What is Meridia (sibutramine), how does it work, and how effective is it in reducing weight?
Meridia is a brand name for a product known as sibutramine. It's considered to be an appetite suppressant. It's available only by prescription and it is approved for longer-term use, unlike some of the older appetite-suppressing medications. Meridia works by boosting the levels of two chemical messengers in the brain: norepinepherine and serotonin.
And amplifying this signal from these chemical messengers triggers the satiety center, the satisfaction center in the brain, and helps us feel satisfied earlier in eating episodes that we can effectively have had enough to eat before we've consumed quite as much food as we might otherwise without the medication.
This translates into relatively modest additional weight loss, perhaps another 3-5 pounds beyond what we might accomplish if we were simply following a diet and exercise plan. And it may help us achieve a little bit more success in keeping the weight off over the long term.
In a scientific review article published this year in the journal of Vascular Health and Risk Management the authors conclude: "Sibutramine, in conjunction with lifestyle measures, is a useful drug for reducing body weight and improving associated cardiometabolic risk factors and obesity-related disorders."
Studies have shown that sibutramine enhances the weight loss effect of calorie restricted diets. That means that sibutramine plus diet and exercise results in greater weight loss than diet and exercise alone.
In December 2009 sibutramine and orlistat were the only two anti-obesity medications approved for long-term use. Sibutramine reduces appetite whereas orlistat prevents gastrointestinal fat absorption.
How and when should be taken Sibutramine?
There are two dosages, 10mg and 15mg. One tablet of Sibutramine is taken each morning. It can be taken with or without food. It is recommended to start with the lower dosage and only increase the dosage if you are not seeing the results you are expecting. This would be after a further consultation with your doctor. Sibutramine is not for children.
Meridia Side Effects
Side effects include insomnia, nausea, dry mouth, and constipation. Though Meridia may be safer than other anti- obesity drugs, it still warrants caution. The most troubling side effects include increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and abnormal heart rhythms (arrythmias) seen in some participants during clinical trials.
Store Sibutramine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
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