without heart problems.  Although there is already a restriction in place on Meridia’s label, NEJM editors feel that this is insufficient, and are calling for Meridia’s removal from the market. 

Contact a Meridia Lawyer

If you or a loved one experienced a serious side effect associated with Meridia, protect your right to a legal remedy.  Contact one of our Meridia injury lawyers and schedule a no-cost consultation.  You may be able to file a Meridia lawsuit.

Bernstein Liebhard is a nationally recognized law firm located in New York City that exclusively represents injured plaintiffs in a variety of individual and class actions nationwide.  We have been ranked among the top plaintiffs law firms in the coutry by the National Law Journal for the past nine years–an honor achieved by only one other law firm in the the United States.  Our experienced Meridia trial attorneys are standing by ready to review your case.  We represent our injured clients on a contigency fee basis, meaning that we advance all costs and do not collect any attorneys fees unless we are successful.

Published November 17, 2011 by